Kings Cup (Circle of Death)

Kings cup offers a wide variety of ‘mini games’ depending on the card drawn. Also known as Circle of Death, it has been around for quite some time, so there are a wide variety of rules you can follow. Below, Beer Is OK has highlighted one way to play the game, however, if you have alternative rules you commonly play with, these are easily interchangeable.

How To Play

Step 1:

Place a large glass or stein in the middle of the table. Then, place the full deck (54 cards) around the glass creating a circle, with all cards touching to leave no gap.

Step 2:

Turn by turn starting with the person to the left of the dealer, flip over a card and do one of the following actions based on the card you flipped:

Ace: Waterfall

Everyone at the table picks up their beverage. Starting with the player that drew this card, all players must continually drink their beer until the player to their right has stopped. The first player can stop at any time. If you run out of beer in your cup, you can stop drinking.

2: You

Pick a different player to have 1 sip of their beverage.

3: Me

The player that drew this card has a sip of their beverage.

4: Vikings

This card can be kept and activated at any time during the game. To activate, place both fists to each side of your head, raising your index finger to resemble a viking helmet. All other players must pretend to row a boat with both hands. Last player to row must take one sip of their beverage.

5: Guys

All males must take a sip of their beverage.

6: Chicks

All females must take a sip of their beverage.

7: Heaven

This card can be kept and activated at any time during the game. To activate, point to the sky with your index finger (must be above shoulder height). All other players must then also point to the sky. Last player to complete this action must have a sip of their beverage.

8: Mate

Pick another player. Both you and the selected player must have a sip of your respective beverages.

9: Rhyme

This game works its way around the circle clockwise, starting with the player that drew this card. Each player must say a sentence, with the last word rhyming with the last word of the previous players sentence. You can not say the same rhyming word twice throughout the game. If a player repeats a word or can not think of a rhyme, they must have one sip of their beverage.

10: Categories

The player that drew this card must select a category (such as beer brands, Perth suburbs, fashion labels). Each player (clockwise) must then list an item in this category. The same word can not be repeated. If a player repeats an item or fails to think of one, they must take a sip of their beverage.

Jack: I’ve Never

Say something that you have never done. If any player has done it, they must take a sip of their beverage.

Queen: Question Master

You keep this card until another player draws a queen, at that point, you lost the power of Question Master. As Question Master, if any other player answers one of your questions, they must take a sip.

King: Make A Rule & Kings Cup

Firstly, pour any amount of your current beverage into the middle glass. If you drew the last King, refer to step 3. Then, make a rule that will now be in place for the remainder of the game. Rules cannot target individual players (such as ‘Name’ can only…). Examples of rules include:

  • No saying drink, drank, drunk
  • No saying names or nicknames
  • All players must say a word before every sip

Joker: Finish Your Beverage

Finish the remainder of your current beverage.


If you break the circle of cards, you must take an additional 3 sips of your drink. You may only touch one card when you draw.

Step 3:

The game continues until the last King is drawn. Once drawn, the game ends and the player that selected the last King must drink the middle cup.

Quick Reference

  • Ace: Waterfall
  • 2: You
  • 3: Me
  • 4: Vikings
  • 5: Guys
  • 6: Chicks
  • 7: Heaven
  • 8: Mate
  • 9: Rhyme
  • 10: Categories
  • Jack: I’ve Never
  • Queen: Question Master
  • King: Kings Cup & Make A Rule
  • Joker: Finish Your Beverage

Written By: Beer Is Ok on Dec 31, 2019

kings cup drinking game feature
  • Game Type: Card

  • Drinking Intensity: Moderate

  • Game Difficulty: Medium

  • Players: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8+

  • Required: 1 Deck (With Jokers)

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