Rules for Playing Ring of Fire Drinking Game

Ring of Fire is an exciting game which is played with alcohol and playing cards. It is great for hangouts, reunions, bachelor parties, sleepovers, and the like. This Buzzle article provides all the instructions on how to play the Ring of Fire drinking game.
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Ring of fire drinking game
I like to have a martini, Two at the very most. After three I'm under the table, after four I'm under my host.
―Dorothy Parker

The game has many names―Ring of Fire, Kings, King's Cup, Donut, California Kings, Circle of Death, Oval of Fire, besides others. A group of at least 4 - 5 players is recommended to make the game full of great fun. You need a pack of plastic-coated playing cards, a big glass or a mug, a sheet with the game rules on it so that everyone is aware of all the rules, and most importantly, some nice alcohol. A variety of drinks would only add to the fun, rather than just having the same drink for everyone to sip on.

Now getting straight to the point, here are all the Ring of Fire rules and instructions needed to play this cards cum drinking game.

Game Set-up
  1. Sit in a circular arrangement with a hollow in the middle.
  2. Take the empty glass or mug and place it in the center of the hollow. This is the KING's cup.
  3. Now, shuffle and spread the playing cards face-down around the king's cup.
  4. Ask everyone to choose their drinks and ensure that everyone has a sufficient amount.
  5. Pass the rule sheet to each player and make it a point that everyone understands the rules.
  6. Start the game either in a clockwise or counter-clockwise way, but make sure to continue in the same format throughout.
  7. A drink is a regular sip.
  8. Every card has a meaning. Each player has to pick a card and act as per the corresponding meaning.
  9. Each card drawn has to be kept aside; it shouldn't be put back with the other cards.
  10. Simple enough? Now it's time to get started!

Playing Ring of Fire


ACE stands for RACE
When a player draws an ACE, he/she picks another player from the group, and they both need to have a whole drink and race each other to the bottom of the glass.

TWO stands for DOUBLE
The player who draws a TWO has to pick two other players from the group and ask them to drink. Alternatively, this player can also ask just one player to drink twice.

THREE stands for a HAT-TRICK
This one is pretty straightforward. A player who picks a THREE has to have three drinks from his glass or pint.

FOUR stands for the FLOOR
When a player draws a FOUR, he has to touch his fourth finger to the ground (fourth finger from the thumb), followed by the rest of the group. The last player to touch his/her finger to the ground needs to have a drink.

FIVE is for the GUYS
Plain and simple. All guys have a drink.

SIX is for the CHICKS
The same thing as before, but here, the fairer sex has a round of drinks.

SEVEN points to HEAVEN
Everybody raises one hand, followed by the drawer of the card, and point towards the roof. The last one to do so, drinks.

EIGHT drinks with a MATE
A participant who picks an EIGHT can point to anyone in the group. They both need to drink together.

NINE is DIVINE
When a NINE is drawn, there is no complex rule to think about. Everybody just drinks.

TEN begins a CATEGORY
The person who draws a TEN picks a category, and the consecutive players have to name objects or people in that category, until somebody fails to do so. For example, 'names of famous Western singers'.

JACK makes a RULE
When a player draws a JACK, he/she is allowed to devise a rule which needs to be followed for the rest of the game. For example, a rule could be; everybody should lift their glasses with the left hand only, or every player should touch his/her ears before drinking. The player to break this rule will have to have an extra drink as penalty.

QUEEN asks a QUESTION
A player drawing a QUEEN asks the next person a question. That person replies to this question in a question form itself, to which the person sitting next to him must reply with a question. This process goes on until someone finally answers in a statement form, or cannot think of a suitable question.

KING fills the CUP
The drawer a KING has to fill the mug or the glass in the center with some of his drink. The one to draw the last of the four KINGS has to drink the entire glass.
(Click on the grid above to print.)

Quick Tips
  • Introducing variations in drinks makes this game fun, as the one who draws the last KING has to drink a mixture of different drinks, which could sometimes taste terrible.
  • The game becomes more fun when the group is bigger, and when two decks of cards are introduced instead of one.
  • The jokers in the deck could be used to devise new rules and variations just to add to the fun.
  • One could make variations in the rules as he/she likes, but in the end, the game should be great fun and the group should really enjoy it.
  • The punishment for breaking any rule is a penalty drink.

It is very important to make the rules clear in the beginning itself, as the rules are the 'make or break' factor in this game. Since this is a drinking game, it could lead to greater levels of intoxication. Make proper arrangements for you and your friends who wish to travel back home after the party. If the party is at a friend's house, one could always stay back for the night. You could also keep some snacks along with the drinks, as drinking on an empty stomach leads to faster intoxication. Have fun and stay safe!
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Published: July 16, 2014
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