King’s Cup Rules: How to Play the Classic Drinking Game

King’s Cup is becoming an increasingly popular drinking game which can be played with many players.

It is known by many different names, such as the Ring of Fire, the Circle of Death, and Waterfall, all of them using the same rules and creating crazy experiences for players.

There are a lot of King’s Cup drinking game rules in the classic version of the game. To give you some more flexibility, we have also provided some alternative ways to play for those of you who want to change things up.

Once you agree on what set of rules you want to play by, however, it’s still essentially the same classic game that guarantees a ton of fun!

Things you Will Need to Play King’s Cup

King’s Cup is a game that only requires a few things.

PLAYERS – You can play with as few as 2 players, but we recommend at least 4 players of legal drinking age for the best experience.

CARDS – Although any deck of 52 cards would get the job done, you might want to consider getting a deck that is specifically made for King’s Cup, and has the rules on each card to make things easy.

Two good options available on Amazon are King’s Cup Cards and Loaded Kings.

KING’S CUP – You’ll also need a cup to designate as the King’s Cup. Any cup will or mug will do, but if you want to make the game even more fun you could get a golden chalice online.

A couple of fun options available on Amazon are The King’s Royal Chalice Cup and The Golden Chalice of King Arthur.

DRINKS – Since this is a drinking game, you will, of course, need drinks. Likely, you will need lots of drinks.

You can use whatever drinks you want and in whatever quantities you want, but we recommend either using lower alcohol quantity drinks or smaller drink portions if you are using higher alcohol quantity drinks so the game can last longer.

How To Set Up King’s Cup

Essentially, all you need to do to set up King’s Cup is to sit around a large enough playing area to handle your drink cups and a deck of cards.

  1. Put the King’s Cup in the middle of the playing area.
  2. Shuffle your card deck and place it face down on the playing area
  3. Choose who will go first
  4. Start playing

King’s Cup Gameplay

As we go through the article, you will see that each card in the game has a different rule associated with it. All of the cards have something to do with drinking, of course, which is why you’ll probably need a lot of alcohol.

Game Objective

The object of the King’s Cup card game is to have fun and get other people (and maybe yourself, as well) to drink as much as possible in the process.


To begin playing, first, the players have to agree about whether you’re going to be playing the classic rules or if you’re going to be using any alternate versions.

Then, decide on who will go first (or do something fun to determine who goes first).

Then the turns go in whichever direction you agree upon, with each player drawing one card from the deck and following the rule for each card they draw.

Ending The Game

The game doesn’t end until the fourth king is drawn from the deck of cards. At that point, the person who draws the fourth king drinks from the King’s Cup (more on this later) and the game ends.

King’s Cup Rules

Ace – Waterfall

There are some cards in the game of King’s Cup that are only applicable to certain players. The ace is not one of those cards.

When someone pulls an ace, they must say ‘Waterfall’ to everyone they are playing with. When they do, everybody has to start drinking.

You are only allowed to stop when the person to your left has finished drinking, or when the person who drew the ace from the deck has finished.

Pulling an ace is a surefire way to finish a lot of drinks in a short period of time.

Two – You

Another basic card. When a player picks a two, all they must do is pick another player to drink.

That person must take two drinks. A two is not a fancy card, but it gets the job done, and it allows you to pick who you want to drink more.

Three – Me

When you pull a three from the deck of cards, based on the rhyme, I’m sure you can guess what happens. You have to drink!

You’ll have to take three big gulps from your beverage before you can move on to the next player. As simple as the two, but this time, it’s you.

That rhyme was not intentional – I mean it. Anybody want a peanut?

Four – Ladies Drink More

The original rules of the game say that, when someone pulls a four, all the ladies playing the game must drink, and you can certainly play it that way, keeping it nice and simple.

You can play with an alternative rule, however, which is called ‘Give 2 Take 2.’ In this version, the person drawing the four takes two drinks themselves, and gives two drinks to someone else.

Yet another version is to play “Take Four”, in which case it’s the person that draws the card that needs to take four drinks.

Five – Bust a Jive

When you pull a five, you have to make up a dance move. The person next to you must repeat the move and then add their own. This continues until someone can’t remember all the previous dances. That person must then, as I’m sure you can guess, drink. I know what you are thinking; dancing and drinking, what’s not to like?

Six – Dicks

Another simple card is the six. As is hinted at by the name, when a person draws a six, all the men playing King’s Cup must drink.

No fancy rules. No alternatives. Just the guys drinking what they can. Sometimes, it doesn’t need to be complicated.

Seven – Heaven

When you draw a seven from the middle, you must point to the sky. Everyone else must do the same.

The last person to point has to drink. This card is one of the most basic in King’s Cup.

It is also a great way to make sure that the people who are playing are paying attention to the game at hand. Those who aren’t must pay the price!

Eight – Mate

When a person draws an eight from the deck, the King’s Cup rules state that they have to choose another person to be their mate.

From that point on, whenever one drinks, the other must drink too.

This can be stacked up, so to speak. If one of the two ‘mates’ draws another eight, they can pick another person to join their group, which makes the drinking even more chaotic!

Nine – Bust a Rhyme

This card is really fun! Essentially, when a player draws a nine from the deck in the middle of the table, they must think of a word.

After they say this word, the other players must take turns saying words that rhyme with the previous player’s word. The first person who can’t think of a word that rhymes with the previous player’s word has to drink.

If a person takes too long to say something, too, they will have to drink.

There is also an alternative rule for this card as well. You can play truth or dare when some draws a nine if that is what everyone prefers. If someone will not answer a truth or do a dare, they must drink!

Ten – Categories

The ten card is a personal favorite. The person who draws the card gets to pick a category. It can be anything. Book genres, types of wine, colors, cars… anything.

Once the category is decided, the player to the left of the person who drew the card has to say something in that category.

You continue to go around in a circle until someone can’t think of something to say or has repeated something said by somebody else. When that happens, the person who made the error must drink.

Surprise, surprise.

Jack – Never Have I Ever

When you pull the jack, you have to play ‘Never Have I Ever.’ Its pretty simple.

Everyone puts up five fingers and the person who picked the card starts off by saying something they’ve never done before.

If any of the other players has done that thing, they put down a finger and drink.

The person making the statements rotates and continues until someone at the table has put down all five fingers. This card can be good when playing, because it can allow people a little break before they move on.

It is definitely one of the best cards to pull from the deck!

Queen – Question Master

The queen card is a fan favorite.

When a person draws a queen, they then become the Question Master. That means that if anyone answers a question they ask during the game, the person who answered the question must drink.

This is another good way to make sure people are paying attention, because it’s easy to ask a simple question like “Who’s turn is it?” or “Who drank last?” and trick someone into answering.

This can be really fun for the Question Master!

The roles only change when someone else draws a queen from the deck of cards. Make sure to have as many laughs as possible with this card!

King – King’s Cup

When you start playing King’s Cup, there is going to be one large empty glass in the middle of the table, which is called, fittingly, the King’s Cup.

Whenever somebody draws a king, they have to pour their drink into the glass.

By the time the fourth king is drawn, the glass is filled with a crazy mixture of alcohol that will definitely take a minute to digest.

The person that draws the fourth king from the deck is the unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on how you choose to look at it) soul that ends up drinking the concoction of drinks in the King’s Cup.

Drawing the fourth king from the deck of cards marks the end of the game for everyone playing, and you can knock playing King’s Cup off your Never Have I Ever list.


King’s Cup rules are numerous but easy to understand. King’s Cup is a fun game and is great to play with friends!

You can play the game with as many people as you’d like, and it can last anywhere from twenty minutes to hours.

It is also a great game to play because it is cheap. You only need cards and a cup. Well, and some alcohol.

Essentially, with a few simple ingredients you can create a lot of great memories!


We do not support the consumption of alcohol while driving or while operating heavy machinery.

Drinking irresponsibly has been shown to cause harm and can be dangerous.

If you want to play King’s Cup, make sure you are in a safe place with people you trust, and be sure that you won’t have to travel anywhere while intoxicated.

FAQs for How to Play King’s Cup

Can you get drunk playing King’s Cup?

Yes, you can. That’s why you’ve to ensure the drink measurements remain minimal so that you don’t get too intoxicated to play. Please drink responsibly!

Can you play King’s Cup if you don’t drink?

Absolutely! Although this is meant to be a drinking game, you can absolutely play with your friends even if you don’t take alcohol.

Just use a non-alcoholic beverage, such as a cola, juice, or lemonade, as your drink of choice. Then, figure out an alternative option for you if you draw the fourth king, and you are ready to play!

How many players are needed to play?

Although you can play with as few as 2 players, we recommend having at least 4 players if possible.

Can you play King’s Cup without a table?

Sure! If a table isn’t available, you can play on the floor or around any other flat surface. Make sure you cover the playing area with something that you don’t mind getting dirty because there is a high chance that there will be drinks spilled!

When does the game end?

When the fourth king is drawn from the deck, the person drawing the fourth king drinks from the King’s Cup, and the game ends.

Do I have to play by the classic rules?

No! This game is all about you and a group of friends having fun your way. You can use our alternate rule suggestions, or make up your own rules, as long as you all agree and write them down somewhere so you remember.