Drinking games combine the two greatest things in the world—drinking and games. Together, they make drinking seem more silly and innocent and games all the wilder and cooler. But they’re born out of a country’s boozing culture. People don’t drink the same around the world, so their method of game-ifying the drunken activity wouldn’t be the same approach. Let’s look at a couple of wild ways people around the world get straight up lit.
Austria, Germany, Switzerland
Finally, a game for drunks who want to work off the calories as they come in. This “race” pairs up at least two boozehounds to a team, and they carry a crate or cooler of beer to the finish line. The caveat here is that you have to finish all the beer before crossing. Is it just a brisk stroll through a park? Hell no, the routes are usually between, like, 5 km and 12 km. This drinking game probably started centuries ago when two dudes got kicked out of the house and had to walk to their friend’s farm in the next village to keep partying.
2. Bear Paw
If the little I understand about this country is even remotely true, then this is the most Russian game ever. It’s basically drinking until everyone passes out or dies. Here’s how the carnival of madness works: Fill a big stein with beer, take a sip, and pass it on. In between those last two steps, however, top it off with vodka. Eventually, the entire stein will be vodka, so you start topping it off with beer once that happens. Then you just keep doing this. Last person awake or alive “wins.”
3. Ping Pong Pang
What basically feels like a Mexican standoff, this drinking game has everyone yelling and pointing fingers at each other (which sounds like most holidays, honestly). One player starts things off by saying, “Ping.” The person on their left has to quickly follow it with, “Pong.” Then the person on their left calls out, “Pang.” That person then points to another boozer at the table to start the three-word process all over again. If anyone’s too slow or forgets to point at that pivotal moment, everyone chants while the person drinks.
Sure, on the lower end of the list of things you want to hand your friend is a hammer and nails, but this should, in theory, work out on the side of fun (not murder). Going back to an Oktoberfest in the early 19th Century, this game has everyone sticking a nail in a tree stump (or some random piece of wood). When it’s your turn, you have to hit your nail or drink. That goes around until someone totally sinks their nail into the wood. First person to do so wins a free shot and the last person gets the next round. It sounds like it was specifically designed for camping bachelor parties.
5. Napkin, Beer, Cigarette
This game is so literal and cool. You could probably guess the rules on its name alone, if it weren’t for the lack of a “coin” mention. Basically, you lay a coin atop a napkin and place that napkin atop a full pint of beer. Then everyone at the table takes turns burning a hole in said napkin with a lit cigarette. When the coin inevitably falls through, that person has to drink the beer (but not the coin!). It’d also be the raddest way to accidentally cause a house fire.
6. Goon of Fortune
Named after Wheel of Fortune, the game entails you rounding up your friends and a goon bag (it’s just the bag in boxed wine). Clothes-pin the bag to a rotary clothesline—often called a Hills Hoist—and then spin the thing with everyone around it. Whoever’s standing closest to the goon bag when it comes to a stop must drink the proper amount of “goon,” which is agreed upon beforehand. I now realize this is what’s been missing from barbeques out here in the States.