What ARE the official rules anyway? By Rosie Porter

ring of fire photo by - 'weiglen'

  ‘King’s cup’, ‘Circle of Death’ and most commonly known as ‘Ring of Fire’, is (from experience) one of the most popular drinking games amongst students and other party-goers alike. Since pubs and clubs in reaction to the recession have increased drinks prices, the importance of hosting ‘pres’ or pre-drinking sessions has become the done thing. In fact, organising whose place to pre-drink at goes without saying when planning a night out. It allows us to buy cheap spirits, wine and beer in order to avoid high prices in pubs , clubs and bars and save our precious funds. Student loans these days are also wasted on expensive taxis and the all-important chips and kebab on the way home.

  The majority of the student experience entails three years of being skint; so relying on (in the most unfortunate situations) Tesco’s value vodka and 18p lemonade is a life saver when on a night out with housemates or attending a society social. This means that students spend longer pre-drinking so that they go out later and make it to the early hours of the morning, without spending too much money.

  Though the financial situation may have been the initial cause of this trend there are other perks. Having a large group of friends or people you don’t know well participating in such drinking games provides a real laugh and an opportunity to make new friends. Listening to loud music that people help themselves to on the chosen laptop, chatting and getting ready is sometimes the best part of the night.

Drinking games tend to originate from card games, which have been developed over the years and have been passed down from student to student and one of the best games ‘Ring of Fire’ itself causes some controversy with its rules. People from different parts of the country and different university’s all have their own versions. The game itself can be confusing when trying to play it when everyone thinks each card means something different.

  So here they are, from the official www.ringoffirerules.com website, are what seem to be the official rules on how to play. Get your deck of cards (without the jokers) spread them out face down in a ring around the King glass (a pint glass),  go round in a circle of at least 3 people and take it in turn to pick a card and watch the game unfold.  It may also add some extra laughs to invest in comedic packs of cards.

  • Ace – Waterfall: Start with the card chooser, all must start drinking at the same time and mustn’t finish till the person next to them has. Somewhat like a Mexican wave of drinking..

  • 2-  ‘You’ The person picking up the card can choose someone else to drink.

  • 3-  ‘Me’ The person picking up the card must drink.

  • 4-  ‘Whores’ All girls must drink.

  • 5- ‘Thumb Master’:  When the person selecting the card puts their thumb on top of the table everyone must follow and the last person to do so must drink.

  • 6-  ‘Dicks’ All guys must drink.

  • 7-  ‘Heaven’  Every time the person who chose the card points up into the air everyone must follow, last person to do so must drink.

  • 8- ‘Mate’ The person who selected the card must pick a ‘mate’. The chosen mate must drink every time this person drinks throughout the rest of the game.

  • 9-  ‘Rhyme’  Do this mini-game round in the circle. The person who picked the card says a word and then go round and each take it in turns to say a rhyming word. Get it wrong, repeat a word or get stuck for 5 seconds and you must be the one to drink.

  • 10- ‘Categories/ word association’ Same as with the ‘rhyme’ game but the person with the card must select a category eg- cars, bands ect.. each word MUST relate to the category. This is left to the discretion of the rest of the group, but if someone gets it wrong or hesitates too long, drink.

  • Jack- ‘Make up a rule’ Break it, or anyone else breaks it, drink. (Personal favourites include: no pointing and the ban of using each other’s names.)

  • Queen-  ‘Question Master’ If the card chooser asks a question to anyone in the group and someone answers them they have to drink.

  • King-  ‘Pour!’ the variety of drinks make for the better torture for the person who gets the last king who must then drink the mixed cup of drinks in the middle of the ring.

  Although the website didn’t state this rule, we all know that if you break the ring of cards, you must DOWN YOUR DRINK!

  People will continue to use their own variations and perhaps more amusing ways of playing the game, perhaps substituting ‘Question Master’ for ‘Snake Eyes’ but there you have it. I suggest writing the rules down and sticking them on the wall in your kitchen to refer to for the next time you play the ‘Ring of fire’.