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Top 10 Drinking Card Games For Small Groups

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If you’ve been struggling to find drinking card games for small groups, then you’re in luck, we’ve put together a fantastic list just for you.

We understand how hard it is to find drinking games for intimate settings. DrkinParty games in, especially drinking games, are seen as more effective the more people there are taking part. The perfect way to get around this problem is by focusing on group drinking games, with cards as the outlet. Card games always attract less than 10 players.

Let’s get you started with these drinking card games for small groups.


Let’s kick off this list of drinking card games with some action!

Get everyone sitting together around a table. Place your cards face down around a bottle of wine/vodka/beer can, etc, at the middle of the table.

Each person takes it in turns to pick a card and do whatever the card tells them to do. Here is a list of the cards and which action they’re assigned:

Ace – Waterfall. Everyone starts drinking and continues doing so, without stopping, until the person in front of them does

2 – You. Assign a drink to somebody.

3 – Me. You drink your drink.

4 – Floor. Everyone has to instantly touch the floor, last person to react takes a drink.

5 – Guys. All the men in your group drink.

6 – Ladies. All the women in your group drink.

7 – Heaven. Everyone has to immediately point upwards, the last person to react takes a drink.

8 – Mate. Pick somebody to drink with.

9 – Rhyme. Say something, everyone else has to quick say something that rhymes with what you’ve said; last person to respond drinks.

10 – Categories. Pick a category, then everyone says something connected to that category. The slowest respondent takes a drink. Make the category hard (e.g. Astrophysics) so as to trip people up.

Jack – Never have I ever. Everyone holds up 3 fingers. Whoever has drawn the Jack must say “Never Have I ever did/said/made X.” Anyone who has done the Never Have I ever puts down a finger. Keep going until someone loses, i.e. Puts down all their fingers.

Queen – Questions. Whoever had drawn the Queen asks a random question to a random player, who answers it and then asks someone else a question, who answers it then asks somebody else a question and so on. Keep this going until someone isn’t able to answer the given question.

King – Ruler. Whoever has drawn the King can make everyone else do anything they choose.

Across The Bridge

Moving on from action-oriented drinking card games for small groups comes this deceptively simple game.

Shuffle your cards then place 10 cards face down in a row. The goal of the game is for players to try and “cross the bridge” by turning the cards over.

Pick someone to flip over the first card in the row. If the card is numbered, they go onto flip the next card. Numbered again? Flip again. Anytime they encounter a Jack, Queen, King or Ace, they drink and remove the card from the line. This card is then replaced depending on the face card:

  • Jack – put back one card
  • Queen – put back 2 cards
  • King – puts back 3 cards
  • Ace – this is 4 cards

A new player is selected clockwise from the previous player. The card they flip is the next one along from the previous player’s. Keep the game going; whoever flips the last card in the row is the winner, everyone else has to drink.

Drown The Clown

You need an even number of players for this drinking game. Deal everyone a card, making their cards are faced down. On the count of 3, everyone flips over their card.

If someone spots a card has the same number is the same another player’s, they need to point at this player and shout “clown.” The last person to say this must drink the value of the card. If the card numbers don’t match, no action is taken. A new set of cards is then dealt out for the next round to start.


Unlike the other drinking card games for small groups here, this game doesn’t use the whole deck of cards. Prior to starting, create a small deck of cards so it contains only 1 card of a red suit, the Ace of spades, and plenty of black numbered cards.

Shuffle this selective deck then deal out a card to each person face down. The person who gets the red card is the Killer; the player with the Ace of spades is the detective; and everyone else is a potential victim.

When all the cards are dealt, the killer starts killing the group by winking at them as subtly as possible. Whoever is killed must declare “I’m dead” and take a drink before placing their head on the table. The detective has to try and identify the killer. If they guess correctly, the killer takes a drink; if they guess is wrong, the detective must drink.

NB. If you’re the killer, you need to work out who the detective is to avoid killing them, otherwise you face a forfeit: 3 big drinks. The killer wins by killing everyone before the detective can catch them. If you’re the detective and the killer winks at you, declare you’re the detective. The game ends and restarts with newly dealt cards.

F*ck The Dealer

Sit around a table with the cards face down and spread out in a fan formation. Everyone picks a card from these cards; who has the lowest number (2 to 10) will kick off the game. They’re the first dealer.

The dealer asks the person to their right to guess the suit of the first card on the top of the deck (whether hearts, clubs, spades, diamonds). If they guess correctly, the dealer takes a drink and the guesser becomes the new dealer. If the guess is wrong, the guesser drinks.

The guesser has to guess the number of the next card on the deck. If they guess correctly, the dealer drinks and the guesser takes over as dealer.

If they get it wrong? Yep, the guesser has another drink, and has to guess again, this time whether the next card’s number is higher or lower than the previous card. They become the new dealer with a correct guess or drink again if they get it wrong.

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Beer Snap

Unlike other group drinking games with cards, this one is the least serious. Deal out the cards evenly and face down between all your players. Everyone takes it in turns to flip over a card.

If the next card flipped is the same card as the previous, whoever has flipped this card along with anyone who has spotted this shouts out “snap.” The last person to say “snap” takes a drink.

However, how they take their drink has to follow these rules:

  • One shot, if the card number is 2 to 6
  • Two shots, if the card number is 7 to 10
  • Three shots, if the card is a Jack, Queen, King or Ace

Keep the game going until you’ve worked through the whole deck.

The Lady Has The Deck

Before starting the game, remove one of the Queens from your deck of cards, leaving behind the other three. Shuffle the deck then deal out the cards to all your players. Each person takes it in turns to draw a card until someone picks a Queen.

When a player draws a Queen, they face one of 3 options: Take a shot, perform a dare, or drink an awful mixture of a drink prepared pre-game.

You can change up this rule by having Kings and Queens be the cards players want to avoid drawing, especially if your small group is 5+ people.

Ride The Bus

Be warned, out of the group drinking games with cards here, this one has very complex rules. Each set of rules should be explained as the game goes along, instead of in one sitting.

Sit around a table. Shuffle the cards and pick a dealer by having everyone drink in unison. The last person to finish their drink is the dealer. This game is played in 4 rounds.

Round #1 – The dealer asks all players “Red or Black?” The dealer then reveals the top card to the first player; if their guess was correct, they can pick someone else to drink. If their guess is wrong, they drink.

Keep the round going until everyone has seen their first card.

Round #2 – The question asked is “Higher or lower”. Aces are counted as the highest values, while twos are the lowest. Players must guess if the next card is higher or lower than their first card. In some cases, if their first card is King, then it’s likely their second card will be lower in value.

If they’re correct, someone else takes a drink; if they’re wrong, they drink. If the card is of equal value to their first card, they also drink.

Keep the round going until everyone has seen their second card.

Round #3 – “In between or outside?” Now we’re getting complicated! Players must guess if the value of their third card falls between the values of their first two cards or outside. For example, if the player’s first two cards were 8 and 3, they can assume the next card will be between 3 to 8 or outside the 2 or 8. Tricky stuff!

If they guess correctly, another player drinks, if their guess is wrong, they’re the one to drink. If the card is identical to their first two cards, they also drink, no bonus points here.

Round #4 – Players in this final round must guess the suit of the final cards dealt (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs). This time if they guess correctly, 5 people drink (or 3 if your group is 5+ peeps). A wrong guess? Down in one go they must drink.

Everyone needs to keep ahold of their 4 cards, by the way.

Now the dealer starts building a card pyramid with their cards. How you do that: lay all the cards face down on the table, then lay out 5 cards (forms the first row), 4 cards above that (2nd row), and so on. Each row is assigned a drinking value:

  • 5 cards (the bottom row) – worth one drink of your current tipple (wine/beer/vodka, etc)
  • 4 cards is worth 2 drinks
  • 3 cards is 3 drinks, etc 

Starting with the bottom row (5 cards), flip each card over one at a time. Players with a card of equal value places it on that card, then chooses someone to drink according to the value of that row. Keep going until all the cards in the pyramid are flipped.


Unlike the other drinking card games for small groups here, the goal is to get rid of your playing cards.

Shuffle the deck. Everyone draws a card and whoever has the lowest value is the dealer. If there is a tie between 2 players, they redraw a card.

The dealer deals out all the cards to everyone. The person to the left of the dealer starts the game by showing a card face up. The player draws their card. If their card is higher than the first card, they can throw out their card; if it’s lower, they keep their card and show another card to the next player, and so on. 

Whoever gets rid of all their cards first is called the President, while the person with the most card is called the Scum.

Anytime a card is shown that has a lower value, that person must take a drink. When the President is called, everyone takes a drink; when the Scum is revealed, he/she must drink 4 drinks.

Beer Blow

The last of our small group drinking games with cards is the simplest of them all. You’ll be glad to hear it involves no dealing or complex rules whatsoever.

Take a deck of cards and place them on top of an empty beer bottle. Everyone takes it in turns to blow a card off of the deck. Anyone who fails to blow off a card during their turn takes a drink.

If anyone blows off an Ace, they drink their whole beer/wine/ etc. Two cards get blown off during their turn? That’s 2 drinks. Three cards or more? You drink to the number of cards.

If the whole deck falls off the bottle during their round, the penalty is 3 whole drinks.

If you fancy a night in with a few drinks and friends, then make sure you add these drinking card games for small groups to your list of activities. Played as guessing games or strategy games, card games can be adapted easily to whatever night you have planned. Happy dealing!

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