Name: At the races
You’ll need: 1 deck of cards, some empty floor or table space and a few drinks each.
To set up: Take out the four aces and lay them face up in a horizontal line. Shuffle the deck and take 6 random cards. Lay them face down in a vertical line next to the aces.
The premise: Each ace is a horse – players bet on a horse and either dish out or receive drinks penalties dependant on the winner.
The rules: Once the dealer has set out the cards as shown above, each player picks a horse and a bet – for example 4 shots on spades. If their horse wins, they can dole that bet out (e.g. 4 shots to 1 player OR 1 shot each to 4 players OR 2 shots to 2 players). If their horse loses, they must drink their own bet, as well as any shots given to them.
To determine the winner, the dealer turns over the top deck of the card – whatever suit that card is, the corresponding ace moves forward one space. Continuing in the same fashion, the game continues until the first ace passes all six spaces and crosses the finish line – thereby winning.
At the Races is a really simple, lighthearted game, that is fast paced, and can be especially funny if someone provides a commentary. A few quickfire rounds of this is a nice way to finish up leftover drinks right before leaving, or get things started. It can also be played with a small number of players – e.g. the non-smokers when everyone else has gone for a cigarette break, or the boys when the girls are late to arrive!