Spice up your next party with this popular card-based drinking game

Ring of Fire is a classic drinking game that only requires a few materials to play—a deck of cards, a huge glass, and a group of friends looking to have a good time. This game is also known as “King’s Cup,” “Circle of Death,” or “Doughnut.” All you do is splay the deck around the glass (or the “King’s Cup”) and take turns in a circle drawing a card from the deck. However, there’s a catch—for every card you draw, there’s a specific rule you have to follow. Let’s dive in!

Things You Should Know

  • Place a tall glass in the center of a table—this will be the “King’s Cup.” Splay a deck of playing cards face-down around the cup to create a “Ring of Fire.”
  • Players take turns drawing a card from the deck while trying not to create a gap in the “Ring of Fire.” The card they draw corresponds to a specific rule they have to follow.
  • The game ends when either the last king card is drawn and a player drinks the entire “King’s Cup” or the last card in the ring is drawn.
Section 1 of 2:

Ring of Fire Gameplay

  1. The glass becomes the “King’s Cup” and the deck of playing cards surrounding the cup becomes the “Ring of Fire.” The cards should be splayed face-down around the drink to form a circle with no breaks or gaps between any of them.[1]
    • Alternate Rule: If someone breaks the ring of cards, they have to drink the King’s Cup. Place another cup in the center and continue playing until the last king is drawn.
  2. Players do whatever rule the card corresponds to. As they pull a card, they make sure that every card touches at least one other in the circle. If someone breaks the ring, they have to take a drink from their own personal cup.[2]
    • Alternate Rule: If a person knocks any cards off the table, they have to take a drink.
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  3. Depending on your group’s rules, you can end the game when the last card in the ring has been drawn or when someone draws the last king card and drinks all of the King’s Cup.[3]
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Section 2 of 2:

Ring of Fire Card Rules

  1. The player who drew the “2” card picks another person in the circle. That person has to take a drink.[4]
    • Alternate Rule: 2 is for Shuffle — when a “2” card is drawn, everyone exchanges seats with another person. The last one to sit down takes a drink.
  2. The player who drew a card with the number “3” on it drinks. Bottoms up![5]
  3. Everyone has to touch the floor. The last person to touch the floor takes a drink.[6]
    • Alternate Rule: 4 is for dinosaur — The player who draws the card uses a washable marker or pen to draw a dinosaur on the face of another player of their choice.
  4. All players who identify as men take a drink.
    • Alternate Rule: 5 is for the Thumbmaster — The player who drew the card puts their thumb on the table at any time before the next 5 is drawn. The last person to put their thumb on the table drinks. The Thumbmaster can only put their thumb down once.
    • Alternate Rule: 5 is for jive — The player that draws the card has to do a little dance and take a drink.
    • Alternate Rule: 5 is for dive — All players immediately dive under the table. Whoever makes it underneath the table last has to drink.
  5. All players who identify as women take a drink.[7]
  6. The player who drew the card points to the sky at any time before the next 7 is drawn. The last person who points to the sky drinks.[8] The player who draws the card can only point to the sky once.
    • Alternate Rule: 7 is for snake eyes — Whenever the player who drew the card makes eye contact with another player, that player has to drink.
    • Alternate Rule: 7 is for buzzing — Players take turns saying a number starting from 1. The player who has to say “7” or any multiples of 7 says “Buzz” instead. Whoever misses the “buzz” has to drink.
  7. The player who drew the card picks a drinking mate. Their drinking mate has to drink every time they drink. You can decide as a group whether that means the player who drew the card has to drink every time the drinking mate drinks, too.[9]
    • Alternate Rule: 8 is for hate — The person who drew the card makes any player drink until they say “stop.” If they finish the drink before they say “stop,” they get to do the same to the other person.
  8. The player who drew the card says a word, and the next person comes up with a word that rhymes. Go around the circle until someone repeats a word and takes a drink.[10]
  9. The player who drew the card thinks of a category (like candy flavors or dog breeds). Go around the circle naming things in that category until someone repeats a word and has to drink.[11]
  10. The player who drew the card makes a rule (like you can’t swear or put your drink on the table) and anyone who breaks it for the rest of the game has to drink.[12]
    • Alternate Rule: Jack is for Never Have I Ever — Everyone puts up 3 fingers and names things they haven’t done that they suspect others have. Every time you’ve done something, put a finger down. The first person who runs out of fingers has to drink.[13]
  11. The player who drew the card becomes the Question Master until the next queen is drawn. If a player answers any question the Question Master asks, they have to drink.
    • Alternate Rule: Queen is for questions — Starting with the player who drew the card, each person asks a question to the other. Whoever answers a question or can’t think of one takes a drink.[14]
  12. The player who drew the card pours a portion of their drink into the cup in the middle. The person who draws the 4th king has to drink the King’s Cup in the middle of the table.[15]
  13. Starting with the person who drew the card, every player around the circle has to constantly drink until their cup is empty. You can only stop drinking when the player to your right has stopped drinking.[16]
    • Alternate Rule: Ace is for race — When a player draws an ace, they pick another player to race to drink a full cup.
    • Alternate Rule: Ace is for slap your face — All other players have to (gently) slap the face of the person who drew the card. The person who slaps them last has to drink.
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Warnings

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About This Article

Cheyenne Main
Co-authored by:
wikiHow Staff Writer
This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Cheyenne Main. Cheyenne Main is an Editing Fellow at wikiHow, currently living in Kansas City. She has over four years of editorial experience, with work published in a variety of literary magazines. In 2023, she graduated from Cottey College with a BA in English and History. Now, Cheyenne loves learning new topics and helping to create well-researched, accessible resources for readers.
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Updated: January 24, 2024
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