Rules of the Card Game 'Ring of Fire'

Written by erin clyburn
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Rules of the Card Game 'Ring of Fire'
"Ring of Fire" is a drinking game played with playing cards. (playing cards image by Mijakowska from Fotolia.com)

"Ring of Fire," also called "Kings," "King's Cup," or "Circle of Death," is a card game that is generally played as a drinking game. It is one of the most universal playing-card drinking games, and it is played with a number of rule variations. It does not have to be played with alcohol; any beverage will do.

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Setting Up the Game

To set up the game, fan out a deck of cards face down in a circle on a tabletop. In the centre of the circle, place an empty cup. Gather any number of people to play; each person must have a beverage in a bottle or cup.

"Ring of Fire" Card Rules

The rules of "Ring of Fire" consist of tasks to which each card corresponds. The traditional rules of "Ring of Fire" have the following rules assigned to the cards.

Ace: Waterfall - The person who draws the ace begins drinking from their glass; then, moving counterclockwise, everyone else begins to drink. Everyone must keep drinking until the person to their right stops, beginning with the person who drew the ace.

Two: Choose - The person who draws the two chooses who will take a drink.

Three: Me - The person who draws the three drinks.

Four: All girls drink.

Five: Thumbmaster: The person who draws the five is the Thumbmaster until the next five is drawn. During this time, anytime he puts his thumb on the tabletop, everyone else must follow. The last person to put his thumb on the tabletop must take a drink.

Six: All guys drink.

Seven: Heaven - All players must put their hand in the air. The last person to do so must take a drink.

Eight: Mate - The person who draws the eight must drink and choose someone to drink with them.

Nine: Rhyme - The person who draws the nine must say a word. Then, with play moving to the left, each person must say a word that rhymes with that word. The person who fails to say a word or says an incorrect word has to drink.

Ten: Categories - The person who draws the ten must pick a category. Then, with play moving to the left, each person must say a word that fits in that category. The person who fails to say a word or says an incorrect word has to take a drink.

Jack: Make a Rule - The person who draws the jack gets to make up a rule that all players have to follow until the end of the game. A player has to drink whenever he breaks the rule.

Queen: Questions - Beginning with the person who draws the queen and moving counter-clockwise, all players must ask questions. The person who fails to phrase their sentence as a question must drink.

King: King's Cup - The person who draws the king must pour some of their drink into the cup in the centre of the table.

Game Play

There are a few variations on game play, just as there are variations on the card designations. In traditional game play, one player picks up a card, performs the card's action, and play continues to the left. This continues until all of the cards are gone. Whoever draws the last king card must drink the contents of the King's Cup.

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