How To Play Ride The Bus Drinking Game

It has recently come to my attention that not enough people know about the greatest drinking game of all time. I’m not talking about pong or rage cage or even beer die. Nope, the greatest drinking game of all time is none other than Ride The Bus.

What is ride the bus, you ask? Looks like you’re part of the problem. No worries, I’m not just here at TFM to make poop jokes and talk butts, I also educate. So, without further adieu, here is how you ride the bus.

Before we get into the rules of the game, here is what you need:

  • At least four people (technically it could be less, but the more people the better so strive for around 4-10)
  • Alcohol (everyone needs to have their own drink, it doesn’t even matter what just whatever you prefer)
  • A deck of cards
  • Some sort of table or flat surface

Now, the game is broken up into three rounds: boarding the bus, the pyramid, and riding the bus. To keep this as simple as possible to understand, I will break this down by round.

Boarding The Bus

In order to play the game, each player needs four cards. However, you aren’t just dealt four cards. That would be boring. Instead, going around in a circle, each player takes turns guessing details about the card they are about to be dealt. For example, before the first person gets their first card dealt to them, they must guess whether it will be black or red. The card is then dealt face up so all can see if they were right. If they were incorrect, they drink. If they were right, they name someone else in the circle to drink. This goes on around the circle until everyone has one card.

When it gets back to the person who started, they guess if the second card will be higher or lower than their first card. Again, if they’re wrong they drink and if they’re right someone else does. This goes around the circle once again.

For the third card, players guess if the card will be inside or outside the two cards they received prior. For example, if your first two cards were a 4 and 10, an 8 would be inside while a 2 or king would be outside. Same drinking rules apply.

Once everyone in the circle has three cards and we are back to the first person, players take turns guessing their fourth card’s suit. At this point, everyone should have four cards and probably have drank at least once (unless they’re a god at the game and no one called them out to drink). This brings us to round two.

The Pyramid

At this stage in the game, everyone picks up their four cards to keep them to themselves. While people were able to see your cards before, in reality no one remembers or paid any attention because we’re all buzzed at this point.

Anyway, using the remaining cards not dealt out, lay out a pyramid of cards facing down. There should be a total of 15 cards with 5 on the bottom row. It should look like this.

(Photo from Keg Of Wisdom)

Starting from the bottom, flip all cards in the row to reveal what they are. Then, players match cards in their hand to the ones in the pyramid. As you match your cards, you throw them on top of the corresponding card in the pyramid and yell out the name of someone you want to drink. Whoever you name must take a sip of their drink. However, as the rows move up, the amount of sips related to a card matching increases (see chart above). Basically, the higher a match on the pyramid, the more sips you can make someone take.

Aside from making your friends drink, the point of this round is to get rid of as many cards as you can through matching. Once the pyramid is fully revealed and everyone has taken their sips, everyone must count the number of cards remaining in their hand. Whoever has the most cards remaining rides the bus.

Riding The Bus

This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Whichever unlucky player ended up with the most cards left in their possession now rides the bus as everyone else watches and actively roots against them. In order to get off the bus, the remaining passenger must correctly guess all four questions from round one IN A ROW.

This means that they will need to guess a card’s color, then whether the next one will be higher or lower, followed by if the next will fit inside or outside the first two, and finally the suit of the last one all consecutively in a row. If a mistake is made, the player restarts and must take a sip. Yes, for every wrong guess the player on the bus takes a sip. These need to be full sips, too. None of that pansy stuff.

Riding the bus could take hours or could be done on the first try. It all depends on the player’s intuition. However, if they’re off their game, they could get very drunk very quickly.

Once the player finally guesses all four card details in a row, they are off the bus and you can start a new game.

Ride the bus is supposed to be a quick pace game where everyone is guessing, calling out names, and drinking rapidly. The slower the game the less fun it becomes, especially in round three. A full game should typically take about 10 minutes (maybe way longer if the remaining passenger struggles in the final round).

Have fun and drink responsibly. Beep beep.

Alex Becker

Written by Alex Becker

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