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Home > Drinking Games Party Games > Card Games > Horse Race Drinking Game!

Horse Race!
Drinking Game Rules

A Drinking Game that’s great for big parties! All you need is a standard deck of playing cards!

Anybody or everybody can join by placing bets on the upcoming race.

The winner(s) gets to assign drinks to non-winners.

Read on and find out how the game is played!

Playing Cards Spades Family


Horse Race Drinking Game: What you Need to Play:

* A standard deck of playing cards.

* A Race Commentator (somebody to narrate the progress of the race)

* As many players as you want to accommodate!

* Lots of drinks

* Pen and paper to record the bets

* (Optional) A bell or buzzer to mark the start of the race

How to Prepare your Horse Race Drinking Game:

Preparing the Horses and Race Track:

* Separate the Aces from the rest of the deck. You may or may not include Jokers with the deck

* Deal out the cards according to the diagram. Note:

.. The 4 aces are dealt face up; they represent the 4 horses on which players place their bets.

.. The face-down cards link together to represent the race track. Anywhere from 5 to 9 cards can be used.

.. The horses move forward 1 “link” at a time. The winner is the first horse to cross the final link.

Preparing the Audience: Depending on your Bets and Payouts Scheme, you might want to use shotglasses, different sized plastic cups, or beer mugs.

* If you prefer small drinking cups and big quantities, you can use disposable plastic cups intended for mouthwash. This allows for huge bets, huge payouts, or both.

* If you prefer bigger drinking cups and lower quantities, you can use beer mugs and fill to the brim.


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A Game of Horse Race in Progress:

Your commentator can also be your dealer but it’s a good idea to have somebody else volunteer. The dealer also has the task of moving the cards along the race track, although somebody else can be assigned to this.

* From the the remaining deck, the dealer takes the topmost card and reveals it to the audience.

* The suit of the card determines which horse moves forward.

* The horses move forward as more cards are dealt.

* The commentator narrates the progress of the race all throughout.

* This continues until a winning horse crosses the final link.

* The winners assign drinks to the losers according to their winnings.

* Note that winners and losers are rewarded and penalized according to your Bets and Payouts Scheme.

Horse Race Drinking Game (Cards) at the Gates!
Diagram: Horse Race Drinking Game
Cards Layout at the start of the race.

Some Ideas for your Bets and Payouts Scheme:

You can have a different bets and payouts scheme in each race. The choice of schemes would depend on the willingness of your players. Here are some guidelines for your reference: (Note: These are rules not mutually exclusive. It’s up to you to mix and match which rules you prefer.)

* Rule #1: Winners assign drinks to Losers only (i.e., winners may not assign drinks to one another).

* Rule #2: A player gets to bet on only 1 horse.

* Rule #3: A player gets to bet on as many horses as he wants.

* Rule #4: Impose a maximum bet of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 drinks.

* Rule #5: The bettor has to immediately consume 1/2 of his bet before the starting buzzer is sounded. Only a bet of 1 drink, or, even-numbered bets are allowed. A bet of 1 means the bettor need not drink at the start of the race.

* Rule #6: Similar to Rule #4 above, the bettor has to drink 1/3, 1/4, or 1/5 of his bet. Bets have to be multiples of 3, 4, or 5 respectively.

* Rule #7: In conjunction with Rules 4 & 5: Only the remaining (un-drunk) portion of the bet is assigned by the winners to the losers.

* Rule #8: Losers drink the remainder of their bets on top of any drinks assigned them by the winners. Note that if you allow huge bets, this can results in some truly heavy drinking.

* Rule #9: Winners may assign their winnings liberally – no restrictions on the number of drinks they can assign to any 1 loser.

* Rule #10: Payout can be 1:1 (e.g., a winning bet of 2 means 2 drinks can be distributed) or 2:1 (e.g., a winning bet of 2 means 4 drinks can be distributed).

Optional Rules for your Horse Race Drinking Game:

Recall that during the race, the suit of the card that’s dealt determines which horse moves forward.

You can introduce twists with the following rule variations:

* Optional Rule #1: a King moves the corresponding horse 2 links forward.

* Optional Rule #2: a Two works against the corresponding horse – said horse stays put while everybody else moves forward

* Optional Rule #3: a Joker works against the race leader – said horse stays put while everybody else moves forward

* Optional Rule #4: if your horse does not move this round, you take a drink.

* Optional Rule #5: if your horse moves backward, you take 2 drinks.

* Optional Rule #6: if you bet on multiple horses, you take 1 drink for each one of your horses that doesn’t move forward

Optional Strip Game Rules for your Horse Race Drinking Game:

You can apply some or all of the rules below for your Horse Race Drinking Game

* Rule #1: Losers remove 1 item of clothing

* Rule #2: If your horse moves backward, you remove 1 item of clothing

* Rule #3: Winners reclaim the last item discarded


Drink and Strip Horse Race Game:

The next step is to have a Drink and Strip Horse Race game. Use any or all of the rules above for your game.

Be careful though: you can come up with some obscenely complicated rules and betting arrangements if you’re not careful. Our suggestion: start with simple rules and gradually add rule variations. Discard rule variations that don’t work. Enjoy!

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