The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday February 6th

Hold on to Spring Break by learning how some other countries do drinking games

<p>King's Cup is a classic drinking game involving a deck of cards.</p>
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King's Cup is a classic drinking game involving a deck of cards.

Here in the good ol’ U.S., we tend to enjoy a good few rounds of “Circle of Death” (you may also know it as “Ring of Fire”), which consists of arranging a deck of cards in a circle around a can of beer.

In the spirit of holding on to Spring Break, we asked international students about drinking games.


Joe Molloy, a student from Trinity College Dublin studying abroad at UNC, said while the drinking culture differs from the U.S., some of the games are similar.

“In general, Irish people don’t do as many drinking games — we just kind of drink,” he said. “Americans need to have a structure to it, whereas Irish people are just like, ‘Can we not just drink?’”

They play a version of “Circle of Death” that’s similar to the American version, however.

“There’s ‘Kings,’ obviously, which is just like the universal, the exact same as the way you guys play it here,” he said. “You use a beer can, we use a king’s cup.”

They also play a game with the song “Roxanne” by The Police.

“You split the room in two, and then you start playing the song,” he said. “Every time the word ‘Roxanne’ is sung, one half drinks. And every time the words ‘red light’ is sung, the other half drinks.”

They do drinking songs as well, where they chant the person’s name and make them down their drink in eight seconds.

“Then they have eight seconds to down their whole drink,” he said. “Which if it’s like, a strong vodka coke, is like, death.”

United Kingdom

Stephen Hedges, a current student at London School of Economics who studied abroad at UNC in spring 2015 said drinking culture in the U.K. is a lot slower and laid-back, which is why they tend to play pub games.

“People are at the pub a lot longer, and it’s a much more social and hanging out place,” he said.

Hedges described a game called “20 plus one,” where the aim of the game is not to say 21. If you do, you drink. Another one, he said, is “Fives,” which is similar in that it involves counting. They do play “Kings,” as they do in Ireland, and “Never Have I Ever,” as they do in the Netherlands.

“Moderate drinking is a bit more apparent in Britain,” he said.

The Netherlands

Holland is more well-known for legal recreational marijuana.

Kevin Spijker, a student at Arnhem Business School in the Netherlands, said they do often substitute the two.

“We probably do the same kind of stuff that y’all do, like beer pong, ‘Never Have I Ever,’” Spijker said. “Most of the time it’s like, mostly sexual, because, well, we’re drinking, we’re teenagers, young adults.”

He said that, despite its content, the game can be a bonding experience.

“So it’s just a fun way of getting to know people, on a more personal level I guess.” he said.



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