Ring of Fire Rules (How To Play)

Welcome to the world of “Ring of Fire,” a classic card-based drinking game that’s fantastic for larger groups.

Also known as “Kings Cup“, it’s a game where the rules seem to differ (slightly) amongst different friendship groups.

In this guide, we’ll provide the most common Ring Of Fire rules, and provide variations for you to add to your own game, depending on the vibe!

Ring Of Fire: Setup

To play Ring of Fire, you’ll need:

  • A deck of 52 playing cards with Jokers removed
  • A large cup (often referred to as the “King’s Cup”)
  • Players (this is more of a party game, so a big group works best)
  • Drinks for each player

Spread the cards in a circle, face down, around the King’s Cup. Make sure there are no gaps in the circle.

Game setup for Kings Cup / Ring Of Fire

Ring Of Fire: Gameplay and Rules

To start, players gather around the cards.

Each player takes turns drawing a card and then perform the corresponding action (more on that below).

Players must draw a card with care; if the player breaks the circle, they take a penalty drink.

Revealing your card in Kings Cup / Ring Of Fire
The player draws a Queen, but breaks the circle, and must have a forfeit drink

The game ends when the last King has been drawn.

Ring Of Fire Card Meanings & Actions

Each card has a corresponding action associated with it, as shown below. We’ll also provide a list of commonly used alternative card actions in the following section.

  • Ace (Waterfall)
    • The player who drew the card starts drinking
    • Once they start drinking, the player to their left starts drinking, and this continues around the circle (like a Waterfall!)
    • Players can stop drinking once the person to their right stops
  • 2 (You)
    • Nominate a player to take two sips of their drink
  • 3 (Me)
    • You must take three sips of your drink
  • 4 (Floor)
    • Everyone has to race to touch the floor
    • Last person to complete the action drinks
  • 5 (Guys)
    • All the guys drink
  • 6 (Chicks)
    • All the girls drink
  • 7 (Heaven)
    • Everyone has to raise one arm and point upwards
    • Last person to complete the action drinks
  • 8 (Mate)
    • Choose a mate. Whenever you drink, your nominated person has to drink too
    • Rule lasts until someone else picks up an 8
  • 9 (Rhyme)
    • The player who drew the card says a word of their choice
    • Going round the circle clockwise, each player must take turns rhyming with it
    • If a player fails to rhyme, repeats a word already been mentioned, or takes too long, they must drink
    • To make this rule extra challenging, opt for a sentence rather than a single word, that way players have to get more creative!
  • 10 (Categories)
    • The player picks a category (e.g. Brands of Beer, Capital Cities, Taylor Swift Songs) and starts off the round by naming an item within the category
    • Going round the circle clockwise, each player must name another item within that category
    • If a player fails to name an item within that category, names an item that has already been mentioned, or takes too long, they must drink
  • Jack (Thumb Master)
    • This player becomes the “Thumb Master”
    • At any time in the game, the player may place their thumb on the table
    • All other players must then mimic the action. The last person to do so drinks
    • The rule is active until the next person draws a Jack
  • Queen (Question Master)
    • This player becomes the “Question Master”
    • All other players cannot answer questions asked by the Question Master. If they do so, they must drink
    • Other players are allowed to respond to the Question Master with another question, or by simply saying ‘F**k off’, without being penalised
    • The rule is active until the next person draws a Queen
  • King (Kings Cup)
    • When a player draws a King they must pour a portion of their drink into the cup in the centre. Ideally, try and fill it up by 1/3rd
    • The player who draws the 4th King has to drink the entire cup (unlucky!)

Variations and Alternative King of Fire Rules

  • 4, 5 and 6: These are the most common alternatives, as the 5 (Guys) and 6 (Chicks) can also be 4 (Whores) and 6 (Dicks). If you’re playing with the latter, you can opt to scrap the ‘Floor’ action and replace it with a more entertaining rule.
  • “I have never”: The player says “I have never [ACTION]”, replacing [ACTION] with whatever they wish, and any player that has done the action stated drinks. With the right crowd, adding this rule can be a hilarious way to lower the tone!
  • Make a Rule: If the group is unhappy with one of the rules or wants to spice up the game, consider this option and replace one of the cards with “Make a Rule”. The first player to draw whichever card has been chosen gets to make a rule, and then any player who draws the remaining cards of this type has to carry out the rule.
  • Truth or Dare: Replace one of the card actions with a game of Truth or Dare.
  • Pose Master: Instead of the Thumb Master, players instead opt for the “Pose Master” rule. Rather than simply placing their thumb on the table, the Pose Master can pull an elaborate pose at any point, and similar to the Thumb Master, the other players must match the pose.

Final Words

Do you have your own rules to share? Drop a comment below to let us know your favourite variations!

Looking for other drinking games? Try these 13 drinking card games for adults .

Disclaimer: As with all drinking games, please drink responsibly.

Leave a comment