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Think you’re good at guessing? Put your logic (and luck!) to the test with “Ride the Bus”, a fun drinking game that’s a classic for any party or gathering.

“Ride the Bus” is perfect for friends looking to have fun and get a little (or a lot) drunk. It’s easy to learn and perfect for parties, pre-games, or even a casual night with friends!

How to play “Ride the Bus”

Playing “Ride the Bus” is pretty easy! Even beginners can follow along and learn as they play. After playing a few rounds, you can quickly become an expert, which makes the game more competitive!

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To start a game of “Ride the Bus”, players need to decide which player acts as the dealer. Choosing a dealer can be as simple as assigning someone to the role.

When choosing a dealer, make sure that whoever you pick is familiar with the game and can explain the mechanics once the game starts.

If you want to add a fun twist, you can decide who the dealer will be with a game of chance and alcohol – perfectly aligned with the theme of “Ride the Bus”!

Hold a mini-game where players drink a glass of beer or their alcohol of choice at the same time. The person who finishes their drink last becomes the dealer! Make sure to prepare enough alcoholic drinks!

👉 In need of more great card games? Find the perfect drinking card game for your next party in our Card Drinking Games article here!

“Ride the Bus” Rules

Once a dealer has been decided, they randomly shuffle the deck of cards. Then, players should sit in a circle on the floor or around a table and have their drink at hand.

Here are the “Ride the Bus” drinking game rules to remember:

Round 1 - Red or Black

In the first round of “Ride the Bus”, the dealer primarily makes the players guess if their card is, “Red or black?” Here’s how it works:

1. The dealer shuffles the deck and begins to the left. They ask the first player “red or black?”

2. Then, the card is revealed in front of the player. If the player guessed the right color, they can make another player take the drink. If the player’s guess is wrong, they must drink.

3. The first round ends as soon as each player’s card has been revealed. Then restart the game for round 2, so try not to get drunk too fast!

Round 2 - Higher or Lower

In the second round, the dealer asks, “Higher or lower?” Keep in mind that ace cards have the highest value while two cards are the lowest. Here’s how it works:

1. After the first round, each player is dealt another card. Each player should now have two cards.

2. Players must guess if their second card is higher or lower than their first card. One by one, players should state if they think the second card is “Higher or lower” than their first card.

3. Reveal the cards! If their guess is correct, they may ask another player to drink. If they give an incorrect answer, they must take the drink.

4. If their card is identical to their card in the first round, they must drink automatically. The round continues until all players have seen their second card.

Round 3 - Between or Outside

For the third round, the dealer asks, “Between or outside?”. Here’s how it works:

1. After the second round, players are given another new card and placed on top of their first two cards. Now, each player has three cards in total.

2. Players must now guess if their third card will be in between of the first two cards, or outside. For example, if a player has a 5 and a King and they say that their third card is “between”, their guess is correct if they get a 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, or Q card.

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3. If the player guesses correctly, they can ask two players to drink (one for each correct guess). If they guess incorrectly, they must take the drinks themselves.

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4. Players with two identical first cards can claim outside and will automatically win unless a 3rd identical card is given to them. If their card is identical to their first two cards, they must drink automatically.

Round 4 - Final Round

In the last round, each player has to guess the suit of the card. This could be a heart, spade, diamond, or a club.

1. Deal the last card on top of their first three cards. After dealing with the card, players should now have four cards.

2. Players should guess the suit of their final card. If they guess correctly, they can choose three players to drink! But if they give an incorrect answer, they must take the drinks themselves.

Build the Pyramid

Once all the players have collected four cards, the game proceeds to the pyramid part. We have some suggestions below, but feel free to customize this part if you have ideas!

1. Set the cards up! The dealer places a face-down pyramid with five cards at the base, then four cards, then 3, then 2, and 1 at the top.

👉 Suggested read: The Ultimate "Chandelier" Drinking Game Guide

2. Each row has a specific rule assigned to it. You can assign the five pyramid cards at the base to be Row 1, then the four cards will be Row 2, etc.

For example:

  • Row 1 (5 cards) - drink once
  • Row 2 (4 cards) - drink two times
  • Row 3 (3 cards) - drink three times
  • Row 4 (2 cards) - drink four times
  • Row 5 (1 card) - drink five times

3. Flip the cards! Starting at the base (Row 1), a card is flipped one at a time.

4. If a player has a matching card, they may lay their card down on the pyramid. Then, they should ask another player to drink based on the row where their card matched.

For example: If one of the player’s 4 cards matches with a card on Row 4, they may ask another player to drink 4 times.

5. If you have more than one matching card, you can also discard several at the same time. You can also keep them in the hope of placing them in a higher rank.

Other ways to play “Ride the Bus”

After the last card of the pyramid has been revealed and all possible cards have been discarded, the remaining cards are counted. This is where you will see how the “Ride the Bus” drinking game got its name.

The player with the most cards is the loser and must “Ride the Bus”. If two players have the same number of cards, the player with the highest card loses.

🤓 Suggested read: The Ultimate "Thumper" Drinking Game Guide

The losing player who “Rides the Bus” must now correctly answer the following 4 questions in a row.

  • Red or black?
  • Higher or lower?
  • Between or outside?
  • Guess the suit

If the player guesses correctly, the next question is asked. If they guess wrong, they must drink and start again from the first question.

The game ends when the player correctly answers all four questions in a row, or the entire deck of cards has been dealt. It also ends if the player is completely drunk!

No one wants to “Ride the Bus” endlessly. Whoever is the last player should try to “get off the bus” as quickly as possible to avoid getting wasted!

With surprising twists and turns, “Ride the Bus” is a great drinking game for your party. Now it’s time to get your friends together for a fun night!

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