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Horse Race Drinking Game: Game Rules & How To Play?

The Horse Race Drinking game might seem like you need to watch a race and drink on the outcome. But this exciting and unusual drinking game is played with cards, and players will bet on one of the four aces. There’s no money required; it’s all about how much you think you can drink.

What is the Horse Race Drinking Game?

This quirky drinking game is inspired by actual horse racing and is plenty of fun. The game can be played with up to four people, and you can even have an extra person to act as the announcer. To play, you’ll need a deck of cards and a reasonably large table or another flat playing surface. 

The announcer will first search through the deck for the ace cards. The four aces are the horses, starting at one end of the table face up. The announcer will then lay a row of cards face down at the side of the horses. 

It should look like a large L-shape when you’re finished. Now the players will decide which horse/ ace they want. Expect some fierce debate for this part of the game, and the announcer may need to step in to help determine who gets which horse. 

There are numerous ways you can help decide who gets which horse too. We’ll talk more about this in the rules section below. Once the horses are decided, players can make their bets. For example, you can bet on who you think will win or have a primary race.

Either way, the winner will get to drink the most while the losers may only get a small drink for taking part. We’ll outline some fun betting rules you can use later on. 

With so many variations and fun ways to play, the Horse Race drinking game is a great way to spend an afternoon. It’s a great alternative to games like Snappa and Beer Pong and much easier to play than you might first think. Before we look at the rules, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to play. 

What You’ll Need To Play?

To play the Horse Race drinking game, you’ll need three things. First, you’ll need playing cards, then some alcohol, and finally a table (or another large flat surface) to play on. When it comes to playing cards, you’ll have plenty of options. 

But like all good drinking games, we recommend opting for some waterproof playing cards. These might be tricky to find in shops but are easy to find online. These Hoyle Waterproof Cards are a great example of what to look out for.

Once you’ve got your cards, it’s simply a matter of getting some alcohol. The Horse Race drinking game can make a good bar/ pub game if you don’t get too rowdy. So now you know what you need, let’s take a look at the rules you need to know. 

Rules and Gameplay

Rules and Gameplay

The Aim of The Game

This game aims to have fun! It might play very differently from the Shrek Drinking Game or one of the many popular iPhone drinking games available, but they have the same purpose. Just have fun drinking and hanging out with friends/ family. 

You can utilize many different rule sets to personalize the game in various ways. We’ll go over some of the most popular rule sets in the guide below. But before that, let’s take a quick look at how you set the game up. 

The Set-Up 

The first thing to do is choose someone to be the announcer. The announcer is usually an independent figure in the game, meaning they aren’t participating in the race. However, you can relax this rule if you want. 

The announcer will then take the four ace cards from the deck and place them face up at the end of the table. In this game, the aces are the horses. The announcer then shuffles the deck and places a row of cards alongside the aces. This should make a large L-shape. 

The number of cards you use in the row doesn’t matter but try to have at least ten cards if you have the space. The players will then decide which ace/ horse they want. Now, this can be decided in many different ways. 

If two (or more) players want the identical ace, you can either have the announcer decide or have a short drinking challenge. If you opt for the challenge, the announcer should pour two cups/ glasses, and then whoever finishes their drink first gets to decide which horse they want. 

Once the horses are decided, you can begin playing! Because there are many different ways to approach this. We’ll first go over the basic gameplay and then outline some of the most popular play methods. 

The Basic Gameplay 

So, how do the horses start moving? Well, the announcer will turn over the cards in the face-down row one at a time. If your ace/ horse matches the card’s suit, it can move up. Eventually, one of the aces/ horses will win when the final card is turned over. 

Now the fun comes in with the bets. There are numerous ways to do this; the simplest way is to have every player bet on who they think will win the race. The player who comes in first will get to gulp down three drinks. 

While the losers will only get one small drink, this is one of the simplest ways you can play. Let’s look at some of the other rules you can use.

Fun Ways To Play 

A fun twist to the Horse Race Drinking game is to add new drinking rules. It means every time a player’s horse moves, they’ll need to drink. The race winner will also get an additional bonus drink at the end of the race. 

You could also have different bets every turn. Meaning that every player should bet on what suit they think each card turned over will be. If they are correct, they get to drink. Finally, you could try a more traditional approach. 

At the start of the race, each player bets on which suit will win. Player’s bet using drinks; for example, one player could bet ten drinks that Hearts will win the race. Before the race begins, each player will need to drink half of their initial bet. Then, if their horse wins, they will need to drink the rest to clear their bet.

Horse Race Drinking Game – Off To The Races! 

So, that’s the Horse Race drinking game. This versatile game is tons of fun and a great alternative to other group drinking games like Beer Ball or other card-based games like Bullshit. If you enjoy horse racing, you can experience the thrill of a race in a whole new way.

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