By Paul Hewson
If you want to make money at poker, alcohol is a pretty bad idea. You might feel like you make better decisions after some lubrication, but unless you're Jackie Chan in Drunken Master, it's not going to help your game. However, if you're hosting a friendly night of cards, and you want to keep everything convivial, booze is your friend.
Here are three classic card/drinking games you can mix in with your poker to bring some more life to the table. Be a good host and break out the quality bottles for your guests.
It's probably the most famous of the card-based drinking games; you might know it by another name that sounds a bit like foxhole. This is a version of a Japanese card game called Daihinmin, where the object is to get rid of all the low cards in your hand, therefore moving up the ranks from Scum to President. It takes up to 15 minutes to finish, and the rules can be a bit confusing to new players, so make sure everyone's on the same page before giving it a shot. This will be good for an established home game with regular players.
For something a bit simpler, but still challenging, Kings is a popular drinking game that can really liven things up. Put an unopened can of beer on the middle of the table (use a coaster) and spread the deck of cards face-down around the can. Each player pulls a card and performs a specific action tied to its value – rhymes are used to make it easier to remember. For example, if the player pulls a seven, everyone has to point upwards to Heaven. The last person to point takes a drink. Again, establish which actions go with which cards before proceeding. Different people may have learned different rhymes along the way.
Blind Man's Bluff
This might be the best game of them all, but save it for last, after everyone's had a few. Also known as “Oklahoma Forehead” and some other, less acceptable names, this game is pretty simple: everyone gets one card, which he sticks face-up on his forehead without looking at it – only the other players can see what it is. The object is to have the highest card at showdown, and players either bet or fold when their turn comes. There are different rules for the drinking component of this game, and some of the variants can add up quickly, so consider using shots of beer instead of the hard stuff. You don't want to actually go blind.