*This post was first published in April 2012. It’s by Shaun, a cousin I’ve conveniently borrowed from Alf. He’s got the whole popular-smart-funny-cool thing going for him, but like most of Alf’s family he’s also grounded and genuine, and always great company. I asked him to teach me something light and fun, and after reading his post I realised that the 20-somethings have stolen some of our favourite childhood games for their drink sessions! So even if you don’t drink, you can learn all over again how these games are played and teach it to your kids–all you need is a dinner table.
I’m a drink advocate–I’m always the first to raise my hand if someone suggests chilling out over drinks! But sometimes, even drinks are not enough. If you’ve got a big group with you and you’d like to get past handshakes and head nods, you need to bring on the laughs. In other words, you need games.
I’ll be showing you a few table games that can be played anywhere: On the floor, on the table, in someone’s house, or even in a noisy bar. (I’ve tried them in the library but would like to erase the memory of having been chased out.) Seriously, playing these games can save your night, and here’s when you should consider introducing them:
#1 Conversation runs dry after the initial “How’s work, how was your day, how’s mom, how are the kids doing?”
#2 Someone at the table is obviously shy or new and doesn’t get a chance to speak up, but still wants to have fun.
#3 Someone at the table just got a promotion and you want to shut him and his grin up at the end of the night with the bill. What better way than to get everyone intoxicated as fast as possible?
#4 The ugly waiter keeps hitting on your friend.
#5 The table beside you is drowning out your conversation with their laughter at anything and everything.
#6 I’m at your table.
Drinking games range in difficulty and some even require movement, but let’s save the run-around games for another day. Let’s also assume we’re not 14 and don’t have a pack of cards stashed in our pockets. Ready?
Game #1: 7-Up
Go around in a circle and have each person call out a number, in ascending order. And every time someone is supposed to call a number containing a “7” or a multiple of 7, he/she will have to say “Up!” instead. Example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, UP!, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, UP!, 15, 16, UP! Anyone who trips up has to drink. Variations: Raise your hand instead of saying “up,” or count backwards!
Game #2: The Name Game
Together with your group, decide on a topic (anything from countries, fruits, or MRT stations to underwear brands). Let’s say you and your friends have decided on fruits. Go around in a circle calling out fruit names from A to Z. If someone can’t think of a name (or takes too long—you be the judge), the person has to drink!
Game #3: Cop & Murderer
Someone has to sit out this game, let’s call him the “Sit Outer.” The Sit Outer assigns roles to everyone (discreetly, by whispering): There has to be one Cop, one Murderer, and everyone else is a Civilian. Once the game begins, the Murderer’s objective is to kill Civilians without getting noticed by the Cop. This is done by winking at the intended victim. If you’re killed, you need to take a sip of your drink. If the Murderer successfully kills three Civilians (feel free to change this number) without being caught by the Cop, he wins and the Cop drinks.
Another way to play this game is to have everyone hold hands under the table. (Great if you’re sitting next to someone you like!) If you’re the Murderer and you want to kill someone seated two seats to your right, give two squeezes to the hand of the person on your right. The person will pass this on to the victim on his right, with one squeeze. In essence, if your hand gets squeezed once, you just got killed! This is an interesting way to play the game because it requires careful thought and observation: If the Cop gets killed, the game ends and he has to point out the Murderer immediately!
Game #4: Never Have I Ever
Play this game only with people you trust, as it involves honesty and the age-old empty promise that “whatever happens at this table stays at this table.” Again, it’s played by going around in a circle. When it’s your turn, you’ll have to complete the sentence “Never have I ever…” For example, you might say “Never have I ever eaten doggie snacks.” If there’s someone at the table who has tried doggie snacks, he has to take a sip of his drink. As you can imagine, this game will reveal your friends’ strange habits and experiences!
These are but a few of the games that you can play, and trust me, once everyone at the table warms up, there’ll be lots of interaction, laughter, and fun to last the night! The inevitable consumption of alcohol lowers your inhibitions and also worsens your judgement. This makes for a wonderful slippery slope!
* If you’re a grown-up: Erase all preconceived notions that these games are for kids and you’ll be sure to have a good time.