‘Circle Of Death’ Drinking Game: How To Play The Standard Way & Special Rules

Circle Of Death - Cover Photo

You may be brave, but are you brave enough to be a part of the circle of death? The name scares me a bit, to be frank… Jokes aside, ‘Circle Of Death’ is one of the most fantastic card-based drinking games you’ll ever run into! It brings people closer, you have lots of laughs & and complete some tiny challenges, but of course, the cherry on top: you have a few tasty drinks with your favorite people. 

While reading about this game, you’ll probably find out that it is pretty similar to King’s Cup, or even Waterfall. Diving deeper, games have unique details. The questions and card ‘missions’ are different in all these drinking game versions, making them all loved. The whole idea behind it is that all cards start different games, ask different questions, and require different challenges. With basic equipment, you’ll turn the game night, into a fun game night! 

  • The aim of the game;
  • Equipment needed to play;
  • The setup;
  • Instructions;
  • Special ways & rules to play the game:
  • Takeaways;

The Aim Of The Game

We may have a list of game aims though. One is, of course, socializing and making you and your people feel closer to each other. Also, it is an amazing icebreaker, and it is amazing to make new friends, especially when it becomes awkward to start new conversations. 

However, I bet we can all agree that the game aims to get y’all drunk. While performing different actions (which depend on the card), you’ll be asked to drink many times. For adults who want to have some fun & a good amount of drinks, ‘Circle Of Death’ is calling for you. 

We’d like to mention that this drinking game also makes you test your limits. You know what you’re comfortable with, and where you should stop. It’s an a;-in-one. Cheers! 

Equipment Needed To Play ‘Circle Of Death’

As mentioned previously, ‘Circle Of Death’ is one of these games that require minimum equipment, and we love to hear that. Here’s what you need to play it:

  • A deck of cards. Any deck of classic, standard cards work great. Even if a card or two are missing. There’s also an option of playing without cards, but we’ll get to that later.
  • Drinks of your choice. If you’re willing to stay sober, we recommend you use beers. Otherwise, use vodka shots, wine, or anything you prefer. Therefore, you may also use non-alcoholic drinks in case people under 21 are playing.
  • A can/bottle of beer or a cup. This will be used as the center of the cards. 

Now that we’ve dealt with the equipment, I’m sure you’re curious to know more about the number of players. The game works fine even as a drinking game for 2 people, but, as always, for a better experience, we recommend you to play it with a group of 4-8 people. If there are more than 8 people, especially if there are more than 10, use 2 decks of cards & you’ll be fine.

Setting The Game Up

Circle Of Death - Game Setup

Wait till you find out how simple the game setup is! All you have to do is first, place the cup or whatever drink container in the middle of the table. Next, spread the deck of cards, facedown, around the cup. This is all you need to do before starting the game. Just a friendly reminder: ‘Circle Of Death’ is a cool drinking game for large groups!

Make sure everyone sits in a circle, most likely around the table, so all have access to the cards. You may also sit on the floor if you feel comfortable, but however, the table is safer when it comes to spilling drinks or whatsoever. Try to spread the cards more widely, so every player only draws one card, and no misunderstandings are in the game. 

Instructions: How To Play ‘Circle Of Death’?

Reading the intro, you found out that the game is all about each player drawing a card, and performing a specific action. So, after you’ve finished the setup, pick one player to start first. Here are some ideas: the oldest player starts first, the blue-eyed player, the player who laughs the most, and so on. 

Now, one player starts first and draws a card from the circle of cards. Remember, do not break the circle of cards. If you do that, you have to drink. Here’s what each card represents:

  • Ace: Once an Ace is drawn, all players waterfall. Waterfall means that the first player starts drinking, and then all the other players do the same in cascading order. They may only stop drinking only if the person prior to them does.
  • 2 to 5: You drink as many drinks as the number on the card.
  • 6 to 8: If the card is red, you drink as much as the card number is. If the card is black, you give out the drinks.
  • 9: A game of Categories should start. The player who drew a 9 should announce the category (ex. cars) and everyone has to say a thing related to your category. Whoever messes up, drinks! 
  • 10: You have to say out loud whatever word that comes into your mind. Next, all players, taking turns, must say a word that rhymes with yours. Whoever breaks the rule, or takes too long to find a word, drinks!
  • Jack: It’s Thumb Master’s time! You’re the master, and every time you put your thumb on the table (or floor), all the other players should do the same. The last player to do so has to drink.
  • Queen: Speaking of masters, let’s continue with Questions Master. The player who drew a Queen should ask a player of their choice a question. That player, after answering, should ask someone else a question. The first player who takes too long to answer, or refuses to do so drinks.
  • King: You are allowed to make a new game rule. This includes even undoing a previous ‘Circle Of Death’ rule. 

 Special Ways & Rules To Play The Game

Using the game app.

Yup. You can turn ‘Circle Of Death’ into a drinking game without cards. All you need is a game app. It is available for IOS users, Android, and even as a PC app. The same rules are applied as if you were playing with cards. The app helps you with the instructions, they give you a card randomly, and the rules for each of them. Super simple, innit?

The app also adds some special rules for some specific scenarios, so, we don’t doubt you’ll love it! Here’s the official website of the game app: circleofdeathgame.com.

Circle Of Death Game App

The king is the slave.

Well, in normal terms, that doesn’t quite happen, but nothing is impossible in ‘Circle Of Death’. This rule means that every time you draw a King, you are the slave of the group until someone else draws a King. This means that you have to follow the other players’ orders, whatever they are.

Jack is for Dinosaurs

You remember the facepaint of Ross & Rachel in Friends? That’s what you have to do if you draw a jack. Well, you have the opportunity to draw a dinosaur in another player’s face. You’re allowed to use a permanent marker though 🙂


Once all cards of a number are drawn & used, the whole group drinks. So, let’s say if you’ve drawn all your Aces, everyone should take a sip or chug their beer. 

4th King

We didn’t just place the middle cup for nothing. Whoever the player who draws the fourth King of the game, has to down whatever’s in the middle cup.

Note: You may also add any rule you want, or modify the above-mentioned ones. For example, you may make one rule about a card of your choice, so the player who draws it has to pour some of their drink into the middle cup. Get creative, just as you would in poker games


  • ‘Circle Of Death’ is a card-based drinking game, made to be played by 2 to 8 players. 
  • If you’re willing to play with larger groups, even 20 people, you just use 2 decks of cards and it works great.
  • It is similar to King’s Cup, Waterfall, and some other games, but however, it has very unique details which set it apart from the others.
  • All you need to start playing is a deck of standard cards, drinks for all players, and a large cup.
  • The whole idea behind the game is that you should draw a card, which tells you what actions to perform. 
  • ‘Circle Of Death’ can also be played without cards. There’s a free app with the same name for IOS, Android, and Windows that does the same job as the cards.
  • You may also add your own house rules, or add our ideas to the game: The 4th King, Social, The King is the slave, Jack is for dinosaurs, and more.

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