Let’s Ride The Bus – Instructions To A Cool Drinking Game!

Ride The Bus - Cover Photo

Have you ever thought of riding a bus? Get some cards, a bunch of drinks, and some friends, by default. Needless to say, there will be a driver and some riders, that’s how it works! Follow our rules and you’re ready to ride!    

  • The equipment & setting up the game;
  • The first round;
  • The second round;
  • The third round;
  • The fourth (final) round;
  • Building the pyramid;
  • Riding the bus;
  • Finale;

The Equipment & Setting Up The Game

First things first, here’s all you need before playing this drinking game:

  • A deck of cards (a standard 52 cards deck);
  • Drinks of your choice. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic ones;

The number of players is all up to you, starting from 2 (yes, it can also be a two-player game). But, since it is a drinking game, it is recommended for people over the age of 21!

To start setting up the game, one of you becomes the dealer (we’d recommend that that’s the player who knows the game best).  Next, all of you sit in a circle and keep drinks near. If you’re the host, you may use some hosting the game night tips as well! 

The objective of the game: Each player, using both luck and strategy, aims to be the player with the lowest number of cards, and avoid being the unlucky player who rides the bus. 

The First Round Of ‘Ride The Bus’

The dealer starts first by asking every player, starting from the first person on their left ‘Red or black?’. Meaning, they should guess if the top card the dealer’s about to flip in front of them, will be red or black. 

If a player guesses right, they refuse to drink & get the chance to distribute drinks to other players. If they’re incorrect, they should take a sip of their drink. This continues until each player has 1 card placed in front of them.

Red Or Black - The First Round

The Second Round

Similar to the first round, the dealer should once again ask a question. This time, each player should guess if the next card is going to be higher or lower than the previous one. Just as in the above-mentioned round, whoever guesses incorrectly, should drink, otherwise, they’re safe. 

If the card is neither higher nor lower, so it is the same as the previous card, the dealer takes that card and places it in the deck, shuffles it, and asks that player the question again. Check the card ranks:

Cards' Rank

The Third Round

If you understood everything about the first 2 rounds, it’s all easy now. This time, the question will be ‘In-between or outside?’. Simply, you have to tell the dealer if you think the next card will be somewhere in-between the range of the previous cards, or completely outside it. 

So, let’s say the cards in front of you are an Ace and 7, a card in between would be a 4, while a card outside would be a 9. The drinking rules are the same just as in previous rounds.

The Fourth (Final) Round

Fellas, let me announce the final round! Let the dealer asks each player to pick a suit, one of the 4 possible: spades, clubs, hearts, diamonds. If the players guess correctly, they get rewarded 5 drinks, which means they can make 5 players in the room drink, or one single player drinks 5 sips. If they are incorrect, they must drink. 

When this round ends, each player has 4 cards in front of them. This also concludes the first phase of the game. Let’s continue with the second one, shall we?

Building The Pyramid

The second phase of the game, here we come! The dealer now has to take the remaining deck (facedown) and create a pyramid on the table. The pyramid goes as follows: the first row has 5 cards, the second row has 4 cards, and so on until the top row has only 1 card.  

The value of drinks increases going up the pyramid. So, a card in the first row (the 5-cards row) is worth one drink, while, in the last row, the top card, is worth 5 drinks. The game starts in the first row, with each card getting flipped, one card at a time. 

Every player who has a matching card with the flipped card places it on top of the card in the pyramid and gets drinks based on the card’s row. That means that that is the number of drinks you may punish another player(s) with.

Ride The Bus - The Pyramid

So, let’s say the dealer has flipped over an 8 on the third row, and you have an 8 in your hand. You may lay that down and punish any player to drink 3 sips, or 3 players take one sip. If you’re at the beginning of the game, and you want to save a card for higher rows, you may do that. But if you end up with the most cards at the end of this phase, you gotta ride the bus!

The Final Phase: Riding The Bus

Well, the perfect ending would be y’all having no cards left, but, most of the time, at least some of the players have some remaining cards they couldn’t match within the pyramid’s cards. As we previously mentioned, the player who has the largest number of cards rides the bus and becomes the rider. 

The dealer now should take 10 cards from the deck, facedown, and turn over 10 cards, one by one. If the cards are numbers, nothing happens. But, if the card is part of the Court or an Ace, the rider has to drink: 

  • One drink if it’s a Jack;
  • Two drinks if it’s a Queen;
  • Three drinks if it’s a King;
  • Four drinks if it’s an Ace;
Ride The Bus - The Final Round

If two or more players have the same number of cards, the player with the highest card rank rides the bus (we attached the card ranks above). 


One thing we don’t doubt: you’ll end up drunk, not only the player who rides the bus but all the people playing. Okay, excluding here if you’re extremely lucky and have a strong intuition! However, make sure to enjoy it all as long as it lasts.

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