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

Ride The Bus - Cover Photo

Have you ever thought of riding a bus? Believe it or not, we’ll teach you how to ride it in a few minutes, just go buy a bus! No, just kidding, you won’t need it… 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!  

Mercifully, besides all the enchanting drinking card games we have written about over time, there are some others left, which require special articles because that’s what they are: special! Undoubtedly, ‘Ride The Bus’ is a great example! Before beginning, you should know that this drinking game is a combination of both luck and logical skills, and it is followed by super easy instructions (especially when explained by us :))

Let’s ride the bus, people:

  • Setting up the game;
  • The first round;
  • The second round;
  • The third round;
  • The fourth (final) round;
  • Building the pyramid;
  • Riding the bus;
  • Takeaways;

Setting Up The Game

How could we start playing without knowing the basic information first? Here’s what you need:

  • A deck of cards (a standard 52 cards deck);
  • Any drinks you want;

No, we didn’t forget a thing. That’s all you need… The number of players is all up to you, starting from 2 (yes, it can also be a two-player game). As you assumed, the more the merrier! Since it is a drinking game, it is recommended for people over the age of 21!

One of you becomes the dealer. We’d recommend that the player who knows the game better is the dealer since it would be easier for you all if he/she knows how to play and explains the instructions to you… 

Next, all of you sit in a circle, using some cushions, or simply sit around the table, keeping drinks near you. If you’re also the host, you may use some hosting the game night tips as well! 

The objective of the game: After 4 rounds of the gameplay, there will be the unlucky (or not) player who must ‘ride the bus’. Does it end well? Hmm, that player may end up getting very drunk, but that’s what we call fun, right? Now, let’s dive into playing the game!

The First Round Of ‘Ride The Bus’

We didn’t deal with the cards yet, did we? Well, different from some other games, this time you won’t be dealt a bunch of cards at a time. The game goes fluently. The dealer starts first by asking every player, starting from the first person in 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 or distribute a drink. 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, the question is ‘Higher or lower?’, which in other words, means that each player should now guess if the next card is going to be higher or lower than the card in front of them. Just as in the previous 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.

It’s important to know the cards’ rank: Aces are the highest and 2’s are low, so, cards go from A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.    

Cards' Rank

The Third Round

If you know how to play the first 2 rounds, it’s all easy now. This time, the question will be ‘In-between or outside?’. Wait, what does this mean? 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 Ace and 7, a card in between would be a 4, while a card outside would be a 9. 

You already know that if you guess wrong, you should take another shot. If you’re lucky and give the right guess, you might make another player of your choice drink, or just pass the turn. 

The Fourth (Final) Round

People, let me announce the final round! This time, the dealer asks each player to pick a suit, one of the 4 possible: spades, clubs, hearts, diamonds. If the players guess correctly, they have 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. Shall we continue with the second one?

Building The Pyramid

Did you know that you’ll also build up a pyramid while playing this game? Well, surprises never end… Dealer, sorry, but your job isn’t done yet! You have to take the remaining deck and create a pyramid on the table (or even the floor). 

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. Keep in mind that the cards should all be face-down. On the other hand, each player keeps the 4-cards they collected during the rounds private, so only they can see their cards. 

The value of drinks increases going up to 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. Of course, the game starts in the first row. Each card gets flipped, one card at a time. 

Every player who has a matching card with the flipped card, places it in top of the card in the pyramid, and gets drinks based on the card’s row, so, 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 lay that down and you now have the chance to punish any player for drinking 3 sips, or 3 players taking one sip. It’s all up to you. 

If you’re at the beginning of the game, and you think you want to save a card from higher rows, you may do that. But, be aware that 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, if not all of you, some of the players have some remaining cards they couldn’t match within the pyramid. As I previously mentioned, the player who has the largest number of cards rides the bus. 

It’s that rider’s time to drink again… 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… but! If the card is part of the Court or an Ace, the player 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

Wait, what happens if 2 or more players have the same number of cards? No worries, if that happens, the player with the highest cards’ rank, rides the bus. Not common, right?

Humans, that’s all about the rules… For one thing, we’re pretty sure: 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.

Takeaways

  • ‘Ride The Bus’ is a drinking card game, made for 2+ players, ages 21 or older;
  • Generally, there are 3 phases of the gameplay;
  • The first phase contains 4 rounds, each of them followed by questions made by the dealer: Red or black?, Higher or lower?, In-between or outside? and Pick a suit;
  • In each round, if a player guesses correctly, nothing happens, or if they want, they may distribute drinks. Otherwise, if they guess incorrectly, they have to take a sip;
  • The second phase includes building the pyramid;
  • The pyramid contains 5 rows, 5 cards in the first row, and 1 card on top;
  • Cards’ row tells the number of drinks you may distribute to other players after you flip the cards over;
  • Whoever has the most number of cards at the end of phase two, should ride the bus;
  • The ‘chosen’ player has to drink for every Jack (1 drink), Queen (2 drinks), King (3 drinks), and Ace (4 drinks), between the 10 cards flipped over by the dealer. 

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