1 Deck of Cards
2 or more players
Alcoholic beverages - typically wine, beer, or mixed drinks - or non alcoholic beverages
A large cup which will be used as the King's Cup
Setup and common rules
In this game, players perform actions associated with each card. Sometimes, rules on the cards "reveal interesting things about the participants." Usually, cards are shuffled and dealt into a circle around either an empty cup or a full can of beer (or a shot/cup of spirits or wine). Each player takes turn drawing cards, and the players must participate in the instructions corresponding to the drawn card.
This game is highly open ended and all of the cards can signify any mini-game, the rules and the card assignments are normally confirmed at the start of the game. Depending on house rules, the game either ends when the last rule card has been pulled, or when the king's cup has been consumed; or when the cards are placed on top of the king's cup the game is over when the cards fall off, the one that knocked them off must consume the king's cup.
It is also common for the players to make up and agree on a set of rules every time the game is played.
Variations and other rules:
Like almost all other drinking games, Kings has endless variations of rules. It is not common to play Kings exactly the same when playing with new people. There will be similar rules, but there will most likely always be some you've never heard of. These rules below are some of the other popular rules not covered in the common rules. Many of these rules are used with the "King – Make a Rule" rule. You can also replace some of the common rules you do not like with these. Kings is not a competitive game. Some people have completely different rules for the cards drawn. As long as everyone knows what the cards mean before the game starts, then it doesn't matter what rules are being used.
A major variation in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or Canada is that the contents of the King's Cup are drunk by the player who breaks the circle of cards (known as the Ring of Fire in the UK).
If playing with a full can of beer in the middle you must give gaggles, after each player draws a card s/he places it under the tab on the can, when a player's card pops the can open, that player must chug the can. In this situation, when a King is drawn the player makes a rule.
Note: these are highly variable and should always be agreed upon before the game starts.
Ace - Waterfall: To perform a waterfall, each player starts drinking their beverage at the same time as the person to their left. No player can stop drinking until the player before them stops.
2 - Give 2: You point at two people and tell them to drink. You can also tell one person to take two drinks.
3 - Take 3: You take three drinks.
4 - Give 2 Take 2: You give out two drinks, and take two yourself.
5 - Rule: Set a rule to be followed, e.g. drink with your left hand, tap your head before you drink, don't use first names, etc.
6 - Thumbs: Place your thumb on the table, and try to do this without anyone noticing. As people notice, they will also have to put their thumb on the table too. The last person to place their thumb on the table drinks.
7 - Raise your hand to heaven: Last person to raise their hand will drink.
8 - Mate: Choose a person to be your mate and they drink when you drink for the rest of the game.
9 - Rhyme Time: You say a word, and the person to your right has to say a word that rhymes. This continues around the table until someone can't think of a word. This person must drink. The same word cannot be used twice.
10 - Categories: You come up with a category of things, and the person to your right must come up with something that falls within that category. This goes on around the table until someone can't come up with anything. This person must drink.
Jack - Guys Drink: All the guys at the table must take a drink
Queen - Girls Drink: All the girls at the table must take a drink
King - King's Cup: When each of the first 3 Kings are drawn, the person who drew the card puts some of their drink into the King's Cup at the center of the table. When the 4th King is drawn, the person who drew the 4th King must drink the contents of the King's Cup.