Up and Down the River Drinking Game: Rules & How to Play

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Are you looking for a fun and effective drinking game to play with your friends? Look no further than the Up and Down the River drinking game! Just make sure that you’re thirsty because it will quench your thirst.

The general idea of this game is that you drink or hand out drinks whenever your cards match those that the dealer reveals. As the game progresses, the number of sips increases. This makes the drinking intensity of this game relatively high.

We didn’t know about this game until recently, and we really like it! Usually, we play card drinking games like Horse Race. These are definitely fun to play, but it’s very nice to have a new one added to our selection for whenever we spontaneously decide to start playing a drinking game.

Your Game Information

Players: 4+

Equipment: 1 or 2 deck(s) of playing cards

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Area: indoor

Tabletop: yes

Drinking: yes

How to Play the Up and Down the River Card Game

This game is perfect for a minimum of 4 players. If you’re playing with four, you’ll need one deck of cards. When with five players, you can choose to play with one or two decks. In case of six players, you’ll need two decks of playing cards.

Here’s how to play Up and Down:

Setting Up

  • All players sit in a circle around a table.
  • Choose someone to be the dealer, who can also participate in the game. It’s easiest to let the youngest player be the first dealer.
  • The dealer deals four cards face up to each player and keeps the remaining deck. Each player’s hand is placed in front of them.
  • Then, the dealer reveals the top card of the deck and places it in the middle of the table.

Now you’re all set!

Up and Down the River Rules

The Up and Down the River drinking game consists of three phases: Up the River, Down the River, and the Final Round.

1. Up the River

The dealer starts by flipping over the top card of the deck. If any player has a card of the same rank in their hand, they must take a sip. The suit of the card does not matter.

If a player has multiple cards that match, they must take a number of sips equal to the matching number of cards. So, for example, if the dealer reveals a 9 and you have two 9’s in front of you, you must take two sips.

The dealer then flips over the next card, and the rules repeat. However, In round two, players must take two sips for each matching card, in round three three sips, and so on.

In the Up the River phase, a total of four cards is revealed. For each next card, the number of sips per matching card increases, hence the name “Up the River”.

After the fourth card has been flipped, the dealer starts the down the river phase.

2. Down the River

The dealer flips a new card on the fourth card of the previous round. Players who have a matching card can give four drinks to other players.

They can choose to give all four drinks to one player or split them between two players.

Each subsequent round involves giving one drink less, hence the name ‘Down the River’. So, in round 1 you give four sips, in round 2 three sips, etcetera. Just like in the Up the River phase, the amount of sips for each round counts for each matching card.

After the fourth Down the River card is dealt, the dealer collects all cards and the game continues with the Final Round.

3. Final Round

In the final round, the dealer starts counting from 1 to 13. Here, 1 equals Ace and 13 equals King. For each number, the dealer flips over one card from the deck.

If the announced number matches the card, all players drink as many sips as the rank of that card.

For example: the dealer is counting from 1 to 13, and when they announce “eight”, an 8 is flipped over. All players now take eight sips.

After the final round is completed, the next dealer shuffles the deck and starts a new game.

It’s easiest to pass the dealer role to the player on their left.

Wrap up

In conclusion, the Up and Down the River drinking game is a fantastic way to have a great time with friends. Its uniqueness as a card drinking games makes it a perfect addition to your collection of party games.

Make sure everyone understands the drinking limits and plays responsibly. Remember, the objective is to have fun and enjoy the game, so drink moderately.

If you love this game, you should definitely try out one of the other drinking games with cards! Varying between games will keep everyone entertained for hours!

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