Ride the Bus Drinking Game

Ride the Bus Drinking Game

Ride the bus drinking game is a really easy drinking game that combines luck and a little brains to make for a fun drinking game that can be learned as you play.

What You'll Need

1 Deck of Cards

Lots of Alcohol


Number of players: 3 or more
Difficulty: easy
Time to play: about 20 minutes

Great for:

  • Small groups of friends
  • Small groups of strangers
  • Parties
  • Pre-gaming

Ride the Bus Drinking Game Rules

Playing the ride the bus drinking game begins by gathering everyone in a circle, preferably around a table. Select a person to start as the dealer. The dealer position will move each turn to the next person (clockwise or counterclockwise). Get a deck of cards and have the dealer shuffle.

Setting up the pyramid

The dealer will now set up the bus. To do this, they will place cards face down in a diamond shape. To do so, place one card in the first row, two in the second, three in the third, and four in the fourth. The bus should look like this with all cards facing down:

Ride the Bus Drinking Game

 Dealing Four Cards

The dealer will now deal a series of four rounds to each player moving clockwise around the table. Each round, one card is dealt.  The player will make a guess about the card being dealt. If they answer incorrectly, they take a drink. They keep the card face up after each round.


Each round, the dealer asks the following questions:

  1. What is the color of the card?
  2. What is the suit of the card?
  3. Is the card higher, lower, or in between the two previous cards?
  4. Is the card the same as or different than the face value of the previous cards?

Flipping the pyramid

The dealer will now begin the process of riding the bus. The dealer will flip the cards row by row starting with the row of four cards. Each time a row is flipped, players place matching face cards on the cards of the row. If they discard any cards that row, they may give away drinks to other players. Each row awards varying number of drinks to give out. Players may give out all drinks awarded for that row to one player or divide them in anyway amongst several. Rows are worth the following number of drinks:

  1. Row 1 (4 cards in it) = 1 drink
  2. Row 2 (3 cards in it) = 2 drinks
  3. Row 3 (2 cards in it) = 3 drinks
  4. Row 4 (1 card in it) = 4 drinks

After all the bus riding is done, the player with the most cards rides the bus. In the event of a tie, players to draw from the remaining deck and highest card must ride the bus.

Riding the Bus

To ride the bus, the dealer builds another pyramid with all cards face up. Riding the bus starts in the bottom row at the first card in the row and moves across and up the pyramid. The one riding the bus will guess if the next card in the deck is higher or lower or equal to the next card in the pyramid. The card is drawn and placed on top of the card in the pyramid. If the player guesses wrong, they must start back at the beginning and take a drink. Riding the bus finishes when they player makes it to the top of the pyramid or the deck runs out. Here is a video about how to play ride the bus.

If you believe you may have a drinking problem, please see the Mayo Clinic alcohol use disorder resource for more information.

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