The Chinese are not only established as having the world’s biggest drinks brands, they also really do have incredible drinking games too!
However you view these drinking games, they are perhaps designed for maximum effect. That means the likelihood of being clear headed and sober after one of them might just depend on how much you managed to avoid drinking or if you drank water. So let’s look at some of these entertaining and unique Chinese Drinking Games:
- Chinese Drinking Games 1 : Liar’s Dice / Chui Nui
- Chinese Drinking Games 2 : Card Counting
- Chinese Drinking Games 3 : Two Little Bees (Liang Zhi Feng Ya Fei Dao Huacong Zhong Ya Fei Ya)
- Chinese Drinking Games 4 : Finger Guessing
- Chinese Drinking Games 5 : Gong Show
- Chinese Drinking Games 6 : Shi Wu (or Shi or Wu or 5, 10, 15)
- Chinese Drinking Games 7 : Chinese Poker
Chinese Drinking Games 1 : Liar’s Dice / Chui Nui
Perhaps simply known sometimes as Dice to foreigners, Liar’s Dice is the most famous (and perhaps potent) of Chinese drinking games! The Chinese of course know this game as Chui Nui; the premise is actually rather simple however.
To start with, each player has a cup with five 6-sided dice inside. You shake the cup and look at the dice then say a number, say 3 fours. The next person has to say higher, for example, 4 two’s. They cannot say lower, for example 2 sixes. It has to be higher than 3 as the number of dice.
However, you can also say 3 fives so essentially you are calling out either an increase in quantity or an increase in number!
A player can at any point shout “bu xing”, meaning not possible. The objective is not to get caught out lying about your number of dice or calling out when in fact you don’t have higher dice than the person you are calling out. So if you call out “bu xing” and the player you are calling out has the correct number or less, then you drink. If however the player has a higher number then it is indeed ‘not possible’ and they have to take a drink. Quite simply, the person who drinks is either the one caught out in a lie or the one who incorrectly calls out another player for lying about their dice. So in some ways it’s a bit like dominoes where you are calling the other person’s bluff and you may need a poker face when stating your dice.
Now imagine this game is played with a bottle of Baijiu! The smaller the amount of players, the more likely you will get drunk faster.
Chinese Drinking Games 2 : Card Counting
This game might have some similarities to snap because to avoid having to take a drink, you need to be fast at slapping the deck! The last one to do so drinks. The dealer shuffles the cards and then places cards down one at a time face up, counting from 1 to 13. After 10, Jack is 11, Queen is 12 and King is 13 (Ace representing 1).
As the dealer says the numbers from 1 to 13, the players need to watch closely. If the number called out matches the card turned over face up, the players slap the deck. So if the dealer calls out 7 and the card turned over is a 7, everyone slaps the deck. If the dealer calls out 12 and the card is a Queen, everyone slaps the deck. The last player to touch down with their hand loses and has to take a drink. They then have to accept a dare from the table if the table collectively chooses to do so. We haven’t played this game yet but I would imagine that as the drinks flow, the atmosphere would become more daring and the likelihood of the drinker having to undertake a dare increases!
If you do happen to play this game, watch the deck closely and get that hand ready to slap down fast or you might end up having to undertake the proposed dare.
Chinese Drinking Games 3 : Two Little Bees (Liang Zhi Feng Ya Fei Dao Huacong Zhong Ya Fei Ya)
I’m not sure of the translation but as you can see, the name of this game in Mandarin is a lot longer than the English version!
The premise of this game involves two players and begins with one player saying the phrase “Two bees fly down to a flower and fly”. Then the two participants indulge in a game of rock, paper, scissors. If one player loses, the ‘winner’ has to pretend to slap the other player 3 times. Make sure you don’t actually do so! This is simply symbolic. If however both players produce the same symbol such as rock at the same time, then both of you pretend to kiss.
The actual drinking happens if one player messes up the above rules, so this game might start slowly and as both players are concentrating more. Perhaps after a few ‘failures’, which would lead to a few drinks, the likelihood for making a mistake increases. Oh and both of you drink, not just the person who makes a mistake, so fear not, your gaming companion will possibly be as sober or affected by the alcohol as you are.
Chinese Drinking Games 4 : Finger Guessing
It sounds quite straightforward doesn’t it? And indeed, Finger Guessing is a game for ideally 2 participants so if you are out with a drinking companion and decide to up the fun by having a little drinking game, this might be the one to choose. What I would advise is that the likelihood of you guessing correctly is often unlikely so be prepared to lose most ‘hands’ you have!
Both players extend any number of fingers, for example you can use both hands but don’t show your opponent straight away. Then one of you shouts of the number of fingers your ‘opponent’ is holding up. If it is incorrect, you have to drink. If you are correct, you do not.
As you can probably guess, it is unlikely you will be correct very often so perhaps the real winner is the person who is the least drunk by the end of the game!
Chinese Drinking Games 5 : Gong Show
Gong Show is a game that requires…….a gong – or something that can be substituted as a gong at least. It is quite a traditional game and interestingly is based on characters from classic Chinese novel, Dream of the Red Chamber.
Gong Show is something that you might do well at if you are adept at pass the parcel. The premise is that one player beats a gong to keep time while the other players pass a flower around in a circle. Can you guess how you win or lose yet? Well, when the player with the gong stops, the player holding the flower has to drink. So it does have many similarities to pass the parcel or even musical chairs except that the losing player drinks!
There is an updated version of the game that involves playing music instead of beating a gong and stopping when a player is holding the flower but the traditional way is with a gong.
Chinese Drinking Games 6 : Shi Wu (or Shi or Wu or 5, 10, 15)
This is a much easier game to follow than finger guessing which let’s face it you are unlikely to win very often!
Shi Wu is often known as 5, 10, 15 and the idea is quite simple. You need two players and the idea is to simply guess the correct number of fingers. Both players count down before revealing their hands and it can only be 0, 5 or 10 fingers held up. One player has to guess the total number of fingers held up at the ‘reveal’ moment. They can shout 0, 5, 10, 15 or 20.
The difficulty of course is that although you know how many fingers you are going to hold up, you don’t know how many your opponent will be revealing. If the person shouting the guessed amount is correct, the other person has to drink. If the person guessing does so twice, then they have to drink. I am not 100% sure if the person guessing has to guess incorrectly twice in a row in order to have a forfeit drink as you would simply avoid calling out twice (if your first guess was wrong) but perhaps there is a better authority to confirm this small detail. It may be that both players agree to have two guesses in a row to make sure one player is not always escaping having to drink.
The idea is easy though. Guess correct, they drink. Guess wrong twice, you drink.
Chinese Drinking Games 7 : Chinese Poker
This is not an officially recognised drinking game but if you introduce a bottle of Baijiu and those small shot glasses, the fun increases. There are some similarities to Texas Hold ‘Em but this game is simpler to play.
You can play with up to four players in total as you will be using a standard 52 card deck. Each player has 13 cards dished out from the shuffled deck. If however there are perhaps three players, then the remaining 13 cards are put aside and not used. If only two of you are playing then each player has a 13 card hand in reserve to save the dealer having to reissue more cards later.
Once you have your thirteen cards, you need to arrange them into three poker hands. These consist of 2 five card hands and 1 three card hand. The three card hand has to be the worst then the other 2 five card hands have better cards. First, you place the highest ranking five cards or your ‘back’ hand face down. Then the ‘middle’ five card hand is placed in front of the back hand and lastly the three card hand is placed face down in front of the middle hand.
Each player then announces if they are playing their hand, going round clockwise. All players then compare hands by turning over their cards and matching it against their opponents corresponding hands, so you put your front three against your opponent’s front three and so on. You can add a point for each hand won and a bonus point if you actually manage to win all three hands.
Bonus points can also be rewarded too but if a player makes three flushes or three straights, they automatically win that hand.
If you are familiar with poker you are more likely to do well at this game and if not, well, you will learn as you play it but you may lose a few hands first. You ideally have straights on the bottom and pairs higher than sixes on top.