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How to Play Ride the Bus Drinking Game

ride the bus drinking game

If you’re tired of playing the same beer games when friends get together, the Ride the Bus drinking game will shake things up. There are a few rounds, so it might sound more complicated than bouncing a ball into a cup. But the game is easy to learn, and you’ll have a blast playing with a big group of friends. 

Ride the Bus Drinking Game Rules 

What You Will Need to Play

deck of cards

How Many Players Do You Need to Play the Ride the Bus Drinking Game?

You can play with as few as two players because you only need the dealer who acts as the bus driver and the player who serves as the rider. But like many other beer games, the more players you have, the more fun the game. 

What is the Objective of Ride the Bus? 

The objective is to answer the questions the dealer or bus driver asks correctly because, in the end, the loser is the player that has to ride the bus. 

Ride the Bus Setup

  1. Assign a player who understands the game as the dealer, also known as the bus driver
  2. The rest of the players should sit around the table and have their beers ready

How to Play Ride the Bus

The Ride the Bus game is four rounds. At the end of the fourth round, the loser will be determined. This player who must ride the bus is typically the player who has had the most drinks. The following are the directions for playing the Ride the Bus drinking game.

Round 1

The dealer starts with the player on their left and asks everyone around the table the first question: “red or black?” The dealer then places the first card in front of each player. The first player checks their card; if they are correct, they can distribute a drink. If they are wrong, then they must take a drink.

This continues around the circle until everyone receives their first card and either distributes or takes a drink. 

Round 2

The second round question is “higher or lower?” The ace is the highest, and the two is the lowest card. Players must guess if the value is higher or lower than their first card. The players who are correct can distribute a drink, and the players who are wrong must take a drink. If you received the exact same card, it’s considered a penalty, and the player must take a drink.

Round 3

The third round question is “in between or outside?” Players must guess if the next card they receive fits in between or outside the value of their first two cards. 

For example, if a player has a ten and a King, guesses the card is outside the value of the first two cards, and receives an Ace, they are correct. Again, the correct players get to distribute a drink to whoever they want, and if they are wrong, they must take a drink.

You automatically win if you have two identical cards and call the third card ‘outside.’ If you receive a third matching card, you automatically lose and have to take a drink. 

Round 4 (Final Round)

The final round question is, “what suit is the card?” So players must guess spades, clubs, hearts, or diamonds. 

The players who guess correctly get to distribute five drinks to any player (or players) they wish. If they are incorrect, they have to take a drink.

Now there is a second part to the final round. Each player collects their four cards. Then the dealer arranges his cards into a pyramid with all cards face down flat on the table. Five cards are at the base, four at the next level up, three cards, two cards, and one card. 

Each row is given a drink value. For example, the bottom row can have a value of one drink, two drinks for the second row with four cards, three drinks for the third row with three cards, and the fourth row with two cards equals four drinks. The top row of one card can be a special craft beer or another beverage of choice. 

The values can be changed to whatever number of drinks the groups prefer. To begin the game, the dealer turns one card over at a time on the bottom row. Any player who has the matching card must place it onto the pyramid. Then they get to distribute the allocated number of drinks for that row to whichever player or players they want. If more than one person has the same card, they can also place it on the pyramid. 

So if, for example, a Queen is in the bottom row and a player has a Queen too, they can place it on top of the other one and hand out one drink to other players. 

This continues with each row all the way up the pyramid. The goal is to get rid of as many cards as possible by making matches.

One strategy is to save your cards and match them in higher rows with higher values of drinks that can be distributed. However, this move can be risky because the player with the most cards loses the game and has to ride the bus.

How to Win the Ride Bus Drinking Game

The player who answers the most questions right and has the least cards at the end wins the game. 

Riding the Bus

The player with the most cards loses. Players with the same number of cards can pick a card each from the dealer’s deck. The player with the higher card loses and must ride the bus. If they get the same card, they must pick another for the tiebreaker. 

Now the player who has to ride the bus isn’t done. They must go back to the beginning and answer all four questions again. Whenever they get an answer wrong, they must repeat the first question, ‘red or black?’

The game stops once the player correctly answers all four questions in a row or the entire deck is used. At this point, the person riding the bus is usually pretty drunk. Please be careful with this game and drink responsibly. If they appear drunk earlier in the game, it’s better to end it.