Horserace Drinking Game Rules


What is Horse Race?

What kind of materials do you need to play it?

Is it easy to learn?

When it comes to drinking games Horse Race is a popular choice. This is a classic drinking game that has been popular for a very long time. If you’re looking for a good, solid game to add to your repertoire for your next party or get-together, Horse Race is a great place to get started.

This game is very easy to learn and doesn’t take too much in order to play it. For this reason, it’s a good option for those who are just getting started learning about drinking games and looking for a way to branch out and try something new.

In this article, we’ll give you a quick rundown of everything you need to know in order to plan and enjoy your game of Horse Race. Whether you’re hosting the party yourself or just want to bring along a suggestion for a fun party game, you’ll be ready for any party situation when you master the art of playing this drinking game.

Remember, as always, that this is an adults-only game and that drinking alcohol is one of the major components of gameplay. Only play this game at an adults-only party and make sure everyone is safe when enjoying drinking games of any type.

Read on to learn more.

All The Basics and Materials Needed

Brush up on the basics to give yourself a good chance at playing or dealing Horse Race. If you’re the host of the party, you’ll most likely end up playing the role of the Dealer for this game, which means you may not be drinking much. However, you can also choose to take turns with other players if you don’t want to be the Dealer for every round, too.

As with any drinking game, if it’s your party, then it’s your house rules. Remind everyone how to play before you begin, and brush up on the info you need below.

  • Why is it called Horse Race? The game is based on the concept of betting on horse races, although very simplified. Instead of betting a horse, players bet on a suit of cards, and instead of losing money when they don’t win, players get drunk instead. The general concept is based on horse racing, but the outcome is fairly different.
  • What should you stock up on beforehand? You should make sure to have plenty of the drink of your choice as well as cups for everyone who will be playing. You’ll also need paper, a pen, and a full deck of cards. You may want betting chips, but you don’t have to use them.
  • How much and what type of alcohol does each player need? The type of alcohol used for this game can vary depending on your preference. All players should be drinking the same thing, however, to even the playing field. Beer and whiskey are both popular choices for this game, but again, anything goes.
  • How many players should there be? This game is best when played with at least three people and a Dealer—so four total players. However, it can be enjoyed with much larger groups as well, and players can divide into teams if there are too many people to keep track of otherwise. This is a very large group-friendly drinking game.

How to Play

The method of playing Horse Race is simple, but it can be a little confusing if you’re already feeling tipsy. Read up on the rules beforehand to help you get a feel for how to play.

  1. On the piece of paper, write down “Name,” “Suit,” and “Bet.” Divide the paper into three columns underneath these headers.
  2. Under the Name section, write the names of everyone playing the game.
  3. Under the Suit section, write the suit each player chose to bet on. Players can choose the same suit or everyone can pick a different one, but each player must choose only one per round.
  4. Under the Bet category, write down the amount of alcohol the player is betting. This is usually written in number of shots, but can also be written in “half a glass” or similar measurements, depending on the alcohol being used.
  5. Remove all the Aces from the deck of cards and set them face-up in a row.
  6. Lay a row of cards face-down lengthwise along one side of the table.
  7. The dealer then pulls one card at a time and lays the card down in the correct row. For example, if the dealer pulls a two of hearts, they will lay it down in the row beneath the Ace of hearts.
  8. When one line is filled up, the upside-down card from that line can be drawn and added to the race.
  9. The first suit to reach the end of the table is the winning “horse” for that round.
  10. The player that chose the correct suit can pass their drinks/shots off to other players and does not have to drink for that round.
  11. The players that bet on losing suits must drink the number of drinks/shots they bet plus any that are handed off to them.
  12. This game can be played in rounds and repeated until the players are too drunk to continue the game.


As you can see, this game is fun and easy to learn, and it can be a great classic to add to your party game rotation. This game can get players drunk fast, however, so be sure everyone plays in moderation. As the host, try to make sure those who have had too much to drink stop when they need to, and make sure no one drives after playing this game. Finally, this game should only be played by adults.

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of Horse Race, it’s time to try some changes to the original game. Variations on the rules can make this game more fun for the players, so here are a few to try:

  • If the group is small, make sure everyone picks a different suit. Larger groups won’t have to worry about this, but if you’re playing with just a few people, the game won’t be very fun if there’s no winner in a round. Therefore, encourage everyone to pick something different to avoid this problem.
  • Count points throughout several rounds to decide an ultimate winner at the end. There may not be anything in it for the winner other than bragging rights, but this can be a fun incentive for a drinking game anyway.
  • Flip over the upside-down cards and see which suit has the most representatives. The dealer will then set odds for the match based on this. For example, if there are four Diamonds in the upside-down cards, this will make it less likely for the Diamonds suit to be the winner, so the odds will vary. If the Dealer wants to, they can change the bets depending on the odds as well—but this may be too complicated if the Dealer has also been drinking at the party.

Try these changes to the game to ensure the experience is fun, fresh, and unique every time you play.

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