King’s Cup

King’s Cup-Drinking Game

“You put a cup in the middle of the table filled with Baijiu (white rice liquor). And ring the cards around the cup face down.  Each person has a beer.  Each person goes around in a circle

Ace- “Waterfall”- it means that one person starts drinking and then the next person starts drink and so on.  But you can only stop when the person in front of you stops.

2- “You”- point to someone and they have to drink

3- “Me” – the person who draws the card has to drink

4- “Whore”- the girls have to drink

5- “Never have I ever”- each persons says something they have never done, and if you have done it you have you put a figure down, and the first person to put all five fingers down has to drink

6- “Dicks”- Guys have to drink

7- “Heaven”- the last person to point to the sky has to drink

8- “Mate”- you chose someone who also has to drink with you

9- “Busta Rhymthe” – you have to go around in the circle rhyming and the person who stops the rhyme has to drink

10- “Categories”- the person chooses a theme and each person has to say an item within that category, and who ever cannot think of one has to drink

Jack- “Make a Rule” – the person has to make a rule and everyone has to follow it and if they don’t you have to drink

Queen- “Questions”- you can only speak to each other in questions, and if you answer you have to drink

King- you have to add to the drink in the middle, but if you pull the last King you have to drink the King’s Cup in the middle

And if you break the circle you have to take a shot.”

The informant played this game while studying abroad in China.  She says the reason why they played this game was to drink and have fun.  She learned it from other Americans studying abroad.  She says that is a fun way to pre-game before going out or if just a bunch of friends are hanging out.

This game is reminiscent of American college party culture although there is a Chinese twist, as the King’s Cup is filled with rice liquor.  The purpose of the game is to get the participants drunk because every time someone picks up a card at least one person has to drink.  The idea of having the cards in a circle is a reoccurring theme in folklore; as the circle is a representation of time.  And once the circle is broken the participant must drink – and not a sip of beer but a shot of hard alcohol – as if breaking this circle is breaking something important so the punishment is greater.  The loser of this game has to drink the King’s Cup in the middle when they pull the last King from the deck.  This is contrary to popular belief that getting something called the “King’s Cup” would be a good thing.  The game allows for folk games within a folk game.  For instance, when you draw a 5 you all play the game “Never Have I Ever” which is a folk game in itself.  Also the symbol of a “King’s Cup” may have come from the Holy Grail, which was the cup that Jesus used during the Last Supper.  And thus the “King’s Cup” is a very important relic, and the game “King’s Cup”

This game is an example of how college students employ folklore in their lives on a daily (well hopefully not every day) basis.