Ride the Bus Drinking Game
Ride the Bus: What's it all about?
This week’s featured drinking game can be played as either a cruel & unusual punishment for other games or as an independent game. For those of you who are not familiar with Riding the Bus—it is often done by losers of another game or as punishment for failing to do part of another game (for example, failing to name your cards in the correct order at the end of Bullshit Pyramid).
If you are Riding the Bus as punishment for another game, you will want to do only the "Bus Time" section at the end. If you are looking to play the entire game, you will want to start from the beginning. Riding the bus is surprisingly fun even as a drinking game for two if you are looking to play the independent game! For those of you who are familiar with Riding the Bus… you know you best stay on top of your game in order to avoid that final bus ride! 🤣
What you need:
- Deck of Cards
- Drink of choice for participants (beer is the usual)
- 1+ “bus rider” (participant) for punishment, 2+ for full game
Set it Up!
A non-participant in the “bus ride” will take on the role of dealer. The dealer will shuffle the cards, and we’re ready to roll! Yep, that’s it for now!
Participants will receive 4 cards total from the dealer in 4 separate rounds. Each round is broken out below. Drinks will be assigned by players throughout the game; they can be split up or all given to one person.
1st Card: The dealer will ask the first participant to choose between red or black. Once the participant has chosen a color, the dealer will flip the first card in front of them. If the participant was correct, they give out one drink. If they were wrong, they take one drink. The participant holds onto their card. The dealer move clockwise and repeats with the next participant until all have one card.
2nd Card: The dealer starts back with the first participant, and asks whether they think the next card flipped will be higher or lower than their first card. Once they decide, the dealer flips the next card from the deck in front of them. If correct, they give out two drinks. If incorrect (same card is considered incorrect as well), they take two drinks. Again, the dealer repeats this process with remaining participants until all have two cards.
3rd Card: The dealer will now start again with the first participant and ask whether they think the next card in the deck will be inside or outside of their two current cards. (For example, if a player has a 5 and a 7, they will most likely say “outside”. If the card is a 5-7, they will be incorrect. If the card is anything but a 5-7, they will be correct). If the player is correct, they give out 3 drinks. If incorrect, they take 3 drinks. The dealer repeats this process with all players until each has 3 cards.
4th Card: The dealer will start again with the first participant and ask which suit they think the next card in the deck will be. If correct, the participant can give out 8 drinks. If incorrect, they must take 4 drinks. This is repeated with each participant until all have four cards.
Who will Ride the Bus?
Now that each player has four cards, we are ready to determine who will ride the bus. Each player will hold onto their four cards, and the dealer will create a pyramid of face-down cards using the remaining cards in the deck. This pyramid should have a base of 5 cards (second row will have 4 cards, third will have 3, fourth will have 2, and fifth will have 1).
Once the face-down pyramid has been created, the dealer begins flipping cards from the base. When the first card has been flipped, any player with a card of the same face-value can assign 2 drinks. **Players with matching face-value cards can stack their card onto the pyramid match, OR they can choose to hold onto the card in hopes of giving out more drinks if it matches another card in the pyramid. However, the player with the most cards remaining at the end rides the bus—playing it safe would mean giving the card up once it matches!
The dealer continues to flip cards, and players assign drinks for their matches. Once the entire base row has been flipped, we move onto row 2. Row 2 cards are worth 4 drinks. Row 3 cards are worth 6 drinks, Row 4 cards are worth 8 drinks, and the Row 5 card is worth an entire beer! (Players can agree upon different values for each row if preferred).
Once all cards have been flipped, the player with the most cards remaining will ride the bus!
It’s Bus Time
**This is where most people begin when Riding the Bus is used as punishment for another game!
If players have tied for the most cards remaining, all tied players will ride the bus. The dealer will re-shuffle cards and repeat the four questions from the beginning with each bus rider. The difference is that this time, each bus rider must answer all four questions correctly in a row! If the player answers any questions incorrectly, they start over with Red or Black. The player must take a drink for each question answered incorrectly. The order of questions follows the beginning of the game:
- Red or Black?
- Higher or Lower?
- Inside or Outside?
This can get pretty painful, so some people put a mercy cap on it. If a player goes through the entire deck without getting all four answers correct consecutively, you can choose to cut them a break and end the game. The level of cruel and unusual is up to you!
Try it Out!
That’s it for this one! We wish you luck!! Have any questions or a great story about that one time you rode the bus? Let us know in the comments below! As always, drink responsibly and have a blast!