New Year’s Eve is synonymous with drinking greater than average amounts of alcohol, and as long as no one’s driving anywhere or telling everyone what they really think, that’s more or less fine. Normally I don’t need an excuse to dump a seltzer down the hatch, but gift website Yellow Octopus analyzed Google search data to find out which drinking games are most searched for on the eve of the new year, and it turns out certain games are pretty popular in specific states. Not only that, but certain states are demonstrating more interest than others in finding the right drinking game to play this year.
Of all the top ten states that searched for drinking games the most this year, most are in places that get cold and snowy in winter, with one notable exception.
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
Vermont came in first place. Everyone likes hunkering down inside by the fire when it’s snowy outside, and drinking in close proximity to one another is pretty conducive to spontaneous drinking games. Similarly, every other state in the list is one I associate with cloistered, blustery winters—except for Hawaii. But hey, there’s no rule that says you can’t play Truth or Drink outside on the beach.
I’m long past my college drinking game days, so I haven’t kept up with party games besides my once-every-five-years brush with beer pong. But beer pong doesn’t even rank among the most popular drinking games, presumably because it requires so much setup and equipment to play. (Either that or no one has to Google the rules to beer pong, because those rules live forever inside the mind of every young American adult.)
The top three drinking games are:
- Ride the Bus
- Ring of Fire
- I Drink and I Know Things
After glancing over the rules for “Ride the Bus,” I can see why it’s the one that’s most searched for. Ride the Bus is a card game that sounds pretty complicated on paper (thank you to Thrillist for attempting to explain how it works). It involves a deck of playing cards, three phases, and multiple rounds of gameplay per phase, with varying objectives depending on the round. Because there are so many segments to the game, the chances that you’ll have to drink during each one are ample.
“Ring of Fire,” as explained by Cosmopolitan, is also a game stuffed with rules. You draw playing cards carefully laid around an empty pint glass, taking great care not to break the contiguous circle of them (if you do, you drink). Each card triggers a different spontaneous group activity that ends in someone drinking. Forgot to point toward heaven when you saw a 7? Take a drink. Didn’t come up with a rhyme when you drew a nine? Take a drink. If you’re wondering why the empty pint glass is in the middle, it’s because throughout the game people are contributing splashes of their own beverage to it and one unlucky person has to drink the contents at some point, a needless flourish that sounds fucking disgusting.
And finally, “I Drink and I Know Things” is a drinking game that you can download online and print out for gameplay. It involves trivia face-offs, random action cards, and card matching. Sounds quite complicated, especially if everyone starts off a bit buzzed already. But the end result is the same for everyone: you’ll imbibe. Probably a lot.
Whichever of these games sounds best to you, here’s hoping you find enough friends to join in on the fun this New Year’s Eve. My tendency for raging hangovers means that I’ll cheer you on from the sidelines, but know that I am rooting for you. Game on, and good luck.