Pre-Drinks: Sorted.


Trying to find a suitable drinking game at pre-drinks is an existential crisis many students will face. Recognising this struggle, I’ve compiled a list that will appeal to every kind of person, whether you’re a fresher getting to know flatmates for the first time, or you’re reuniting with your besties after a long summer apart.

It’s important to stress though, that no-one should ever feel forced into, or to continue a drinking game when they don’t want to. Similarly, if a person feels that another drink will make them intoxicated beyond a level which they are comfortable with, they can say no and their decision must be respected. DrinkAware provide useful information and advice on alcohol harm and drinking safely. Drinking games can help people bond and produce great hilarity too, but they should never be compulsory, nor taken to a reckless level. That said, it’s perfectly possibly to drink responsibly and still have great fun with drinking games, which is what this article’s all about!

  1. ‘Never Have I Ever’

How do you play?

I’m sure you don’t need an explanation here, but in case you’ve forgotten, each person says something that they’ve never done by saying “never have I ever…” and those who have done it drink! I’d advise, though, that if you have international housemates changing the phrase to “I have never…” avoids confusion from unnecessarily complicated wordplay that only gets more difficult when alcohol’s involved.

Don’t underestimate the fundamental role that ‘Never Have I Ever’ plays in icebreaking and getting to know new housemates. It falls into the category of ‘a classic’ but is easier and more versatile than others. Its ability to cause intoxication or provide the juiciest of gossip means it’ll always have a place at pre-drinks. Playing this game is a right of passage in Freshers, and getting the elaborate anecdotes out of people is the game’s highlight. You can always alter it a bit by making everyone put three/five fingers to represent them having three lives. Each time you’ve done something, you lose a life. On losing all of them, you down your drink!

  1. Paranoia

How do you play?

Briefly summarised, you arrange yourselves into a circle, and one person begins by whispering to the person next to them a question. For example: “who is the funniest?”. That person then has about 10 seconds to decide which person the question most applies to in the circle and points silently at them (you can’t choose the questioner). If that person wants to know what the question was, they have to drink, and the person that pointed to them has to say what the question was. After due reaction, the person that just pointed will then whisper to the next person and you continue around the circle.

WARNING: You may need to rely on your judgment whether this game is suitable for your group or not, it requires you not to take the answers too seriously. However, at the same time, the tension and mystery is what makes it fun! Example questions include things like “who is the most attractive?”, “who is most likely to end up in jail?”,  and if you’re feeling brutal with good friends: “who is most vanilla in bed?”.

  1. Flunkyball

How do you play?

I think a written explanation may just confuse you, but I’ll just say it involves throwing a ball and downing beers with your teammates:

This game I learned during my year abroad in Germany, and it was fabulous because it appealed to my competitive nature and makes you really bond with your teammates! Tip: you want people on your team who have good aim but are also good at downing things. It’s usually played with beer, but if that’s not for you then swap for dark fruits!

  1. Mushroom

How do you play?

Mushroom’s a low effort game, involving a pack of cards. In a nutshell, you place a cup in the middle of your group and balance cards on it. Two corners of the card must be hanging free each time one is placed, and eventually, all the cards will fall and the person who makes them has to either: down their own drink or the dirty pint that you made in the cup of the middle of you all!

Of course, adding the dirty pint ups the ante slightly, especially if it’s a particularly gruesome one! Like drunk Jenga, it really tests your hand-eye coordination if you play it at the end of pres, trust me. It provides a great backdrop for chatting away or singing the classics.

  1. Arrogance

How do you play?

Arrogance involves two people standing back-to-back so they can’t see each other, drinks at the ready. The remainder of the group ask them questions, for example: “who is the best dancer?”. Of the two people standing, if they think it applies to them they drink. If one person drinks, fair enough, but if they’re both ‘arrogant’ and drink then both have to drink again as a consequence. If neither of them drink, then the rest of the room has to.

This may be one, similar to Paranoia, that you may have to judge with care the type of people you have in your group. It’s most fun if you keep it fast-paced and don’t be afraid of being ‘arrogant’, the juicier the questions asked the better! You can add in an element of an old western shootout to this game as well. Each time only one person drinks that person takes a step forward, if both drink they both take a step back, and if neither of them drink they don’t move. The first person to take five steps forward wins, and the other person has to down their drink.

Once again, it’s vital to remember that not everyone will want to drink during Freshers, so make sure you’re not pressuring people into drinking if they don’t want to. The most important thing is that everyone stays safe and has fun!


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