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Horse Racing is a card game inspired by the sport of Kings. The fun ensues as you and your friends lay bets on “horses” and pay dearly for their poor showing in the races to follow. Of course, there does exist the possibility that your bet could pay off, however, as we all know, to repeatedly win a drinking game is to enjoy a rather hollow victory and a sober evening.

How to Play

This can get complicated so keep your wits about you. You will need a long table, a deck of cards and at least 4 friends. To set up for play, remove the ace of every suit and place them face up in a row at the end of a table. These will serve as your “horses”. Place the King and Queen of each suit, as this is the sport of kings, in a row face up along the side of the table. These cards will serve as markers and are termed “marking cards”. The spots parallel to these “marking cards” are called “marking spaces.”

To begin play, each player must choose one of the four Aces to bet on. This bet is entered by saying something like, “I bet 3 on hearts”. By betting on a suit each player is hoping that the Ace of that suit will win, absolving them of any drinking obligations for that round. If the suit does not win the race, the bet determines how much they will have to drink. Further, players may make multiple bets, or bets on more than one suit, with the rules for the race remaining the same. After each player has entered a bet then the race is ready to begin.

One of the participants must act as a dealer (and race commentator) for the game. It is his or her job to turn over the remaining cards, one at a time, determining which “horse” moves. Every card turned over will correspond to the suit of one of the Aces. The Ace whose suit matches the turned cards suit is moved up one marking space by the dealer. For example, if the first card turned over is a spade then the Ace of Spades is moved up the track one space. If the next card is a heart then the Ace of Hearts is moved up one marking space. Play continues like this until one of the “horses”(Aces) wins. As soon as one of the “horses” crosses the finish line, having passed by the last King or Queen, the race has ended and all of the other cards remain where they are. Again, the “horse” must pass the last marking card in order to win. It has not won if it is still occupying the marking space parallel to the last marking card. Here is where the betting comes in.

However short of the finish line each of the other three cards is determines how much the players who bet on these losing cards must multiply their bets by. This number equals the amount each player must pay up in sips of their beverage. Let us say that the Ace of Hearts finished two marking spaces behind the winner. The player who bet 3 on the Ace of Hearts in our example then has to drink 6, 2 marking spaces times a bet of 3. Marking spaces are counted back from, and include, the last King or Queen in the row. Therefore, if the race ended with an ace parallel to the finish line, the last King or Queen, then players betting on this particular suit would only be required to drink at a value equal to their bet, as one marking space, 1, multiplied by any number is that number. The players who bet on the winning card count for the losers.

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