Ride the Bus

If you love public transportation then this the the game for you! Or if you are a schoolchild. Wait but actually if you’re a schoolchild then get off this website what are you doing here?

Joking aside, this game is easy, fun, and lasts only about 15 minutes. It’s a great way to get a party started as it gets everybody drinking quickly, or anytime during the party as well.


  • Table, circle, rectangle, anything you can fit a bunch of people around
  • Deck of Cards
  • Drinks

How to Play

Riding the bus is actually the opposite of what you want to do in this game, unless your goal is to get messed up which is a respectable plan! There isn’t too much skill involved here, just playing the cards you’re dealt and dishing out drinks to whoever gives you the wrong look.


  • Not a lot of setup here, just shuffle up your cards, and gather everyone around the table.
  • Pick someone to be the bus driver. They will still be playing the game, but also in charge of giving out the cards. A very empowering position. In the words of Cosmo Kramer, “Now I’M driving the bus!”

Getting Started

Give all the cards to the bus driver and put some good music on. This is a great game for just chilling and chatting while you play.

Gameplay will be split into 3 parts, first where you receive all your cards, then when you’re trying to give them away, and finally 1 lucky player gets to ride the bus.


Round 1
  • During round 1, the bus driver asks players 4 questions, based on the cards they are going to be given.
  • Starting with the player to the left, ask them question 1. Once they give their answer, give them their card, and see if they were right or wrong.
  • If they were correct, they can choose anyone in the room to give the a drink too. If they were incorrect, they must take the drink themselves.
  • Go around the circle, asking all players the first question. They give or receive their drinks as soon as they get their card.
  • Once all players, the driver included, have answered question 1, the process is repeated for questions 2-4, based on the cards they already have.
Questions for Round 1:
  • Question #1: Red or Black? Players must guess if the first card that they receive will be red or black. Seems unnecessary to explain but if it is a heart or diamond it is red, if it is a spade or club it is black.
  • Question #2: Higher or Lower? Players now guess whether their next card will be higher or lower than their first card.
  • If it is a tie (i.e. they have a 6 and receive a 6) they have to drink double. They can guess for a tie but the odds of success are pretty low.
  • Ace can be high or low, it’s your party man. Although come to think of it, I’ve never met an ace is low type of person and frankly I don’t want to. Living in backwards world. That’s the type of person to buy 1st class tickets on Spirit Airlines.
  • Question #3: In between or out? Now that players have 2 cards, they must guess whether their third card will be in between these 2, or out. For example, if you have a 3 and a Jack, odds are you would say in between because that includes all cards from 4 through to 10.
  • Players can guess a tie here as well, as there are now 2 cards that could be tied with!
  • Question #4: Which suit? Players just need to guess whether their final card will be a Heart, Diamond, Spade, or Club.

This concludes Round 1! All players can now pick up their cards, as they will need them for Round 2 and may want to keep them secret.

Round 2
  • For Round 2, the bus driver now lays out cards upside down from the remaining deck in a pyramid pattern, with 4 cards on bottom, 3 in the next row, 2 in the next and 1 card at the top. Looks something like this:
Setup for Round 2 of Ride the Bus
Setup for Round 2 of Ride the Bus
  • Then, flip the bottom 4 cards to reveal what they are. If you get any of the same value, place new cards over it until you get a new one.
  • If any of the 4 cards in a player’s hand matches the value of any of the flipped cards on the table, they can put their card on top of it, face up.
  • For each of the cards they put down on the first row of flipped cards, they can give out 1 sip to anyone else.
  • Next, flip the row of 3 cards over. Replace any repeats with new cards from the deck again.
  • For this round, if any players have matching cards they can put them face up on the card and give out 2 sips.
  • Repeat this process for the final 2 rows. Any cards players put down from the row of 2 are worth 3 drinks, and the card on top is worth 4.

Everyone count up the number of cards they have left in their hands. Whoever has the most left gets to ride the bus!

If 2 or more players have the same number of cards remaining, give each tied player an additional card, and whoever has the lowest must ride.

Round 3
  • For the final round, lay out 5 cards face down in a row, looking like this:
Setup for Round 3 of Ride the Bus
Setup for Round 3 of Ride the Bus
  • Flip all 5 cards face up, and ask your passenger which end of the bus they would like to start at.
  • Starting on this end, the driver asks our victim, sorry passenger, whether the card they are about to place on top of each card will be higher or lower than the card that is face up. If they guess correctly, they move on to the next card, but if they are wrong, they must take a sip and start back at the beginning!
  • Even if they get to the final card and then get it wrong, they must start all the way at the beginning again, guessing higher or lower on the new cards.
  • Note that a tie counts as neither higher or lower, so unless the player says tie, they have to drink double and go back to the beginning.
  • Once our passenger gets all 5 correct in a row, they can happily exit the bus and the game is over.

Usually a game of ride the bus only takes about 10-15 minutes, so once one bus driver completes their game, you can pass the deck to the next person in line and play again! Provided they’re not too drunk to drive of course.


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