How to Play the Across the River Drinking Game

Across The River Drinking Game by

Across The River is a simple drinking game for two or more players. It’s similar to a number of other games like Ride the Bus or Accross the Bridge in which one player attempts to make it from one side of the cards to the other without messing up.

What You’ll Need To Play

For this game all you’re going to need is drinks, a standard deck of cards and at least 2 players. We recommend playing with 3 or 4 players, but any number is fine. The deck of cards can be used with or without jokers (there’s more drinking if jokers are included).

Across The River Drinking Game Rules

First one player must be declared the dealer for the first round. The dealer doesn’t do any drinking so it’s a good role for a Designated Driver or someone who doesn’t plan on getting sloppy.

Next the dealer shuffles the deck and deals out 9 cards in a diamond pattern face down on the table.

Now the dealer chooses a player to cross the river.

The river crosser’s goal is to flip over one card in each row of the diamond, from left to right, until they reach the end. (5 cards total).

The catch is, if the river crosser flips over any face card they must drink accordingly and then restart from the start. The dealer replenishes the cards in the diamond.

  • Jack – Drink once and restart
  • Queen – Drink twice and restart
  • King – Drink three times and restart
  • Ace – Drink four times and restart
  • Joker (optional) – Finish your drink and restart

So if a player is lucky they will flip 5 cards with ease and then get to become the dealer and choose who goes next. Otherwise they need to continue attempting until they get across.

Watch It Played

The Across The River drinking game can amount to a lot of drinking if lady luck isn’t on your side, so please make sure to drink responsibly and take a break if you need one. If you want an easier version of the game consider removing the jokers.