Cuckoo Drinking Game

The Cuckoo drinking game (Sometimes known as Chase the Ace or Ranter-Go-Round) Is a simple drinking game that only requires a deck of cards and some drinks. Typically when played as a drinking game it takes turns in multiple rounds until only one player remains.


One standard 52 card deck and drinks

Set up

At the start of each round a dealer is chosen to deal one card face down to every player. The dealer should rotate every round to keep it fair.


The goal of this game is to not have the lowest card at the table. For the player with the lowest card at the end of each round must finish a full drink and are eliminated from future rounds. Players go in turn either keeping their cards or swapping with their neighbor until every player has taken an action.

Cuckoo Rules

Ace is low and king is high. Turn order of this game is clockwise. After each player has been dealth a face down card by the dealer they are allowed to look at it. Play starts with the player to the left of the dealer. That player looks at their card and then decides whether to keep it or to swap with the next player to their left. Then the next player makes the same decision. This keeps going until every player has swapped or kept their card.

At the end the last player to act should be the dealer. He may not swap cards with the player to his left but may instead choose to cut a random card from the deck as his new card.

If a player has a King they can knock the table and flip the card. This means nobody can swap with them and they will finish the round with that King.

At the end of each round whoever has the lowest card is the loser. They must chug a drink and then are eliminated from the game. The remaining players now play another round. Each round the new dealer is the player to the left of the previous dealer.

Optional Rule: Joker

If players wish to add a small bit of drinking to the game they can leave jokers in the deck. If a player is ever dealt a joker they immediately drink 3 times and request a new card from the dealer.


The Cuckoo drinking game is simple and exciting. It’s slightly different than the normal version of the game because the non-drinking variant doesn’t have any players eliminated between rounds.