Prost! A guide to German drinking games (for dummies!)

If the thought of German drinking games evokes images of beer steins and lederhosen, this blog’s for you.

Photo Credit: The Real Darren Stone

Photo Credit: The Real Darren Stone

No, seriously. You need it.

Welcome to the 21st century, where drinking games in Germany and all over the world have evolved, after generations of trial-and-error experimentation, into what now looks something like this:

According to Wikipedia, the origins of the drinking game date back to antiquity, with one of the earliest known drinking games described in Plato’s “Symposium”, where a bunch of semi-nude guys sat in a circle and drank from a jug, slapped it and passed it on.

Today, the typical Saufspiel (or Trinkspiel)– from the German saufen, to drink alcohol, (or trinken, to drink) and das Spiel, game—has a plethora of manifestations, and it’s time for us to rid ourselves of any archaic notions we cling to that involve pretzels, lederhosen and the German drinking game.

(Incidentally, if you don’t cling to these notions, good for you! Here’s to dispelling stereotypes. Imaginary clink)

To make it easy for us, this generous organization has already compiled a list of the top party games in Deutschland and descriptions of each.

This one got four stars! It’s called Arschgrabschen (Arsch-grabbing) and it goes like this:

There should be an equal number of male-female volunteers, they recommend 4-4, but really, it could be mehr oder weniger (more or fewer).

1. The women sit on chairs while the men pick out a woman.
2. Each man takes a good mental note of “his” woman’s posterior parts, as there will be a test later.
3. The men are then blindfolded and the women, of course, switch places.
4. The men are left to identify which woman he picked through a little bit of arsch-grabbing (hence the name). First one to guess correctly wins!

Hmm … I’m assuming the alcohol consumption took place before the game?

Na ja, this next one’s a winner though—it earned five whole stars (!), making it the overall favorite of the site’s nearly 1.7 million visitors. Plus you won’t have to worry about any sexual harassment suits …

It’s called, simply, “Circle”. Reminds me a little of Circle of Death  … no, wait … it is Circle of Death! And auf Deutsch, no less!

Here’s another site that’s serving up a large helping of German drinking games.

This site sorts games by game type (card, dice, skill) and difficulty level.
One game, called card sucking, (Karten saugen) is similar to a game I’ve heard of here in the States, though I didn’t play it the way they describe it here.

So the goal is to use your mouth to suck in the card and pass it to the next player in a circle (no hands!) and if the card falls, you take a drink. This version says if the card falls, you have to drink with that person to “Bruderschaft!” (brotherhood) and then kiss them on the mouth, regardless of sex.

I must have been playing the PG version.

Luckily for us, in order to see more demonstrations of modern German drinking games, we have only to go to Youtube and type in “trinkspiel” and we find that people are only too willing to publicize their cultural imbibing traditions (for our own scientific research purposes, naturally).

Like this one, for example:

That said, it doesn’t take a genius to figure these drinking games out.

Perhaps they will be of some use to someone in their next anthropological study of the German culture. After all, what could bring two cultures closer than a little Arschgrabschen and a kiss on the mouth?

To Bruderschaft!

One thought on “Prost! A guide to German drinking games (for dummies!)

  1. The game you talk about that Plato describes in Symposium reminds me a lot of one of my favorite drinking games called slap the bag. It’s pretty similar, except it involves a bag of wine (Franzia is recommended) instead of a jug and naked men aren’t required (unless you want them of course). I think it’s pretty amazing that something as trivial as this has been around since Plato’s era.

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