Pennsylvania, USA – Stump
Stump is a popular game played in an area of Pennsylvania referred to as “Pennsyltucky,” a nickname given to the region by people in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to describe the rural countryside between those two cities. Stump is a favorite among college students, especially at Penn State, and is played in the forests or on farms throughout the Pennsyltucky region.
Stump finds its roots in a German drinking game called Hammerschlagen, meaning “to hit with a hammer.” To play you need a hammer, a tree stump, nails, beer, and skillful aim. Each player must hammer a nail halfway into the stump, so that it can stand on its own without falling out.
Once the arena is set, it’s you versus everyone else. Each player takes turns throwing the hammer into the air, catching it, and in one swift movement hammering an opponent’s nail into the stump. If the player hammers in the opponent’s nail, the opponent must drink. If sparks fly from the strike, everyone drinks. And if the player misses, he or she must drink. There are plenty of rules, conditions, and other nuances of the game, but it all varies by region.
Germany – Bierkastenrennen
Literally translating to “beer crate running,” this game combines two favorite activities among Germans: running and drinking. To play, everyone breaks into teams of two, and they’re given a case of beer. A course is set, usually around a lake or field — the distance is typically 5km to 15km. The objective of the game is to not only be the first team to cross the finish line, but the first team to do it with a finished case of beer.
There are plenty of strategies: Teams can finish the beer first then run the course; run the course and finish the beer just before crossing the finish line; or have one person drink while the other person carries the case, switching off throughout the course. But most Germans who play the sport carry the case together, and both teammates drink and run simultaneously.
Russia – Tiger Has Come
In a game called Tiger Has Come, Russians combine gambling with heavy drinking. To play, everyone sits at a table and places their bet on the table. Throughout the evening, the game leader will say “tiger has come.” Each player must then hide under the table and take a shot of vodka. They’re only allowed to come back up when the leader announces the tiger’s left. Once the tiger’s left, each player has to get back up to his or her seat and place another bet on the table.
This continues throughout the night until there’s one person left who can still get up from under the table. The winner gets to keep the money but also must host the next game and supply the vodka.
China – Jiuling
The game of Jiuling is about 3,200 years old, making it the world’s oldest drinking game and the Chinese the forefathers of competition drinking.
To play, drinkers need a glass of beer, fingers, and math skills. Players begin by holding up a certain number of fingers behind their backs. Each player tries to guess the combined number of fingers being held up. Whoever guesses the closest to the correct answer gets to enjoy their victory by watching the losers drink. The game heats up the longer it progresses, as math skills become compromised the more players drink!
Wyoming, USA — Gelande Quaffing
Like most drinking games, this one exists purely because there was nothing else better to do at the time of its invention. In 1986 the Jackson Hole Air Force, a secret ski club in Wyoming, was trapped in a bar waiting out a blizzard. Naturally, to pass the time, club members spent their entrapment drinking. With every order, the bartender would slide a freshly poured draft down the bar for the patron to catch. During one of the orders, someone accidentally let their glass slide off the end of the bar, but they were able to catch it just before it hit the ground. It was an epic move that the entire bar tried to reenact, thusly creating the game Gelande Quaffing.
Twenty-eight years later, this game’s become a semi-organized sporting event with timed rounds and a point system based off how stylish the catches are. Two teams of four members try to see how many beers they can slide to each other and drink before the time runs out. This is a game where everyone comes out as a winner, having drunk his or her fill of beer and having a fun time while doing so. Even spectators get a good show.