Locomotive is a simple drinking card game that is quick to play and can jump-start a party. Players take turns in a circle playing cards and drinking more and more as the “Locomotive” picks up speed, only to stop when the train of cards is broken.
Players: 3+ players Required Supplies: Deck of Playing Cards
To start playing Locomotive, all players should sit in a circle and the deck of cards should be dealt out entirely. Discard any extra card that are leftover after dealing out the deck so that each player has the same amount of cards. Each player should leave their pile of cards face down.
The player sitting left of the dealer will start by turning over the first card in their pile and placing it in the centre. Let’s call this person Player #1. The next player sitting clockwise from the previous player will then turn over the top card from their pile and place it in the centre. Let’s call this person Player #2. Player #2 will now take a drink of their drink if the following scenarios occurs.
Player #2’s card is within one count of Player #1’s card
Player #1 plays a six, Player #2 plays a five -or- Player #1 plays Queen, Player #2 plays King
Player #2 takes one drink
Player #2’s card is the same suit as Player #1’s card
Player #1 plays a club, Player #2 plays a club
Player #2 takes one drink
If neither of these two scenarios occur, no one is required to drink. The next player (Player #3) should then take their turn. Player #3 will play in the same manner but will be comparing their card to Player #2 now.
All Aboard the Train:
So far the rules seem pretty simple. The key to Locomotive is that the drinks taken are cumulative and will stack up as each player drinks. For example, if Player #1 plays a “six of clubs” and player #2 plays a “five of diamonds”, Player #2 will take one drink of their drink. If Player #3 then plays a “jack of diamonds”, Player #3 will then take two drinks. This is because Player #2’s card was within one count of Player #1 and Player #3’s card was the same suit as Player #2. Player #4 would then be at risk of taking three drinks if their card is within one of Player #3’s card or if it is the same suit.
If Player #4’s card isn’t within one count and isn’t the same suit, Player #4 breaks the train and doesn’t have to drink. The train starts again at zero for the next person’s turn.
In addition, if someone plays a card that is the exact same number as the previous player’s card then the train doubles in size and that player will drink accordingly (double the amount that the previous person drank in the train). The game continues in a circle until there are no cards remaining.
As the train gets larger and the drinking count increases, players should chant “chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-choo-choo!”. Hence the name “Locomotive”.