Pyramid Drinking Game Rules

How to Play Pyramid (Drinking Card Game)

Pyramid is a drinking card game that separates the honest players from the cheaters. Cheating is a key aspect of Pyramid, whoever has the best poker face will have the most success.

Players: 3+ players
Required Supplies: Deck of Playing Cards


Start by shuffling the deck and dealing out a “Pyramid” of cards face down. The pyramid should have 5 cards on the bottom row, then 4 cards, 3 cards, 2 cards, and finally, 1 card. Deal the remaining cards evenly amongst all players. These cards make up each players “hand”.

General Rules:

The game starts by flipping over the first card on the bottom row of the Pyramid. If the number on the card matches a card in your hand you may give out one drink to any player of your choosing. Each player with a matching card chooses someone to drink and play continues by flipping over the next card. All the cards in the bottom row of the Pyramid are worth “one drink” – that is, a player with a matching card can give one drink for each matching card in their hand. The cards in the second row are worth two drinks per matching card, third row is three drinks, fourth is four drinks, and fifth is five drinks.


The key to Pyramid is cheating. A player has the choice of claiming they have a matching card and giving out the drinks, even if they don’t actually have a matching card. You don’t have to initially prove that you have a matching card. Whoever is told to drink has the option of calling “cheat!” When a person calls “cheat” on you, you must prove you actually have the matching card. If you don’t, and you cheated, then you end up drinking double the amount that you gave out. If you do have the card, and you weren’t cheating, the person who called “cheat!” drinks double the amount they were originally given.

Keep playing until all the cards in the Pyramid have been turned over and all the drinks have been taken. Now its time to “Ride the Bus!”

Ride the Bus:

Pyramid - Ride the Bus

Once the Pyramid is complete and all the cards have been turned over, it’s time to Ride the Bus! Every player places any matching cards in their hand on top of the matching cards from the Pyramid. Whoever has the most cards leftover in their hand (cards that don’t match any cards from the Pyramid) will be Riding the Bus! The rest of the players are free to watch.

Start by dealing out a new Pyramid of cards. Five rows just like before. Place the rest of the cards in a pile face down before the Pyramid. Flip over the top card from the deck and place it face-up beside the deck of cards. This card stays face-up for the rest of the game and is referred to as the “House” card.

Whoever is Riding the Bus (the Passenger) starts by calling “higher” or “lower”, then picking any card from the first row of the Pyramid. Compare this card to the House card and if it was guessed correctly (new card higher or lower than the House card), the Passenger continues on to the second row. If they guessed incorrectly, the player takes a drink, removes their card from the Pyramid row, replaces it with a new card face-down, and starts over at the beginning. This continues until eventually the Passenger guesses correctly on each row of the Pyramid. The passenger can finally get off their wild bus ride!

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