Flaming Square Of Death

Several years ago I codified the rules for my favorite drinking game: The Flaming Square Of Death. After several years of drunken enjoyment, it is time to revitalize and revamp some of the rules for the game.

A quick refresher on the original: You need a deck of cards. Remove 2-7 and the joker. Place remaining cards (8-A) face down in squareish shape. Determine who starts, that player flips over a card.

Now depending on the card a different game was played.

Eight – \”The Number Game\”. The player who flips the 8 starts by saying \”one\”, the player to the left says \”two\”, the next player says \”three\” and so on. When the number reaches 7, 11, or a multiple of 7 or 11 (14, 21, 22, etc.) instead of saying the number, the player says \”Beep\”, and the count continues, but reverses direction. Whoever messes up first, drinks. This is a variation of games like Buzz or Bizz Buzz. Over time, the number game has become stale. If you are just starting out your evening of drinking you can find the number game pushing over 100, which is just far too long of a time to wait to drink. There is the option of changing the key numbers. Make it 3 and 5, or make it 7 and any number that has a 7 in it. But I feel that we\’ve played out the number games, it\’s time for something new.

The New Eight – \”Higher or Lower\”. This game will require dice, preferrably 5. The player who flips the 8 rolls the dice and totals them up. The next player (clockwise) picks up the dice and declares if they believe their total will be \’higher or lower\’. They roll and see if they are right. If so, play continues to the left with that total being the new mark for declaring higher or lower. If the player is wrong, the game stops and that person drinks. If they roll a tie both players (the current and previous roller) take 2 drinks. If play makes it around the table and back to the player who flipped the 8, they take a drink and the game is over. If you do not have access to dice, players should take the pile of 2-7 cards, shuffle them, and flip them up one at a time around the table using the same rules as above.

Nine – \”Nine-Rhyme.\” The player who flips over a 9 says a word, then each player around the table (going clockwise) must come up with a word that rhymes with that original word (including the player who flipped the card if it gets back to them) without using the same word. Play continues until someone can\’t come up with a word, or the group agrees that a word used isn\’t a real word. This is a classic FSOD game and generally works pretty well. I\’ve decided to keep this game.

Ten – \”Social!\” Everyone toasts and takes a drink. Whoop-de-freakin\’-do! I always felt the social was the weakest link in FSOD. On the other hand is provides a brief mental breather inbetween the various games. But, I\’ve voted the social off the island!

The New Ten – \”Story Time.\” The player who flips a 10 starts a sentence with a single word. The next player continues the sentence with two words, the next player add 3 more, then 4, then 5. After that it goes back down to one word, and continues going back up to 5. Play continues until someone messes up by speaking too many or two few words, the sentence no longer makes sense (or a player starts a new sentence) and the group declares some must drink, or a person reuses a conjunction (and, but, or, so) which can only be used once in the sentence. Play would go something like: Bob… went to… the store and… bought some french fries… so he could eat something… warm… because he… was hungry and *BUZZ* (the player reused \”and\”).

Jack – \”Jack your neighbor.\” The person who flips over a Jack gets to make either the person on their right or left take a drink. Doesn\’t get more straightforward than that! Some say there is beauty in simplicity. I agree, but who says you can\’t improve on perfection!

The New Jack – \”Jack somebody!\” Make anyone at the table drink, but that person can in turn \”Jack\” anyone else as well. Including you!

Queen – \”Category.\” The person who flips over a Queen picks a category that each person around the table must name a member of that category, starting with the person who flipped the Queen. For example, someone flips a Queen and says, \”MLB Teams, Twins.\” Next person says \”Rockies\”, and so on. A standard part of FSOD, and one of my personal favorites. It stays!

King – The King… the King… the King. What can you say. It was high time that the King was changed. These days when we get together there is always a wide variety of different drinks, some beer, some wine, and cocktails. So the idea of the first 3 Kings pouring a little of their beverage into a glass for the fourth King to drink just…well, would you want to drink Miller Lite Pinot Noir Captain Morgan and Diet Coke? I didn\’t think so. The alternative we\’ve used for quite a while is the shot. Fourth King drinks the \”mystery shot\”. That\’s worked well, but that means the first three kings get a free pass. With that being said, I give you…

The New King – \”DRINKO!\”


So this obviously requires a little investment up front, but Plinko with shot glasses? How can this go wrong!? Now you may have some trouble getting your hands on a DRINKO set. Why? Well check here for the full story. At any rate, you can still find DRINKO on eBay. I picked up mine for about 20 bucks, and I think it was a wise investment! My thoughts for how to incorporate DRINKO would be that when a player turns over the first King, they would take a chip and drop it into DRINKO. The player then needs to take whichever shot the chip lands in. I would recommend having 1 shot of clear liquor, 1 shot of brown liquor, 1 shot of water, 1 shot of cola, and two intermediate shots (either schnapps, or something tasty but not excessively weak). Once a player has taken a shot, they should refill the shot glass from their own drink and replace in DRINKO. Now obviously not everyone will have access to DRINKO, but I still strongly encourage you to get your hands on one. In case you don\’t, feel free to backfill the King with any of the other rules that I\’ve replaced, or you could find one of your own favorites here.

Ace – \”Make a rule.\” Each player who flips an Ace gets to make a rule that lasts until the final card in the round is flipped and the round is over. Aces can be used to cancel other rules, alter the rules of the game, or just about anything. Some good examples of rules can be found here. Some of our favorites are: players cannot use the word \”drink\”, if they do they must drin…um, imbibe themselves; players must refer to each other as \”Lamont\” instead of their actual names, feel free to use your own stand-in name in case you are playing with an actual Lamont; each player must act like the person they\’ve known the longest at the table, this one can be fun but not appropriate for all groups.

So, those are the new and improved rules for the Flaming Square Of Death. Feedback on the new rules would be greatly appreciated. Once I\’ve played the game once or twice I\’ll revise/update this article with any feedback. And eventually post the Flaming Square of Death on Wikipedia for all to enjoy!