Games Ideas for Backpackers

Card Games

  • Monopoly Deal – this has possibly got to be THE BEST game known to man! Like heroin for card game addicts. It’s essentially just a card version of the classic board game, but as soon as you win your first game you’ll be hooked. Most played: in restaurants whilst waiting for food. (Make sure to buy the classic version and not the cheaper speed version).
  • UNO – Perhaps a little simple but fantastic for when there’s a language barrier. Great to play with locals. Most played: with enthusiastic locals who’s English isn’t too good.
  • Shit Head – Played with a standard 52 deck of cards, everyone will have different rules so make sure to agree on one set of rules and magic cards before you start! Most played: waiting to board flights, buses, boats.
  • Yanif – Such a great game for a small group – be sure to have a pen and paper handy to keep scores. Most played: In hostels and guesthouses.
  • Rummy – Old school, you know the score. Most played: when all other options have been exhausted – or when we don’t have the patience to explain rules to another game!
  • Canasta – needs two decks of cards and best played in teams of twos.
  • Battleship Poker – For two players only – using poker hands, it’s pretty much pot luck but addictive none-the-less. Most played: when there’s just two.


App Games

  • Heads Up/Charades The first is brainchild of Ellen Degeneris, basic categories, and lots of American phrases/words, the best part is that you can watch back and save the video recording it takes of players acting out words. The latter has way more categories, lots of which can be unlocked with points earned from playing. Most played: in hostels whilst having a beer. Heads-Up-for-PC-Windows-7810-and-Mac
  • Geo Quiz – Maps, flags and Capitals. Most played: on long bus journeys.
  • Say What You See – Exactly what it says on the tin. Most played: on quiet nights in.
  • Catch Phrase – Just like the TV show! Most played:
  • Guess the Place – Great for travellers, everyone likes to think of themselves as worldy once on the road, but how many places can you guess from just 4 photographs? Most played: this is generally one for long bus/train journeys or waiting around in airports/ferry docks too.
  • 94% – ‘Our survey said…..’ guess the top answers that the majority has given to unlock the next level. Most played: with a group of people – take it next level and divide your team, for the authentic Family Fortune experience.


Drinking Games

  • Ring of Fire: Probably the most lethal drinking game out there. Everyone play different rules, my favourite additions to classic rules are Gecko: whoever pulls the gecko card has to attach all for points of contact (hands and feet) to any surface, the last to catch on drinks! And grenade: the last person to run out of the room drinks. (this caused quite the panic and confusion in a hostel in Phonm Penh amongst the staff as they shouted “whats happened? what’s going on??” as everyone casually returns to their seats).
  • Hi George – a fun twist to the classic game of snap! Cards are dealt out equally amongst players who in turn lay one card from their hand without looking at it beforehand. When a Jack is layed, the last player to raise their hand and say ‘Hi George’ picks up the pile in the middle. Same goes for Queen, the hand is silently raised instead, King calls for all players to clap and Ace sees all players slam their hands down onto the pile in the middle, as in snap. The aim of the game is to finish all the cards in your hand. The drunker you get the harder it becomes!
  • Fuzzy Duck – simple but fun!
  • Pa-Ping-Po – Similar to fuzzy duck, yoyu take turns going round the circle to say ‘Pa’ and ‘Ping’ but can throw ‘Po’ at any player.
  • F**k the Dealer – Guess the card about to be pulled from the pack, the dealer will say higher or lower, you get 2 guesses, if you get it wrong you have to drink the difference between your last guess and the correct number of the card, if you get it spot on the dealer drinks. Three people in a row can’t guess correctly and the dealer moves on. The cards get laid out upright on the table so toward the end the chances of guessing the correct card are way higher than at the beginning as you are able to see what has already been pulled. The dealer ends up drinking more than the players towards the end.
  • 21 – How hard can collectively counting to 21 be? Players are not allowed to say 7 or multiples of. The game starts back at one every time somebody f**ks up.
  • Buffalo – A variation of 21, you are allowed to say all numbers and tap your own shoulder to signify which direction the game is to be played in, every player has the power to change the direction on their turn (hit your left shoulder with your right hand for left and vice versa for right). However, when you get to the number ‘7’ you must make a = sign with your arms, whichever way your bottom arm points is the direction the game continues in, ’14’ is reversed, meaning the top arm dictates the direction of play and the player that counts the number ’10’ uses both fingers to throw the game to any player in the circle. The player that reaches 21 makes buffalo horns on their head with their fingers, makes up a new rule – usually an action to do for a different number, and points at who they chose to start the game.
  • Ride the Bus – I’ll leave the Bar Meister to explain this one!
  • Beer Pong – No explanation needed here, I’m sure! Probably the most common drinking game. Great as predrinks
  • Flip Cup – Table needed as in beer pong. Teams stand opposite each other with a half filled cup of beer/alcohol, each player has to down their drink before flipping their cup from upside down to the right way up from the edge of the table. The next player can’t go until the previous player has successfully flipped their cup so it lands upright. The quickest team wins.

Leave a Reply