Horse Races

By: The Rulemaster

Inspired by actual horse racing, horse races is a popular drinking game in which players gamble on the suit of cards that they believe will essentially win the ‘horse race’. During the game, players select and bet on their ‘horse’, the dealer flips over cards, and individual horses advance by card suits.

What You Need

  • • Standard deck of cards
  • • Table
  • • A dealer
  • • 2+ betting players
  • • Preferred alcohol

Setting Up

The setup for Horse Races should resemble a tall “L” shape which represents a horse racing track. Remove the four Aces from the deck of cards and arrange them, side by side, on the short side of the “L”. The Aces represent the horses. Each player then chooses a “horse,” which represents their chosen suit.

Next, lay the next 8 cards off the top of the deck face down along the tall side of the “L”. At this time, you will also want to appoint a person to be the “dealer” or “announcer”. The rest of the players will be betting. The dealer will be responsible for flipping cards throughout the game.


The game begins when each player has placed a bet. The dealer then draws cards, one by one, from the top of the deck, turning them face up on the table for all to see. Each time that a card is turned over, the player with the matching suit is advanced one place on the race track. For example, if a six of diamonds is turned over, the player that chose diamonds at the start of the game is moved forward one place.

The race ends when one of the horses (Aces) reaches the last position on the race track. At the end of the game, all players must settle their bets. Each player that lost must drink the amount they wagered. The winning player gets to nominate another player to drink.

horse race game

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