The Best Hostel Games to Play in Hostels

The Best Games to Play at Hostels


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When you’re traveling long term, you’re not going to want to leave the hostel every night or every day. There will be a lot of times when you’re just too tired or hungover or over it to want to leave your dorm to go somewhere else. That’s OK — you don’t have to go out every night and there is always plenty to do in the hostel. For instance, you can play hostel games.

Playing card games and drinking games are great ways to meet people while traveling and pass the time. You don’t need much to play them, usually just a deck of cards and some beer. Here are some fun hostel games to play at hostels that you’ll definitely end up playing a lot as a backpacker:


The Best Hostel Games to Play in Hostels:


Beer Pong

If you think beer pong is something only played in American college fraternities, you’re wrong. Beer pong is universal. I can’t believe there is anyone who hasn’t heard of of beer pong, but if you haven’t, the game is played with two teams of two tossing ping pong balls across a table into their opponents beer-filled cups. If they get it in, someone on the opposite team has to drink what is in the cup. First team to eradicate all their opponents cups wins. But really, if you end up drunk on free beer, we all win, right?


Flip Cup

In flip cup two, teams with equal number of players stand facing each other across a table.  In front of each person will be a plastic cup filled with beer. Once time is called, the person on one end chugs their beer then places the cup at the edge of the table. He then tries to flick the cup with his finger until it flips over on the table. He must keep trying until the cup is successfully flipped. Only then can the next person go. You go down a line until everyone on your side has finished. And the team who finishes first, wins.



If you’re staying in a good party hostel that has a pool table, you’re set. Unlike pool halls and bars, usually they let you play for free all day long. If you’re really good you can hustle your fellow backpackers and make a few dollars. If you suck you can still have fun. Try not to let groups of girls play if you want a serious game. They forget their turn a lot if they’ve been drinking. (Amy’s note: TOTES UNFAIR!)


Kings Cup

Kings Cup (AKA King’s, Donut, Jug Oval, Of Fire, or Ring of Fire) is the classic backpacker card game. All you need is a deck of cards, a drink for everyone, and an empty cup in the middle. Spread the cards out in front of your group and, one by one, flip cards over. What is on the chosen card determines what you or your group does. Everyone always has different rules, but as an example:

  • Ace is for waterfall. Everyone chugs their drink.
  • 2 is for you,  so whichever player picks two picks someone else to drink.
  • 7 is for heaven. Everyone puts their hands in the air. The last person drinks.

The most important cards are Jack and King. When someone chooses a Jack they make up their own rule that has to be honored for the rest of the game until someone else picks a Jack. It can be anything from no swearing to having to talk in an accent to running around in circles. The other important card is the king. Whenever someone draws a king they pour some of what they’re drinking into the cup in the middle. When the fourth king is drawn, that player has to chug the cups contents. And the game is over.


Yaniv Card Game

Yaniv is an Israeli card game. It’s no where near as fun as Kings Cup, but I guarantee you will play it a lot in hostels. In this game you’re dealt five cards and in each round you discard a card (or a pair, triple, straight, etcetera) and pick up either the top discarded card or one from the deck. The object is to get under 7 points, at which point you yell “Yaniv” and win. But you have to be careful calling Yaniv because if someone else has the the same points or fewer in their hand they can call “Assaf” and you lose and get extra points. It’s not a drinking game, but one you will probably play a lot in hostels because it’s easy to catch on.



A lot of hostels and backpacker bars will hold trivia nights and they are a fun way to bond with fellow backpackers. You get in a team and someone reads off trivia questions and then each team has to figure out the answer. Whichever team has the most correct at the end wins. A lot of times you can win free drinks or get a free drink for participating so it’s worth it. Find some people who look smart and join up with them.


Strip Poker

The best hostel games end up with the possibility of everyone getting both drunk AND naked. To better your chances of that happening (and perhaps better your chances for hostel sex) strip poker is the game of choice. Just grab some cards, follow the rules for poker, drink a lot, and get naked.


Backpackers Card Game

This backpacker card game is the perfect game for backpackers who want to play a card game. Backpacker is a game where you test your knowledge of backpacking and face travel obstacles all while trying to amass more travel photos than your hostel competitors.


There you have it. Some of the best hostel games to play when you’re looking for an activity to play around your dorm room and don’t feel like going out. What are your favorite games to play in a hostel?



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The Best Games to Play at Hostels

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