How to Play Quarters

Quarters game demonstration

Setup

Players

  • 3-10+

Materials

  • A group of friends!
  • Alcoholic beverages for each player 
  • Solo cup filled with beer
  • 3-4 quarters 
  • Large flat playing table or surface

Additional Setup Notes

  • Some variations of Quarters will utilize a shot glass filled with liquor instead of a solo cup with beer. Dealer’s choice of preference, but a cup makes for more accessible gameplay.
  • Only one quarter is absolutely necessary to play Quarters, but considering many quarters will go flying around the room, having a few on standby is suggested.
  • Make sure to stay hydrated while drinking during Quarters. It’s never a bad idea to have some water bottles on hand! 

Objective

The objective of Quarters is simple- players will take turns bouncing a quarter into a cup. Quarters is one of the easiest games to set up, with only a few items needed to get started. It might seem like an unchallenging game, but add in a few drinks and you’ve got yourself a recipe for chaos.  

Gameplay

Begin by placing a cup in the center of the playing table, commonly called the “Penalty Drink.” Fill the cup with beer and make sure everyone playing has a drink in their hand. Choose a player to go first by selecting either the oldest or youngest person in the group. Players should circle the playing table evenly. Quarters can be played standing or sitting.

The first player will attempt to bounce the quarter off the table into the center cup. If the quarter fails to land in the cup, the player is penalized by taking a drink of their own drink. If they manage to successfully bounce the quarter into the solo cup, they can force a player of their choosing to drink the center cup with the quarter still inside. A player’s turn ends once they fail to bounce the quarter into the cup or successfully land the quarter in the cup, resulting in the player either taking a drink or giving a drink.

If a player fails to bounce the quarter into the center cup, they will drink and players will take turns going counter-clockwise doing the same. If the player can command someone to drink the center cup, it becomes that drinker’s turn. Each time someone drinks the center cup it will need to be replenished. A new round will begin once the cup is refilled.

Endgame

One of the best parts about playing Quarters is its replayability. The game ends when all of the players have decided to stop drinking. No one truly “wins” Quarters, rather, someone gets bragging rights when discussing the sick bounces seen during the game. Quarters is the perfect low-stakes pregame drinking game for keeping the party engaged and entertained. 

Quarters Strategy

Effectively bouncing a quarter off a table and into a cup will take some practice, but anyone can figure it out with enough rounds. That said, attempt to bounce the quarter at a flat angle to avoid it flying around the room. Simply throw the quarter toward the table flat and toward the cup to secure your best chances of sinking the shot. 

Quarters Variations

Quarters is beloved far and wide for its simple set-up and accessible gameplay, however, the sprawling adoration of Quarters has led to quite a few variations of the popular drinking game. Besides the obvious option of adding house rules within the gameplay, one of the most popular variations is “Speed Quarters.” 

  • Speed Quarters: Speed Quarters does involve a winning and losing element, perfect for competitive groups of friends. On top of the above setup materials, you’ll need two quarters and two empty goal cups. Place these two quarters and goal cups in front of two players that are positioned across from each other. The player begins once a goalkeeper says “Go!”
  • Speed Quarters Rules: The game starts once the first two players attempt to bounce their quarters into their respective goal cups. As soon as a player sinks a quarter into their cup, they will pass the cup clockwise immediately to trigger the next player in the circle to bounce their quarter. If a player passes another player a second cup, they can stack the cups or tap it with their own to “screw” their neighbor. 
  • Speed Quarters Endgame: The objective of Speed Quarters is to avoid having two quarters and two cups at one time. Once this happens, the player has one shot to sink their quarter into the cup. If they fail, they must take the penalty drink, triggering a new round to begin. 

FAQs

How many people can play Quarters?

The best games of Quarters have at least three players present. Quarters can be played with up to ten people or more, but the more players, the more chaotic those coin tosses will get. 

Disclaimer

The Game Farm does not encourage or promote alcohol consumption of any kind. We do not take responsibility for any injuries, damages, or other consequences that may arise from the consumption of alcohol while playing our games.

It is the responsibility of each individual player to drink responsibly and know their limits. We recommend that players drink plenty of water and take breaks throughout the night to avoid becoming intoxicated.

If you are underage, please do not drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol underage is illegal and can have serious health consequences.

We hope you have fun playing our drinking games responsibly!

About the Author: Jessie White

An entertainment news writer for NBC Insider who loves playing games for entertainment. Jessie might have the worst poker face in the world, but she is undefeated in the art of button mashing.

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