After the United States failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup, we can all be forgiven for feeling a little less enthused about the tournament than in previous years. Still! A total of 64 games will be played throughout June and July, showcasing the sport’s biggest stars, like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. And what better way to explore the fascinating cultural differences among global sports fans than with a drink in hand?

With this in mind, VinePair has invented the ultimate World Cup 2018 drinking game, to be enjoyed (responsibly) right up until the July 15 final. Heads up: During the early stages of the tournament, there will be three to four games daily, so it’s probably best to stick to something light and fruity.

(Stuck for options? We’ve got your back.)

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First thing first: Pick a team. Every time your team takes a shot on target, wins a corner, or receives a yellow card, take one sip.

If your team wins, chug your drink.


An announcer mentions that the United States didn’t qualify.

An announcer mentions the new “Video Assisted Referee” (VAR) system.

Someone is caught offside.

Someone flops (double if that player is on your team).

That same player gets up, unharmed (once again, double if they’re on your team).


An announcer says, “You couldn’t have written a better script.”

A goal is scored.

A penalty is conceded.

A decision is overturned using VAR.

The camera pans to a face-painted fan in the crowd (double if the person next to them points it out while they’re still on screen).


If someone scores an own goal.

If someone misses a penalty.

If someone gets a red card.

If Cristiano Ronaldo takes his shirt off.

If Messi scores an incredible solo goal.


During the knockout stages of the tournament, if a game remains tied after 90 minutes and then goes into extra time, the result is decided by a penalty shootout, a daunting prospect after a full game’s drinking, with one or two sips guaranteed per kick under normal rules.

In the instance of a penalty shootout, players are only required to drink when their team is up. One sip for a goal, two if they miss.

If a player’s goalkeeper manages to save an opposition penalty kick, they’re exempt from the drinking during their team’s next penalty kick.


The seventh game in a marathon of grueling, booze-filled fixtures — players are encouraged to exercise some good sportsmanship after the World Cup final. As per the official rules of the VinePair 2018 World Cup drinking game, players who back the tournament’s winning nation are required to buy a round of drinks for opponents on the losing side. ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to have stayed home entirely.