Learn to Play Presidents and Assholes

The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards before everyone else. The first one to do so becomes the President, followed by the Vice-President & Secretary. The last person with cards becomes the Asshole.

What You Need

  • 1 Deck of Playing Cards
  • At least 3 Players, 5 or more is best
  • 1 Drink of Choice for each Player
  • Table or Surface for the Cards

Game Play

Set the Starting Ranks.  Before you can begin to play, the initial ranks need to be set.  This can be done by playing a quick hand of the game, or by having each player draw a card.  If you play a hand, have any player deal, play as normal, and the starting ranks will be set based on the outcome of that hand.  If you draw cards, high cards will give Players the highest ranks.

Player Ranks:
  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Asshole:  Lowest position.  Always deals and clears the cards.

**Any rank can make the ranks below them drink.

Playing the Game.

Players sit in order around the table based on rank.  Usually the President will have their pick of chair.

The Asshole is the dealer, and will deal out the entire deck of cards to everyone playing.  Once the cards are dealt, the Asshole must give his two best cards to the President in exchange for that Player’s worst 2 cards.

The 4♣ (4 of Clubs) will start game play.  Play continues clockwise around the table.  Players must either match or beat the last card played.  If the Play can’t or does not want to play, he can pass.  If a card is played that matches the previous players card, the next player is skipped.  If the cards get so high that everyone is forced to Pass their turn, the pile clears at the person who last played.  The player who runs out of cards first becomes the President.  Next player is VP, and on down the line until the last person with cards becomes the next Asshole.

Ranking of cards.  4’s are low, Aces are high.  Any pair beats any single.  Three of a kind (Trips) are stronger than Pairs, and 4 of a kind (Quads) are the most powerful.  2’s and 3’s are special cards.  Playing a 2 will clear the pile, allowing that player to play any card of his choosing to start a new pile.  3’s are Skip cards.  When a 3 is played, the next player is skipped.


  • 4♣ — 9♥ — J♥ — 3♠ (skips next player) — A♦ — 5/5 — KK — pass — pass — 6/6/6 — pass — Q/Q/Q — nobody can beat, pile clears
  • 8♠ — A♣ — 7/7/7 — pass — pass — 2♣ (clears), then plays 9♦ — QQ — 7/7/7 — 3♦ (skips next player) — pass — pass — pass — pass — back to original player, clears, player starts again.

Misc. Rules:

Everyone who plays this popular game is going to play it a little different.  Pick the rules you like, drop the ones you don’t.  The following are some of the common rules people may play with.

  • Card Exchange – The Asshole has to exchange his 1 or 2 best cards for the 1 or 2 worst cards of the President.
  • Presidental Rules– If the President holds the position for 3 consecutive rounds, that person gets to make a rule.  Rules remain for the duration of the game, unless removed by an later President.  Some people play that the President makes a rule EVERY round.  Click here for a HUGE list of Presidential Rules.
  • Slow Clear – if the Asshole is slow to clear, players may count aloud “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand,” etc.  The Asshole will have to drink that many drinks.
  • Don’t Touch the Cards – President is the first to touch the cards
  • Temporary Power – While the Asshole is dealing, they can tell anyone to take a drink. Their only chance for retribution as an Asshole.
  • Social – All Players drink when a numbered card equal to the number of players in the game is played (generally 4-8).
  • Drink for Passing – Players who can’t play, or choose to pass, must take a drink
  • 4’s Reverse – If a 4 is played, the playing order changes directions (not very common)
  • Asshole Hat – A hat that the Asshole must wear during his/her term.  Often times an empty beer box.
  • Three in a Row – Three cards of the same kind played in a row, or by one player with three of a kind.  Results in a Socal where all players drink. (For Example:  3 people consecutively lay down 7, 7, 7 —  or if one person lays down three 7’s)
  • Jump In – If a pair is played on the board, and another player can play a matching pair, that player may “jump in” out of turn.  This 4 of a Kind results in a Social, as well as clearing the pile for the Player who jumped in.
  • No Touching the Cards – Only the Asshole may touch the cards on the table after play has started.  Clearing or straightening the pile, for example.  Any player who touches the cards either drinks or becomes the Asshole.

There are a wide variety of rules for Presidents and Assholes.  Choose some of these or make up your own, it’ all about having fun and doing some drinking!

Asshole is known by a ton of names.  You may have also heard it called Kings, Presidents, Presidents and Assholes,  Scum, Warlords & Scumbags, or Rich Man Poor Man.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Martin September 18, 2017 at 8:16 am

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