Categories is a word game players try to fill in a five-by-five grid with five items in each of five categories, whose names start with five specific letters of the alphabet. A sample category might be to name poets whose names start with B, G, R, T, and Y. (In the game, you'll have four more categories to work on with these same letters.)

A commercial version was sold in the 1960s under the name Facts in Five.

Another work from the nrt

Categories is also the name of a very fun drinking game.


This game is recommended for 4 or more players, but you can get by with fewer.

You will need the following:
Once you've procured the necessary equipment, get ready:
  • Remove all the 9s, 10s, Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces from the deck(s). Discard anything else as you won't need them. Also note how many Kings you will be using. This is important.
  • Shuffle the 9s thru Aces that you've collected and lay them randomly face down around the Cup.
  • Have everybody sit in a circle around The Cup.
Pick who goes first and the order of play (it's not that important), and start by drawing a card. Depending upon the value of the card, some action then occurs. Play then proceeds w/ the next person in order drawing a card. (I will use an example game played by Alice, Bob, Charles and Diane. Alice always draws in the example and Bob is always the next person to draw.)
  • 9 - Bust a Rhyme - The person that drew the card rattles off a single line at random. Each person in the circle then, in turn, rattles off another line to the rap or poem or whatever, making sure the final word rhymes. This continues (usually going around the circle several times) until somebody draws a blank and can't think of anything, or they use a word that's already been used (homophones are ok, though). When somebody does mess up, the person that broke the chain takes a drink and play resumes. (Example: Alice draws 9. Alice: "I went to the park." Bob: "It was dark." Charles: "But I heard a lark." Diane: "His beak was sharp." Diane drinks. Play continues with Bob drawing.)
  • 10 - Categories - The person that drew the card picks a category and names something that belongs in that category. Each person then, in turn, names something else in that category. This may also go around the circle several times. If somebody can't think of an item in the given category, or they repeat something somebody else already said, said person must drink. Play then resumes. (Example: Alice draws 10. Alice: "Fruits - apple." Bob: "Banana" Charles: "Orange" Diane: "Strawberry" Alice: "Grape" Bob: "Celery" Bob drinks. Play continues with Bob drawing.)
  • Jack - Make a rule Rules last as long as there are cards face down and the game is still on. Breaking a rule means taking a drink. (Example: Alice draws a Jack. Alice: "No calling people by their first names." Charles: "But, Alice, that's not fair!" Diane: "Drink, Charles!" Bob: "Drink, D!". Play then continues with Bob drawing. Rule stays in effect.)
  • Queen - Pick someone to drink The person drawing the Queen chooses who drinks. You can choose yourself. Play resumes. (Example: Alice draws a Queen. Alice: "Drink, Charles." Bob: "Drink, A. You forgot about your first name rule already." Alice: "Dammit." Charles and Alice both drink. Play continues with Bob drawing.)
  • King - The Drink in the Middle If you did not draw the last King, pour as much or as little of your drink into the cup in the middle. Use your discretion. If you do draw the last King, you must empty the cup in the middle. (Example: Alice draws the 3rd King. Pours brandy into the cup. Bob draws the 4th and final King and must drink everything in the cup. Play continues with Charles drawing.)
  • Ace - Waterfall The person that drew the card begins to drink. Anybody who follows in order somebody that is drinking must drink while the people ahead of them drink. When somebody preceding you in order stops drinking, you can stop, or continue to drink. If you choose to continue, everybody following you in order must continue to drink. This one is therefore the worst for whoever drew immediately before the person that drew the Ace. (Example: Alice draws an Ace and begins to drink. Bob, Charles and Diane drink with her. Alice stops drinking and Bob stops immediately because he's a lightweight. Charles wants to get Diane drunk so he keeps drinking for another 30 seconds, then stops. Diane stops too and then runs to the bathroom. After she returns, play continues with Bob drawing.)

Well, there you have it. Enjoy.

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