Written by Michael

4min read


Now. my close friends and I have come to an understanding about buying rounds of drinks.
We don’t do it.

However, when you’re going out with new people or acquaintances, it’s slightly different. The social pressure in these scenarios is undeniable.

You’ve met up with some friends in a pub or a bar, and you’re looking forward to a nice night out with them. You’ve found your seats and you’re getting comfy, then all of a sudden, some ‘top bloke’ decides to stand up and proudly announce: “Right, I’m going to the bar, what does everybody want!?”

Oh for god’s sake.

“Why did he have to say that? I am perfectly capable of buying my own drink thank you very much. I did not come out tonight to be locked into the vicious and confusing downward spiral that is buying rounds.”

You don’t want to seem like a dick and say no. So you cave in and get locked into the evil game of rounds. There are so many problems with the rounds system that I don’t even know how it became a thing. Here are just a few of those problems.

Firstly, what if you only want one or two drinks? If you accept one drink from someone getting a round in, then you automatically have to buy a drink for everyone in your party when it comes to your round. So, if you only have one cheeky drink, you could still have spent £30 or £40!

Within your round you could well be purchasing drinks for people you don’t even know and that haven’t even bought you a drink yet which is just weird and awkward. You never know, they could turn out to be a right plonker and order Grey Goose and what do you say to that?! The whole idea of people wanting different priced drinks is enough to throw the whole buying rounds thing into the history books, but somehow, miraculously, it still persists.


Another HUGE problem with the system is the fact that everyone drinks at different speeds. On your night out, Larry is downing pints with Steve in the corner, singing some song they learnt at university. Brenda and Allen are both taking a sip every 10 minutes while they natter away about how the earth is actually flat. Whie poor old Connor is sitting in the middle of it all with an empty glass that 10 minutes ago contained some concentrated orange juice.

These different drinking speeds bring into question; when do you actually ask if everyone wants a drink?! If you ask too early when people still have plenty of beverage left, people are going to say no and you look like a cheapskate because you won’t buy everyone a drink. If you ask too late when people have empty glasses, you’re the bad person again because you’ve kept people waiting! If you wait too long someone else will probably jump in and buy a round. AH, THE CONFUSION.

Despite all these problems the round system still persists. Even for the die-hard round buyers, there’s no such thing as a perfect night of rounds. Someone is always going to come out on top and someone is always going to end up owing some people a drink. No group of people having drinks will ever drink the same amount of drinks, that are priced the same, and drink them at the same speed. It’s just implausible, and that’s exactly why this system is a load of nonsense. New generations shouldn’t be introduced to it for their own sanity.

However, as I come towards the end of this post, despite this cruel, tyrannical social construct,  I am going to offer some optimism for the world. There is a solution to this pointless issue:
Just let everyone buy their own drinks.
Sure, buy a drink for someone if you know them and like them (the liking part is the key I feel).

But it’s down to you, don’t get sucked into the spiral of doom that is rounds. You don’t owe anyone a drink unless you want to, and you are perfectly capable of buying your own drink yourself.

Michael x

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19 thoughts on “Buying Drinks in Rounds: The Annoying Truth.

  1. Wow…I totally agree. I’m the same way with splitting the check at a restaurant. I’m not splitting the check either. We can each get our own check, and if I want to buy something to share, I will do that without asking for their half of the payment. If I don’t want to share, I just won’t. People make things way to complicated!

  2. So bloody true. Sometimes I go out just for the fun of it, not wanting to spend much, and I end up with an empty waller and feelings of regret. Just makes you want to stay home sometimes.

  3. In Glasgow rounds are the default, BUT, there is a socially acceptable alternative. The kitty.
    Everyone initially puts in enough for a couple of drinks. Once the kitty is empty, those that want to keep drinking throw more money in, and so on and so on.
    It’s easy to drop out at any point and not feel that you’ve paid for drinks you’ve not had, and there’s no pressure.
    It’s far better that rounds, especially when there’s a larger group.

      1. It’s easy to get caught up and just throw in another £10, but it does mean that you’re not paying for drinks you don’t want.
        Next time someone wants to do rounds, suggest a kitty, everyone throw in a ten, and take it from there, see how it goes.
        Lot less pressure than rounds

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