PENSIONERS are being sent into a spin by a drinking game inspired by their free national bus passes.

A group of senior citizens have revolutionised their nights out in Oxford by devising a game called bus roulette, which allows the city’s bus network to select where they go for a tipple.

The group plays the game by travelling into Oxford on the 35 bus from Kennington and then waiting in the High Street to board the first bus that comes by.

Once aboard the bus they decide how many stops they will travel by adapting the guessing game ‘spoof’ and seeing how many coins each player pulls out of their pocket.

The rules dictate the group must board the first bus that comes and they must be back at the bus stop by 11pm when free travel on the concessionary fare scheme runs out.

However, the second rule has been broken on a couple of occasions.

Bus roulette player Roger Gelder, 71, of Poplar Grove, Kennington said: “Bus roulette gets you into a lot of different places, tasting lots of different beers and you meet a lot of very pleasant people.

“I’ve seen more pubs now than I had in the past 28 years.”

The grandfather-of-two added: “It’s fun to make sure you get back to your bus stop before you turn into a pumpkin at 11pm.”

Before the free national bus pass was introduced for over 60s in April 2008 the group could get free travel from Kennington to Oxford but would have had to pay to board a connecting bus to travel anywhere else within the city.

Since inventing the game in 2009 the group has visited 14 pubs.

Town clerk Pam Johnston, 62, of Kennington Road, said: “It’s good fun and a great way of seeing bits of Oxford we haven’t seen before.

“Social isolation is a big thing when you get older but fun things like this can stop that happening.

“The magic bus pass means we have to be on the bus before 11pm otherwise we have to pay our way home but if we’ve having a good night we’ll stay out a bit longer and pay to go home.”

Her husband Bob, 66, said: “It raises everyone’s spirits and in a rather dark world is a little ray of sunshine.”

The largest number of pensioners to have played the game so far is seven and the furthest pub they have travelled to is The White Hart on the outskirts of Headington.

Peter Biggs, 65, of Grundy Crescent, invented the game when he got bored of the Tuesday quiz night at The Tandem pub in Kennington and wanted to explore further afield.

He said: “When you go out you never know which pub you’re going to end up in.

“It’s better than real roulette. You can never lose playing bus roulette because you always fall into a pub.”