is a drinking game
. Standard rules call for four players, a die, table, four cups, and beer. Unlike most beer-based games, drinking and scoring are unrelated.
There is no consensus on where the sport originated as numerous colleges and fraternities claim to have invented the sport; one of these colleges is Colby College
The original beer die table was a tennis table.
(Always verify rules with your fellow players before playing, as rules can differ from group to group of beer die competitors.)
The table is a piece of plywood measuring long and wide, supported by legs at the corners at a comfortable height for the players when sitting. Both size and surface type affect game play; a harder surface will cause the die to bounce more. The ideal beer die table is the classic 8' banquet table, made of wood.
The die used is a normal six-sided die
Cups must be able to hold one twelve ounce beer and be hard enough so that a die hitting the cup will not likely break it. 16 oz hard plastic "keg" cups work quite well. Glass cups also work well because one can hear the die hitting the cup with more resonance, but this can lead to broken glass which is not a good mix with drunken people. "Solo" brand cups are preferred.
Four players form two teams of two players each. The teams stand across from each other at opposite ends of the table. The four cups are filled with beer and set at "regulation" positions: each player sets his or her cup on the table by placing his or her elbow on the corner of the table, laying his/her arm flat, palm down. The cup is placed in the crook in the hand between the thumb and pointer finger. The oldest player goes first, and the person on the opposite team sitting diagonal to the oldest player goes second.
Teams alternate throwing the die across the table. If players forget the order of play, one can claim "possession" by tapping the table twice with the die. Another popular method of playing is whoever catches the die throws the die next for his team. It is common to 'fake' the other team out by pretending to throw the die while his teammate has it. Players must throw from a sitting position. Players are not allowed to cross the vertical plane defined by the end of the table when throwing.
At no point during play is any player allowed to stand. As noted above, all throws must be made from a sitting position. Players on the defensive are allowed to leave their seats only in a "diving" attempt to catch the die. Players are allowed to stand during any drinking or any other "dead die" situation.
The player throwing the die must throw towards the cup of the player opposite them. Sometimes the person in possession of the die chooses which cup to aim for. The player cannot throw until the player catching the die signals he is ready.
If at any point a cup is not in the regulation position, play cannot continue. Using this rule, timeout can be called by removing your cup from position or "stepping out of the box."
Games are played to buzz (seven) points and must be won by two. In the case of a shutout (buzz to 0) the losers must finish two full beers.
The words "five" or "seven" may not be uttered during game play by participants. Any infraction or error results in a penalty. One of the side-objects is one player to get another player to say the number. Only "bizz" and "buzz" may be said. This rule also applies to all areas of numbers during a game. For example, one may not say the time is "two twenty-five." Instead, he must say "two twenty-bizz." However, since the word fifty does NOT contain the word five in it, you can say fifty without penalty, so "four-fifty" is still legal. Seventy is pronounced buzzety.
A team scores a point when one of its players makes a throw in which all of these requirements are met:
- Is underhand (or overhand depending on the version of Beer Die you play)
- Reaches a certain height (approximately above the table height -or- As high as it goes long, some players use a net or a Plexiglas divider in the middle of the table, The plexi-glass divider is the hallmark of the official tables of Major League Beer Die, the sports governing body.) Some use the "eye-level rule" where the die must go above the tallest person's eye level.
- Bounces on the table on the line or on the other side of the center line on a fly
- Goes off the table.
- Lands finally on the ground
The other team is allowed to play defense. As soon as the die has bounced or rolled off the table, they are allowed to try to catch it with one hand. The die may be juggled between hands, and other body parts can be used in an attempt to catch it, but the die must come to a rest in one hand. Body traps are not allowed, and result in a point for the opposing team. The die is still in play and can still be caught until it either hits the ground, or stops moving. Sometimes there is a house rule in which only female participants are allowed to trap.
Some places play with a rule called "Backs". Any die that has the first bounce AFTER the cups but still on the table is called a back. The die is dead when called back. This rule increases the skill involved in the game, as if a throw is too hard it will come down after the cups, and also makes the game go longer.
Also, in some places the cups are placed a hand's width from the side and a hand's length from the edge of the table. If the die lands on the table, behind the cups and bizz up, a point is awarded. There is no possible way to defend against such a throw.
Some players observe these additional scoring variations: A team scores a "puke point" when one of their opponents has to vomit. You can't win on a puke point. You can't win on a sink, either, but a sink still counts for chugging. When a sink occurs on game-point forcing the trailing team to chug, it is called a "dick move".
Similar to soccer and hockey, three sinks in a row is considered a "hat trick."
The Beer-Die Cup
NW Territory Beer-Die has created a championship trophy. It is present at all officially sanctioned tournaments, and is awarded to the winning team. The champions' names are engraved into the trophy next to the date, location, and day's record. The 'Cup is also used to honor Beer-Die Hall of Famers and individual (Savage and Petry) Award winners. To date the Beer-Die Cup has been present at tournaments in 6 different States and 1 Canadian Province, over the course of 10 recognized Tournaments.
The Biz Beer-Die Tenets
1. Fair and Honest Play
2. Quality Drunkenness
3. Clever Trash-Talk
4. Competitive Spirit
5. A Love for the Game
"The Four Pillars"
At the inaugural beer-die game at Gustavus College in 1997, four beer kegs were used to hold up the table. They were referred to as "The Four Pillars" of Beer-die:
"Splooshing", "Plunking", "Sinking", "KP", or Donger
If a player manages to land the die in an opposing player's cup, the other team fill their cups (keeping the die in the beer) with a new beer, and then chug the entire beer. This is known as a "ker-plunk" aka "KP" (or a "sink" in Newfoundland and at Middlebury College) aka "feesh" (In Indiana and Indiana University) and counts as two points for the team that plunked. Another variation is that no point is given for a KP and only the beers must be finished. The player that manages a "plunk" would then get to add their name to the table, or add a tally mark under their name. The game then continues as it had before the "ker-plunk." The plunked team, once they chug the entire beer, must spit out the die on the table. If they miss the table, they must drink another beer. As a result, most players move right next to the table so that there is no way the die can roll off the table. If the die lands bizz-up, then the throwing team must fill up their beers and chug, as if they had just been plunked. The die is also placed in the original throwing team's cup and they too get a chance to spit out the die so it lands bizz-up. The process can, in theory, go on forever, but the probability of that is obviously incredibly low. If it lands on anything else, nothing happens.
Plunking brings a unique reward. The player who threw the plunk gets to write his/her name on the table and start a hash mark count of their plunks. In some places when you plunk for the first time, the player is given a "die-name" by all the veterans of the game. The player is required to use this name at this table and every other one until the player plunks 100 times. At this point they may elect for a new "die-name." Any player guilty of a self-plunk must write their name on the underside of the table along with a count of self plunks. Further, they and their partner are required to strip completely naked and run around the building in which they are playing. At some schools (Colby College) a self-plunker does not need to run around the building but has to finish the game completely naked with his/her partner.
You CAN plunk yourself, and both players must still chug an entire beer, and spit out the die. If you spit it out bizz-up, your team must chug another beer. In theory, your team could keep going chugging beers if the die kept being spit bizz-up (and if you miss the table on purpose, you must drink an entire beer).
At some places, (Keene State) the Roll-Out is the procedure following a beer. Under Roll-Out rules, the process is:
Following a plunk, the beers should be pounded. Immediately following the die should be rolled out onto the table. The rolling of Bizz-up results in an additional penalty beer.
A Plunk's A Plunk ("Nothin beats a Sink!")
Regardless of the source, intention, or target of a plunk, it always counts. (see "Rams Plunk").
Die Names and Plunking
In the original Beer Die, as played at Colby College, when a player plunks for their first time he or she is rewarded their die name. The name is usually a joke name, since it is invented by the other players on the table. The player who plunked then adds their die name to the table and puts a tick under it to signify the plunk. This "die name" will be their name until the end of college, or if the player does not like his or her die name they can change it to what they choose (besides their own name) after 100 plunks on the same table. A player records every following plunk with an additional tick under their name on the table. When playing on a new table, that player will record their plunks under their original given name. Therefore they will end up "tagging" many die tables across campus with their "die name" throughout college. A self plunk occurs when you plunk in your own cup (or your partners cup) which results in a kill and fill. Also, whoever tossed the self plunk must sign the opposite side of the table.
A popular variation to signing the table is to place a "skirt" over the table. The skirt is then signed in lieu of the table when plunks are scored. The skirt is then retired at the end of the Beer Die season, which typically coincides with a calendar year or semester. The Beer Die player who scored the most plunks during the previous season keeps the old skirt as a memento.
If a player throws a die that touches or bounces off either of the other team's cup, this is known as a "plink" or "body blow" and requires the team's cup's hit to take a sip. The only negative thing that can happen to the throwing team after a plink is if the die ends bizz-up. This is often referred to as a "self plink". If a player catches the die after a plink if it didn't hit the table at any point, then the plink is "right back at ya" and the throwing team drinks. If a plink occurs the defending team does not need to catch the die.
One of the most fundamental rules of traditional Beer Die is that drinking and scoring points are separate. Thus, once the die plinks the cup, the play is determined dead and no point is scored, regardless of how the die continues to travel.
Unauthorized variations combining drinking and scoring are not uncommon. In those games where points may be scored after plinks, doing so is sometimes referred to as a "ploint" or a "two-fer". Hitting the cup changes the direction of the die, and takes away substantial momentum. Overall, a plinked die has about the same chance of scoring a point as a normal die.
As with "a plunk's a plunk", the same goes for a plink. Any object/projectile that strikes the beer is a valid plink, resulting in the opposing team sipping his or her beer. Tradition dictates that after a team member finishes pouring his or her own beer, they are obligated to slide/throw/hurl the empty beer can at an opposing team member's cup.
Beer Die is a game of team camaraderie. Whenever one person drinks, his or her teammate must drink as well. Both teammates are expected to finish their cups at the same points during the game. As soon as a teams' cups are empty, they get filled again.
Besides the "plink" and "plunk" drinking requirements, players may be forced to drink for several illegal moves, such as:
- Throwing a die that does not hit the table (called "a heinous")
- Throwing a die that does not reach the minimum height requirement (called "a whip")
- Throwing out of turn
- Trying to pass off a trapped die as a catch (commonly known as "bird style")
- Dropping the die on the ground when it is in your possession (between throws) ("Sloppy Die")
- When the die lands on the table, not landing bizz up, whoever the bizz side of the die points at must drink, regardless of whether or not they are participating in the game ("Bizz Points Rule")
- Whenever anything new and/or exciting happens, everyone at the table must drink ("Maxime Rule")
Out of Bounds
If a throw lands on the table legally, but goes off the table horizontally, this is called an "Out of Bounds", or OB for short. After 3 OBs from one team, that team must drink. The other team can still try to catch the die and if they do so, there is no OB penalty.
When scoring for OB's, if anyone dares to utter OB One Kenobi an immediate full beer chug is required.
PDT (Perfect Die Toss)
PDT, or Perfect Die Toss, refers to when a player tosses the die and it hits the very end of the table (opponent's side),making the bounce impossible to catch. PDT's raise a player's status and garner respect from fellow players.
When backs are in play, there is no such thing as a Perfect Die Toss, since the die must bounce before the cups, which are not on the end of the table, but rather a forearm and hand's length from the end of the table.
This has also been referred to in some circles as "Ace," "venom," "kill shot," "Jesus Drop," or "Chinese Chipmunk." It has also been called a "Lugo", in reference to Greg Louganis.
As with many other aspects of the game, the terminology used for this situation is different at Middlebury, where a PDT is referred to instead as a "nick" or a "Nick Kass Johnsson."
Aficionados at Idaho State University use the term "Miagi" (with emphasis) to describe this perfect throw. It is perhaps the most esoteric term, a reference to the "crane technique" from Karate Kid; "when done correctly, none can defend."
However, the very best beer die players with almost supernatural reflexes have been known to catch the PDT quite regularly.
FBP (Full Beer Plunk)
An FBP refers to the phenomenon where a player plunks on a freshly poured beer. There seems to be a connection with a freshly poured beer and the die. This plunk is often characterized by a large splash of beer that demoralizes the team that now has to drink another beer. The characteristic "mushroom cloud" shape and resultant frag pattern of beer have led to the FBP being labelled "Daisy Cutter". Few accomplishments in life can compare to "Daisy Cutting" an opponent.
At Middlebury College this is often refrerred to as Making it Rain as if executed properly this toss results in the opponent being covered in beer as the splash from the die entering a full cup is often very large.
If the throw is too low, the other team immediately calls Low, and the die, like in Back, is dead. Nothing else can happen with the die once it is called Low, negative or positive for the throwing team. Occasionally, players will call out various words and phrases instead of just simply "low." These include, but are not limited to, "Kurt Loder", "Loder", "MTV News", or the declaration that a certain throw was "ten to the hour."
Another variation is that if a throw is called low, the throw is still live. However, only the throwing team can be penalized for any other infraction that may occur.
This is often referred to as a Whip or simply "height" because it did not reach sufficient height.
The die must be tossed as high as an average sized man standing with his arm raised at a 45 degree angle.
Some variations say that the die must be tossed over the height of 2 beer cans at the middle of the table.
Other variations demand that the die go as high as the throw goes long, thus a die landing near the middle of the table and bouncing towards the opponent doesn't have to travel as high as a throw landing near the end of the table.
When playing indoors (under a typical height ceiling) some schools demand that the die must come within about eight inches from the ceiling.
Bizz = 5
If the die lands with the "bizz" facing up, the team who last had contact with the die must take a sip (or, in other games, must drink until the non-drinking team touches the die, or in some variations, must finish their beers (see Middlebury College's Mill and Tavern Social Houses, below). This rule can lead to the only time both teams drink at the same time - the throwing team plinks, and the die land up bizz-up.
Self Plunk AKA a Self Sink
The most egregious blunder is the self plunk: when the die lands in your or your partner's cup. On a self plunk both you and your partner must fill and finish your beers, and must spit out the die on the table as if it were a normal plunk. If you spit out a bizz (or spit the die off the table to avoid the risk of a bizz), you repeat the process as if the other team had spit out a bizz on your plunk.
Another common rule on the self plunk is that you must play the rest of the game naked.
Often, someone not participating in the actual competition will be chosen to act as the referee, or "God". "God" has final say on all questionable throws and catches. In some rule sets he must remain silent until he is asked his opinion. If a player makes a throw that is too low, it is the burden of the other team to appeal to God and ask if it was an illegal throw. In the original rules of beer die, "God" was not required to remain silent, and in fact he is responsible for commentating the events of the game, praising excellent play and criticizing poor play. "God" is also in charge of keeping score, strict enforcement of the rules, and knowing how many drinks remain in each player's cup.
In some places, "God" is simply known as "The Arbitrator."
If a thrown die fails to cross the "Salsa Line" (in reference to the inaugural game of beer die in which a can of salsa was used to denote center table) and lands on the thrower's side of the table (whether through an exceptionally weak throw, or by bouncing off the ceiling or opponent's cup) that team's players must play with their pants around their ankles until they complete a regulation toss. It is suggested that before play, everyone guarantees that they are indeed wearing boxer shorts. A common variant to this rule states that a die that lands on the thrower's side of the table is either a "heinous" (if it did NOT at any time cross the center line and hit the other team's table) or nothing (if it did cross). If the die lands bizz-up, the throwing team still drinks. If the die did not land or cross, this results in a double drink. In other circles, the "Salsa Line" is referred to as "The Richard Simmons Line," and failure to cross results in shotgunning a beer. If playing with kegs, a kegstand with length of time at God's discretion is customary.
Another variant to the rule states that if you "self plunk" you are required to run around the perimeter of the dorm (no matter the weather) completely naked. Or, depending on house rules, you must simply play naked, or remove an article of clothing. Another variation to this rule is that if one player "self plunks" they must drink all four cups at the table. Also, if one player "plunks" in their partners cup, they must drink their cup of beer and also their partners.
Cheating, such as lying about the score or purposefully making a false call on a throw, is considered very poor sportsmanship and incredibly frowned upon. The game is considered a gentleman's game; treat it as such with proper respect.
Bird Style - a variation on the catch that walks the fine line between fair play and cheating, usually dependent on the affability (or in some cases, attractiveness of a female competitor) of its perpetrator. In lieu of executing a clean, one-handed catch, the die is trapped (with one hand) against a bosom, abdominal roll, or other lipid deposit. Bird Style (aka B.S.) catches were a prominent feature of the New Haven scene during the years 1997-2000. It is unclear whether the nomenclature refers to its inventor's tendency to "swoop" or the chicken wing-like appearance of a player's arm after executing a B.S. catch or if the Bird Style actually refers to the Celtic legend, Larry Bird, known for his somewhat dirty style of play.
While under normal circumstances a game will continue without interruption, any player may call, during his/her team's turn at throwing the die, a Natural. This allows any player on the table to leave the table for a bathroom break. Although the Natural may be called, if both cups are left on the table at this call the other team still may, but is not suggested, to throw the die and rack a free point, even though Beer Die is referred to as a "Gentleman's Game."
In this version any time the die lands dead on the table with the number "5" face up the team that shot must both finish their beers. Also in this version no one play is allowed to say the number "5". It is referred to as poof (because of the shape of the dots on that side of the die) and anyone that says 5 must drink their entire beer.
After your first sink on a table, you must do a lap of the building naked.
After getting shut out, you must do a lap of the building naked, or streak to the nearest Chem Free Housing and back.
Several skilled players have adapted elaborate tactics to win close games. Some of these tactics include:
The blind throw
Player throws the die from the inside, and releases the die before his hand becomes visible above the table. Though this throw often results in over-throws, when done properly it is fairly effective in catching opposing players off guard.
The double throw
Player fakes throwing with one hand and quickly throws with the other hand. In some circles this maneuver is known as the Sam Perkins toss.
Splitting the Uprights
Player tries to throw the die directly in between the opponent’s cups with the hopes that on the ensuing bounce both opposing players will try and catch the die at the same time. Ideally this will cause a mid-air collision of hands, thus decreasing the likelihood of a successful catch. Works best when opposition is slightly intoxicated and is a great tactic when trying to spark a come from behind victory.
At Keene State this is dubbed "intercourse" resulting in a penalty sip for the infracting team in a gentleman's game or finish the remainder of the beer in tournament play.
The partner feint
Player fakes throwing out of turn, and then his partner quickly follows with the actual throw. This is often preceded by the feigning player making a visible showing of the die, and then passing it surreptitiously to his teammate under the table.
The Krueger Gambit
One player attempts to score points on his throw, while the other player attempts to get "plunks" on his every throw. This tactic is effective in tournament play, as getting your opponents drunk early may pay off in the long run. There is usually some form of bourbon or Jaegermeister involved in this gambit as incentive.
The Petry Tirade
A legendary NW Territory Beer-Die Hall of Famer, who is renowned for his unreal competitive spirit and skill at the table - once argued a perceived bad call by God to a level unseen at the table. The now fabled "Petry Tirade" resulted in this legendary participant blowing his top, kicking dirt everywhere, delivering a few choice words to God, and throwing the championship trophy, the Beer-Die Cup, into the Hyolite Reservoir along with a chair, during a tournament out in western Montana. The Tirade was well documented, and the acting God decided to defuse the situation by handing out a stiff number of penalty drinks, but did not disqualify the tirade team from the table (which would have been well within his rights as God).
The Tirade is less of a tactic, and more of a lack of emotional control, but some have argued that the Tirade may have been staged, and a clever and dirty tactic to buy one team "time" to regroup. It also can be argued that God was less willing to call a close call against that team. Regardless, the end result of the day saw the Tirading team take home the championship.
The MiG Offensive
The MiG Offensive is a psychological strategy designed to bewilder and infuriate one's opponents. Chief among these is the maneuver of inventing rules during match play to better accommodate one's situation. For example, one might insist that the rules require players to fill their cups to the rim, rather than to the agreed upon line. This player will often argue the point vehemently, in the hope that his opponent will forget the illegality of the rule change itself.
The second component of the MiG Offensive is perhaps the most distressing to opponents. The technique begins with a maddening string of insincere, over-the-top complements directed at one's opponents. The string of complements is then suddenly replaced by a tactless insult such as "Your mother should've swallowed you", during a critical point in the match. The offender then apologizes, and proceeds to repeat the entire process from the beginning.
Other indicators that the MiG Offensive is in play include, but are not limited to: Insisting that every one of his opponent's throws are too low , and accusing his opponents of trying to stage an intervention.
The coup de grâce is performed the day after the event, when the player insists that he in fact won the previous night's match.
The MiG Offensive can only be performed under extreme alcoholic duress. Its appearance usually signals the end of the night's beer die festivities. The MiG Offensive is not a recommended strategy for those who respect their friends and the sport of beer die.
The Collins Defense
This style stresses placing the better catcher on the left side so he can use his right hand to catch the die when it comes between the two teammates. (This is assuming the superior catcher favors his right hand. If he favors his left, he would occupy the right side instead.)
On some occasions, beer die participants have had too much to drink and decide that they would like to cheat by dumping part or all of their beer in an attempt to evade the game's drinking requirements.
The Freshman (AKA The Summer Boarder)
When playing with a Freshman, tell them to take the die, walk across to the other side of the table and drop it in an opponent's cup. This counts as a plunk and the other team must finish their beers.
The Rebmann Offensive
This style emphasizes having the better thrower on the right side (again, assuming he is right-handed), so he can throw from outside the table. This style of throw enables the player to put more spin on the die.
The Slothe Offensive
This offense is a combination of skill and finesse. It was named after the Great Carmone. Little details are know of the origins except that the object is to drink your opponents under the table causing a forfeit.
The Gehlert Gambit
This was a sacrificial play. The scheme is executed by secretly switching to a non-alcoholic beverage. This aids the player by allowing him/her to maintain greater levels of mental focus and physiological prowess. On its inaugural use, the Gehlert Gambit (G-bit in common usage) involved replacing beer with milk.
The Rickert Rotator
This play involves extending one’s arm behind one’s back and throwing the die by rotating the arm in an arch over the shoulder towards the table. The die is released when the arm reaches an eighty to eighty-bizz degree angle above the table. While the resulting toss is impressive, it is difficult to master and is not appropriate for use in rooms with low ceilings.
The Booie Defense
An ambidextrous defense style where one hand is held above the table plane, and the other below. This method provides better coverages of all die trajectories within the vertical plane. It is also an intimidating style for opponents.
The Huff Offensive
The Huff Offensive is one of the best offensive strategies in the game of Beer Die.
The Huff Offensive begins with the catch of the opposition's throw. The players on the other team that receive the die put their hands underneath the table and act like they are passing it to/from one another. The opposition is unsure as to which player is going to throw the die.
Both members of the receiving team now start to move their arms in a fashion similar to running while sitting in a chair. They do this for a count of 4 or 5 or so, and then the person with the die makes the throw.
The Huff Gambit
The Huff Gambit involves throwing the die short (no further than the Salsa Line) and with various spin angles and speeds in an effort to utilize the die's unpredictable bounce to confuse and surprise the enemy. This gambit can be likened to a fluttering knuckleball in baseball...it travels much slower than the other pitches but it can be extremely hard to hit (or catch in the case of Beer Die).
The Huff Gambit is difficult to pull off and will not work as well on softer tables. As the knuckleball is more effective on a windy day, the Huff Gambit is more effective on a harder playing table, such as a hardwood, laminate, or mica surface. The throw can be used in a multitude of situations, but it is most effective in the later stages of the game when player's faculties are not 100%.
The high, short flight of the die, which often lands at or before the Salsa Line, can surprise opposing players, who think the thrower made a mistake. They soon realize, however, that they must now catch the die as it is bouncing unpredictably towards them. In rare instances, a well thrown Huff Gambit will score a Rams Plunk; but it most frequently scores a plink when the die hits the cup or a drink when the opposition cannot catch it. The gambit can also be effective when thrown down the middle as the opposition has more time to think about it and catching assignments have a greater likelihood of being blown. One final benefit of the Huff Gambit is that it changes the pace of throws between players, making it harder for the enemy to get into a rhythm.
Poaching involves a partner intentionally and sometimes vigorously catching a die directed at his/her partner. This is most often done to prevent inexperienced or poor partners from costing the team points throughout the match. "Poaching" can lead to partner confusion and collision in an effort to retrieve the die, however when properly performed, the Poach can be a clutch move.
Other places call this "Die Hogging" or "Hanking", and one who does this is labeled a "Die Hog" or the "Hank."
If it is a competitive match (such as tournament play or an intense rivalry) Poaching is acceptable, however, in a friendly game, it is frowned upon (though not illegal).
April Fools Defense
This is a controversial defensive technique where a piece of cellophane is put over the top of the cup to prevent a plunk. Throwers accuse defenders of an April Fools tactic when the die plinks off the rim of the cup on a shot that looked to be a guaranteed plunk, a
The Restell Counteroffensive
A form of the "Goodman" whereby an angry opponent slams his/her fist onto the table causing the die to enter the cup. The "Mand Counter" is executed when one is drinking immediately after an opponent's plunk, showering them with beer.
Three cup is the version of beer die most closely linked to beer pong. It is a two person game. Other variation from the conventional game of beer die is that the game is played stand up, played with three cups on either side of the table, and two dice. The cups are placed in a triangle fashion with two in the corners of the table and one place in the middle of the table about halfway between the end of the table and the middle of the table. The cups are not touching; instead they are equally separated to form what would be an equilateral triangle. The object of the game is to eliminate all of the opponent’s cups by throwing the die in the same method as it would be thrown in beer die, but instead of keeping track of the score in points earned because of a drop the object is to eliminate all cups. Much like beirut.
When the die is thrown and strikes the side of the cup the player who’s cup was hit has to drink a quarter of the remaining beer. The game is started with three full beers. If the die hits off of the rim of the cup the player must drink a half, and must finish the cup if the cup gets plunked. The catch in this game however, is that there are two dice and both dice must be caught in order to return the throw. Meaning that the one player starts with both die and throws one at a time, allowing one opponent to regroup before the second die is thrown. Let's remember it is a gentlemen’s game. If the first one hits off the side of a cup and the opponent does not catch the die the player who made the initial throw receives both dice back regardless of his or her second throw. If the die goes into a cup it is played as if the die was caught. All other standard die rules apply. Meaning that one hand must be used and no trapping the die.
The key to this game is to try and stay on offense by causing your opponent to drop die because of good throws or throwing the die off of the side of the cup. There are no out of bounds meaning that players must catch everything that comes off the end or the sides of their respective halves of the table. The origin of this game was once again founded in the northeast in Maine at Colby College. Where the rule is that if a participant does not make his opponent take a single sip of any of the three beers on their side of the table one must make a clothes-less run to the nearest chemical free dormitory.
In the Midwest regions of the country, specifically Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO, the game of Beer Die has been modified to Beer Guy
. This form of the game was created and perfected primarily by members of the local Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
In St. Louis, MO, another beer die movement has taken place, in the form of the Beer Die Premier League Unlike many beer die leagues around the nation, the Beer Die Premier League (BDPL) features the game being played on players' feet rather than sitting in chairs. Furthermore, the set up and rules of the game have made defense a major emphasis in the pursuit of greatness. Established in 2001, the league has developed to include participants from 10 different states, competing in various tournaments throughout the year to have their name etched on the BDPL Championship Cup.
In Aberdeen, SD, Japanese Biz is played with Beer Die rules except the table is really low to the floor, allowing just enough room for legs to be stretched out underneath, limiting a player's range of motion and making defense more difficult. Another variation is Island Biz, again played with Beer Die rules, except 2 tv trays are used as the table and spaced several feet apart, limiting the target area and making offense more difficult.
Random Team Selection
NW Territory Beer-Die handles the teams for their annual tournaments in a very traditional fashion of randomly selecting teams out of a hat. The first two "teams" drawn start the tournament, with the winning team staying on until they are defeated.
Championship t-shirts are created and the winning team wears them proudly at all times, so there is never any doubt who the defender is on the table. Whomever ends the day/night with the best total record (must be at least biz wins) officially wins the tournament, and keeps the victory shirts forever. These are very prized possessions.
Casualty of War
If a player cannot continue playing during a match (alcohol related), then the team is disqualified from the tournament unless the remaining one player drinks for both people. The player that did not finish his beer must leave the table and cannot return for the duration of the game. If a player continues to play alone he must drink double (normal team drinks) for the remainder of the game with no additional time limits and forfeiture of the throwing turn for the missing teammate. If the solo player is victorious his teammate may return for the start of the next game. Non-Alcohol Related - If your partner leaves for any non-alcohol related reason the same rules apply except that the player may rejoin the game, however, stalling penalties will be strictly enforced during tournament play. The application of “Casualty of War” should be used only in extreme situations and is strongly discouraged as 2 vs. 1 disturbs the games natural symmetry. If however it comes to this, the person leaving the table will forfeit their toss, but the toss rotation will continue without change (ex: Player A1 tosses, Player B1 tosses, Player A2 tosses, [player B2 forfeits his toss], player A1 tosses, etc).
Dual Citizen Rule
In the event of an odd number of tournament participants, one player from an existing team will be randomly selected to partner with the last odd number person. This player drawn becomes the "Dual Citizen" and will participate on two teams. If either of his teams win and stay on the table, his other team could in fact have their place at getting back on the table delayed to if/when the first team loses. Dual Citizen is a tough task, but is an honor and a chance to make an odd number of participants still work.
After a plunk, the cup the die landed in is inspected before it is removed from the table. If the die is biz (five) up, all players must finish their beer.
Cell Phone Rule
If a player gets a cell phone call during the game that player has 5 (Bizz) seconds to complete the call
If a fourth player cannot be found, you may play with three players, two on one side, one on the other. Same rules apply, the lone player being responsible for his/her entire side of the table. Two beers should be used, just as if the 4th player was present.
In the unfortunate event that a 4th player cannot be located, a game of Cutthroat Beer Die may be played. The side with 1 player moves back and forth between the seats on his side, moving after he has both thrown and played defense with the person diagonal from him. After each match point, the three players rotate so that everyone takes turns being on a team alone. The side of the table with 2 players each get 1/2 of a match point for winning, where as the side with 1 player gets the entire match point for winning. This version was developed at Kansas State University at the Chase Manhattan Apartment Complex.
A variation of the above Cutthroat gameplay, it is a three man beer die match, in which there are two players vs. one. The one man team has only one seat on his side of the table and can position it anywhere of his choosing. The game then commences as a normal game, and once the game is completed all players rotate right one seat around the table, moving a new player into the single seat.
Roommate One on One Game
If two roommates are playing together with no one else waiting for the table, then they follow the roommate rules. Every few tosses of the die, instead of throwing it underhand they throw it overhand directly at the opponent's cup. Winner is the person who passes out last. Points do not matter, this game is for plunks.
In Death Match play, points are not counted. Each player sits with a case of beer and a white towel. The team that runs out of beer first, or surrenders by waiving the white towel loses.
40 oz. Drink in
To make the game more interesting for experienced BeerDie players, the choosing of partners could be random. Prior to a tournamnet, pairs of 40 oz beers are purchased equal to the amount of players in the tournament (the cheaper the beer the better). Caps from the 40's are chosen by the players out of a hat, which will decide your partner. The 40 must be finished before any player is allowed to play their first game. A. Villar (MA) master beer die player has said that the 40 Oz. has made a major impact in the competitiveness of the tournament.
Should a game reach a score of 6-6, any player may enact stoner rules whereupon play continues until one team gains a 2 point advantage over its competition, similar to add-in and add-out in a tennis match. It is theoretically possible for a game to never end in this fashion.
A full pitcher of warm beer is placed directly in the center of the table. If any player lands a toss in the pitcher, this player and their partner must drink the entire pitcher, or forfeit the game / tournament.
This is also called the "Death Cup." If a player says "death cup" in any other voice besides a low demonic growl, then they must take a sip of their beer. The same rules still apply if the die lands in the pitcher.
Follows all rules of normal beer die, but substitutes Mad Dog 20/20 in various flavors for normal beer. It should be noted that while traditional beer die can be played with any variety of beer, though tradition dictates this beer should be a low quality, domestic macrobrew (see Schaefer, Ice House, Coors Light, the Champagne of beers, Natty Light). Note: Playing with any of the following is a Bad Idea (or an Awesome Idea): Natty Ice, Wild Irish Rose, any sort of alcoholic punch, Bailey's Irish Cream.
Players must keep their elbows touching their sides during throws and catches, resulting in a sight that one could only describe as dinosaurs playing die. All normal rules of beer die apply, except for "low" calls.
Similar to Mad Die above but substituting vodka lemonades for beer after all the beer runs out. Post game effects include: players affectionately jumping on other players backs causing them to go face first into alleys, stealing things like apples from grocery stores and then proclaiming "I'm stealing an apple!" while running out of the store with a bloody face from previously mentioned face plant into alley, general mayham, vomiting.
Follows all rules of normal beer die, but takes place in a body of water (pool, river, lake) with the board supported by floatation devices. One caveat includes an additional rule of the "KERSPLOOSH", that takes place in a pool. A KERSPLOOSH involves an out-of-bounds toss that bounces on your opponents half of the board. If that die bounces and then makes it way to the bottom of the pool before being legally caught, a KERSPLOOSH is awarded. The penalty for the receiving player is to drink one-fifth of their cup. No point is awarded for a KERSPLOOSH.
The game is played Alpha Pi rules only it is one on one in terms of players per game
Same as the Alpha Pi rules but four markers per side, each player must play topless, and instead of beer the game has to be played with whiskey and coke.
Same as Alpha Pi rules but each player must stand on one leg. Also the you must catch with one hand and it must be the same hand the whole game. The other hand must form a hook with the middle finger. Parrots on shoulder optional.
Official Major League Rules
At the highest level of tournaments, all drinking rules are removed to allow for very large and intense tournaments. The dice cannot touch any part of your body other than your hand and cannot touch any object other than the table or the cups. All rules enforced by Major League Beer Die, the official governing body of the sport.
Local legend has it that sometime during the year 2008, Mark Sackson, son of Dana Sackson, son of Sid Sackson
, inventor of the discontinued board game "Can't Stop The Turtles," visited Skidmore College
, bringing with him an untold amount of the cardboard entertainments as gifts. Students reportedly found the game too boring to play, and consequently, the enclosed dice were used to play a previously unknown game. The game was beer die.
It quickly gained popularity at Skidmore, as a relaxed alternative to beer pong, and now accounts for a large share of the drinking games played at the college.
In addition, due to its unique emergence at the college, beer die at Skidmore College has a distinctive set of rules and tactics. The Skidmore variation on beer die follows all the fundamental rules, including the requirement that the die must cross the end of the table for a point to be awarded. The additional rules and tactics are as follows:
Captain Cook's Cap
Captain Cook's Cap is a variant rule of beer die that is widely used at Skidmore College. On each end of the table, a beer cap is placed equidistant between the two beer glasses, and pushed forward, so that it creates a forty-five degree angle between the two. The objective, is to strike your opponent's beercap, thus forcing them to drink their entire beer. If, by chance, the die happens to continue across the end of the table, and if your opponent fails to catch the die, then an additional point shall be bestowed upon the throwing team. Hitting Captain Cook's Cap thus holds one important advantage over a simple Plunk, in that it is also possible to get a point out of the forced drinkage. Given the immense difficulty of this maneuver, a team that hits the cap will often try to disparage their opponents with various culinary-infused trash-talk.
The Bell Reflection
If you achieve a plink, and the die continues across the end of the table, and if the opposing team does not manage to catch the die, this counts as a point as well as a mandate to drink. (Note that if a plink results in an OB, the Carlisle Defense may be employed). Players that are particularly skilled at achieving the Bell Reflection will often aim to graze the inside of one of the glasses, achieving a plink while causing the die minimal re-direction.
The Carlisle Defense
If one catches a die that is either overshot (heinous) or off the side of the table (OB), then one has instigated the "Carlisle Defense". This rule exists primarily as a strategy by which to deter one's friends from blacking out and or vomiting. Alternatively, it is a rule that allows one to require that one's opponents drink double. If the case so happens that the die hits your glass, and you employ the "Carlisle Defense" (by catching the die), you also then have the ability to deny yourself the necessity to drink. Although it is often advantageous to get one's opponents drunk, it is sometimes prudent to employ the "No drink" Carlisle Defense, as the opposing team will often, (though not always), return the favor.
The Akerstrom Extreme Off-The-Wall Off the Ceiling Challenge
If one happens to bounce the die off the ceiling, and if that same die happens to cross the end of the table, this counts not only as a point, but due to the sheer audacity of this maneuver, counts also as an ordinance that the opponents must drink.
The Sackson Feint
This is a fairly involved distraction maneuver that requires immense courage and stealth. The objective of the Sackson Feint is to throw off your opponent's timing, befuddling them enough to cause a drop. You first make it clear to your opponent that you are holding the die in your right hand. With your arm in an upright position, your hand now shielding the die, you let the die fall from your throwing hand to your other hand beneath the table. You then fake the throw with the throwing hand, and quickly make the throw with your other hand.
Originally, only the green-colored die from Sackson's boardgame "Can't Stop the Turtles" were used at Skidmore. With time, however, and with the spread of the game, the turtle die were lost. Many Skidmore students will color their die green to pay tribute to the roots of the game's local legacy.
Can't Stop Substitution
The number five is not allowed to be spoken by any of the players during a game. If the number five is spoken, the offending player must drink half of his remaining beer. In tribute to the unwitting founder of beer die at Skidmore College, the phrase "Can't stop" is substituted for the number five.
Alpha Pi Rules
A favorite game among fellow Zetes, this version of beer die is a variation played at the Alpha Pi and Tau Gamma chapters.
- Players do not sit at a table; they stand while the game is played.
- Each side starts the game with two full cups and two refills and the loser is decided when one team has empty cups and no refills.
- Scoring is simple: if you hit, or "plink", half a beer is drunk from that cup. If you sink on a cup, or plunk, the remainder of the cup must be drunk.
- The throwing player must call their cup before throwing and their hand cannot extend over the edge of the table.
- The die must be thrown in an under handed fashion and must clear a height of two and a half beer cans at the middle of the table. If the die does not reach that height and is not intentional the throwing side is given a "low warning". Throwing the die low again is penalized with a forfeited throw.
- Throws must hit the table on the table/cup before hitting the ground. If the die does not hit the table or a cup it is deemed a "overthrow", the throwing player is penalized with drinking a half cup (but the game cannot be won on an overthrow).
- If the die hits the table and then bounces off the table to the left or the right while not passing beyond the cup is ruled off the side and does not count as a drop
- Any all drinking must be done before the team can throw
- Drinks can be passed between team members, it is a "team" game
- As with the other versions of beer die one member of the opposing side must catch the die (one handed) before it hits the ground.
- If in the event the die is trapped in the clothing of one member of the catching team, it must remain trapped for 5 seconds at which point it is declared caught. In other variations of beer die, trapping of any sort is not allowed.
- The number 5 has no consequences in this version due to a local secret of chapter.
- Respect can be earned by making trick shots or trick catches. This includes behind the back shots and kicking the die in the air and catching it. While these tricks do not equate to drinking more or less, they are in themselves worthy of celebration and praise.
- If a sink is made on a full cup, the opposing team must drink the beer and then roll the die. The person that threw the die then calls out a number between 1 and 6. If the die lands on that number the person who was "sunk on" must drink an additional full beer before the game is finished.
- If the die hits one cup and then hits the other cup the opposing side must drink a half beer from both cups. Or, in some of the more intense areas of the sport, the team whose cups were hit must dunk their nuts in their beer and drink the whole thing.
- In the rarest of all events that a die hits one cup and then lands in the other, the player that threw the die shall be known forever as being amazingly skilled and/or lucky.
- If in the case the die strikes a foreign horizontal surface after bouncing from the table a point is awarded to the throwing team. If a die strikes a vertical wall after bounching on the table it is still recognized as catchable. Players must be aware of their surroundings in playing areas with limited space as this is where injuries often occur.
- After a "sink," if the player spits the die back onto 5 his team must drink another beer, not the team that threw the die.
- In the event that only two people are available to play, they may play with "quarter" rules. The only changed aspect of the game is that all previous rules to drink a half a beer are changed to quarter of a beer, and drinking a full beer is changed to half.
- The game can be played with other drinks if necessary. This includes but is not limited to Mad Dog, 40's, Mixed drinks, and straight liquor.
- *Warning* Liquor Die is not for the faint of heart or faint of liver. In 95% of cases it leads to blackouts. Player discretion is advised.
Tau Tau Rules
At Wash U, most notably among members of Sigma Chi, beer die has become much more than just a staple of the pre-game scene. It is an institution unto itself.
The most significant rule difference is the rope, which is used to determine the acceptable height of a toss. Rope heights relative to the table vary, but are about 4 to above the table surface. Tosses under the rope cannot score points, but a plunk still results in the other team finishing their beers. Any toss that hits the rope is dead; this is often referred to as a "Dikembe."
There are also some additional rules on catching the die: If a player uses both hands to trap the die, the catch is invalid and the other team gets a point. However, if a player bobbles the die but still manages to secure it with just one hand, this is a legal catch, although since it touched both hands it is referred to as "sloppy die," and the team is required to drink. This rule extends to bobbles which involve both members of a team, unless each member touches the die with the same hand (i.e. one bobbles with their right hand and the other secures it with their
right). Generally, a catch is ruled invalid if the die touches any
flat surface (i.e. a windowsill, the seat of the chair, the table itself, etc.); it does not have to touch the floor to be ruled a point. Finally, on some tables, players can avoid drinking on a plink if they catch the die directly off the cup (without hitting the table in between).
In 2006-2007, "Late Night Beer Die" also caught on among the Sigma Chi brothers. These games did not begin before 3am, and involve additional drinking rules, such as penalties for missing the table completely (a shot of whatever is around). For obvious reasons, Late Night Beer Die games are often abandoned midway through, despite seeming like a great idea at the start.
Many Sigma Chis at Wash U have also become quite prolific plunkers. The total on the house table in '06-'07 was 2599 (the House Manager kept stats). Whether the rope aids the plunking marksman or adds an additional challenge is up for debate. There is an additional aspect of the game that comes into play during a plunk as well. After each plunk the die must be spat out onto the table, and if it lands on a bizz, the plunked on team must shotgun a beer. After each bizz spat the die must be spat again until a bizz is not landed on. Recently, a rule has come about that designates how each ensuing plunk should be handled as follows: 1 bizz spat is one shotgun, 2 bizzes spat is 2 shotguns, 3 bizzes spat is nothing, 4 bizzes spat is one shotgun for the plunking team, 5 bizzes spat is 2 shotguns for the plunking team, 6 bizzes spat is again nothing. If a bizz is spat for the seventh time in a row, the die should be permanently retired from play, and probably sneaked into a Vegas craps game.
Key Terms and Phrases
The Tim Nippins - This is a throw that just grazes the edge of the table (also known as a Perfect Die Toss).
The Backhoe - An underhand throw where the back of the hand faces upward and the thrower whips the hand up pivoting from the elbow, this throw creates much spin making it difficult to catch cleanly.
The Stallone - When a die bounces just "Over the Top" of the cup. This will distract the other team in thinking that it's going to be a Bitch, and sometimes make a them miss the catch.
There are a number of calls that a player may make before the die lands in the cup. These range from particular shouted sayings to specific body actions needed to complete the "special" nature of the plunk.
The Rams Plunk - A plunk that bounces at least 4 times before landing in the cup.
The Ricky Henderson - A plunk that happens on the very first die toss during a game.
The Tiger Woods - After the die is tossed in the air, the player tossing the die leaves their chair and points as the die lands in the cup.
The Bitch - The die must hit the table and bounce in to the cup. This can also be seen in multiples (the Double or Triple Bitch) as well as in combination.
The Rim Job - The die catches the rim of the cup then goes in.
The Peter Parker - The die bounces on the table, climbs up the side of the cup and rolls in.
The Lil' John - While the die is in air, the tosser must shout "Yeah", "What" or "Okay" in the voice of Lil' John.
The Street Fighter - While the die is in the air, the tosser must shout "Ryuken" or "Tut tut tut tieuyken" as in the game Street Fighter.
The Zoolander - "It's a walk off!" This happens to score the buzz point and end the game.
The Yahtzee - After the beer has been chugged, the die must be tossed out of the now empty cup in an attempt to plunk the original tossers. If this happens, the points switch sides.
The Prepas - Any sink or "plunk" thrown by a player wearing sweat pants stained by spaghetti sauce and/or grease from McDonald's hash browns.
The Natasha Bedingfield - When you are the victim of a plunk that splatters beer and you "feel the rain on your skin".
The Helen Keller - Appropriate when playing with Guinness. The only way to determine if a plunk was made is to reach deep into the beer and feel for the die.
The José Canseco- When the die bounces off your opponent's head and into their cup.
The Al Gore - A plunk which occurs after half-hearted or insincere attempts. The opponent's beer has become warm, and thus spoiled.
The Pacman Jones - The act of plunking, or "making it rain", on your opponent .
The Tom Emanski - Occurs when a team or individual plunks on back-to-back-to-back tosses. This plunk is endorsed by Major League Super Star Fred McGriff. ("This is the plunk that gets results.")
The Don Larsen- Plunking/scoring on 5 consecutive shots to win 5-0...a perfect game.
The Diego Maradona Hand of God Plunk - While attempting to make a catch the die glances off a hand and into the cup, but the game's referee does not see the die touching the hand thus the play results in a plunk.
The Walkoff, aka The Big Papi - Scoring the winning point of the game with a plunk.
The A-Rod - A plunk occurring late in a game that has been decided. With the score being 4-0 or 4-1 and the player not contributing on offense, they hit a meaningless plunk, much like an Alex Rodriguez home run.
The Stratoplunk - A high throw that results in a plunk. This can only be done during outdoor games as the die must travel at least above the table. You must yell out "STRATO" when the die is in air for it to be a true Stratoplunk.
The Ron Mexico - When a player is intoxicated but still tosses an improbably perfect plunk. The pinpoint accuracy often continues for several games, befuddling the opposition, as 'The Ron Mexico' can not even perform basic motor skills, other than those related to beer die.
The Ginger - An under bounce plunk, characterized by a weak throw from start to finish. A true Ginger plunk is thrown by a red headed competitor.
The Anton Chigurh - Even though the game is over and you defeated your opposition, you plunk on them once more anyway because you gave them your word you would.
The Jamie Lynn Spears - An unexpected plunk which occurs before your 17th birthday.
The Turkey Club- As in bowling, one player makes Three consecutive plunks in a row.
The Chauncy - die bounces to a sink
The Rebuttal - throwing a plunk on the first throw immediately following an opponent's plunk.
The Spit Plunk - After a plunk, the receiver finishes his beer and then is able to spit the die across the table & plunks.
The Rebuttal Spit Plunk - Following a Spit Plunk, as with any plunk, the receiving player must spit the die out after finishing his/her beer. This plunk is achieved if a player plunks.
The Sparks - After plunking, when the die is spit back across the table, the player who threw the plunk slaps the die out of the air. The die bounces off a wall & lands back in the cup of the player who spat... and the die is bizz up in the bottom of the cup.
The Bill Buckner
- an easy catch that is missed to lose the game.
The Willie Mays - an over the shoulder catch.
The Charles Barkley - shoving your partner out the window when attempting to make a catch and then saying "I regret that we weren't on a higher floor"
The Zidane - Head-butting your partner while making a catch.
The Aaron Rowand - when you crack your face on the wall or any other fixed obstacle while making an over the shoulder catch.
The Pelé - Any type of catch or plunk that involves the feet in some way.
The Steve Bartman - the player reaches over the table thus interfering with the throw.
The Tweek - A standing catch made by kicking the die upward right before it hits the ground.
The Lloyd - when the player catching the die flails their arms and hits their partner in the balls, thus creating great animosity between partners
The Kiper Viper Strike - When a player holds his/her hand in the air resembling a viper
The Ice Cream Cone - catching the die so that it resembles the ice cream in a cone.
The Statue of Liberty - catching the die with one's hand straight up by the ear, resembling the Statue of Liberty holding the torch.
The Peyton Manning
- A player who, after making some key errors on the losing end of a hard fought contest, suggests to others that his teammate was in fact responsible for the loss.
The Brett Favre - A player whose repeated mistakes are overlooked due to their high level of popularity at the party or fraternity.
The Dan Marino - A player who has competed in many beer die tournaments and made it to the finals, but has been unable to win a championship.
Federgreen - term used for bystanders who engage in any one of the following transgressions while the match is underway:
- Walking between the competitors and table, or behind the players thereby forcing them to adjust their stance or pause the game altogether
- Resting your drink on, leaning on, or in any other way disturbing the beer die table
- Attempting to engage in meaningful conversation with the competitors.
Clap-Back - after being plunked upon, the act of plunking on the opposing team on the next throw. May also be used to describe scoring a point on the throw immediately after being scored upon.
Buffalo - One team plunks 4 or more times in a game, and still manages to lose the game. Most likely scenario involves a Bill Buckner (Please see above).
Howie Long - when the die is thrown past the table
Kurt Lowder - the die is thrown too low
Rechero Suzuki - player reaches over the table to make a catch, illegal.
Martin Short - a die that is not thrown over the line.
Taint Masters Guild - A player hits the line/bar three times in one game must stand up, and lick the 'taint'