|What You Need: |
4 armless chairs
4 keg cups (12 ounces)
Ball of string
Piece of newspaper
How To Play:
The first thing you must understand about Beer Die is that it's not a game, it's a sport, and it's not just a sport, it's a way of life. True conisours don't participate for the fun of it. They don't participate for the pureness of competition. True and seasoned players participate because they have to, just as they must eat and breathe. We don't know why, we just know. The second thing you must understand is that you don't have to be lucky to win, you have to be good. Above all, however, this is a "gentlemen's" game. In other words, respect the game and your opponents.
To play you'll only need four keg cups, plastic cups with a volume of 12 ounces, and one Die. However, in order to set up you'll need a banquet table, the likes of which are often used at barmitzfas and weddings, four armless chairs, a ball of string, a hammer, a tape measure, a piece of newspaper and a No.2 pencil. Because the set up is so involved many veterans choose to leave the "field of play" intact either in the basement, a spare room or a garage. Only two teams of two can play at one time so a list of teams should be created in the event more than four people wish to play.
In a large and more or less vacant room set up the banquet table . The table should be about 8 feet long and 8 1/2 feet wide. In addition, there should be space, a good four feet, clear of any obstructions around the perimeter. Place two chairs at each short end of the table. Using a tape measure, find the mid-point of the table and mark it with the pencil. Now hang a piece of string from the ceiling at the mid-point like a net so that tossing the die over the string and hitting the table is a challenge. The distance between the string and the table and the string and the ceiling will depend on the size of your table and the height of your ceiling. Basically, this is a judgment call. Lastly, hang a piece of News paper over the string so that the length of the paper is stretched across the string, This will keep the string above the table in some what of a straight line and will help you determine if the die actually went over the net.
Before playing, all players fill their cups with a full beer. Once seated, each player places his or her cup on the table. Players should use their middle fingers to determine where the cup should be placed. Placing your cup on the table, imagine that the center of your cup is the fourth corner of a square, the sides of which are formed by the sides of your table and your two middle fingers. (The Diagram above gives you an approximation of these spots) If the game is the first of the night, one team will predict an odd or even roll of the die by their opposition. If correct, they are awarded the first toss of the game. If incorrect the toss goes to the other side. The team winning the previous game in subsequent games is always the team to roll, and are allowed to choose the side of the table they wish to play from. The object of the game is to toss the die while remaining in your seat, over the string in an attempt to score points, which, of course, will lead to victory if you can score more than your opponent. Further, you'd like to try and force the opposing team to drink.. Opposing players must catch the die in the event it hits the table and bounces off. When catching the die a player can only use one hand and may not "trap" the die against their body. Be honest, if you didn't catch it you didn't catch it. A tossing team is known as the "offensive" team and the catching team the "defensive". NOTE: There are no out of bounds so all tosses going over the string and bouncing off the other side of the table must be caught, even if this involves diving for the floor in an attempt to catch the die. Teams switch from "offense" to "defense" after each toss, and rotate which team member tosses the die between themselves.
The game is based on two independent scales, points, which can only be accumulated on "offense", and drinks. These will be awarded or penalized to teams depending on the outcome of a toss. A normal game is to five points but the winning team must win by two points. In other words, a team cannot win a game by the score of five to four. However, if the two teams are tied at six points a piece then the two point rule is nullified and a seventh point by either team will end the game.
Drink penalties do not effect the game's outcome, they exist only to insure that players will get good and sauced. Penalties are given out for a variety of reasons, the circumstances of which are explained below, with players consuming from their individual game cups for each penalty. A team accumulating 5 drink penalties must finish the remainder of their beer on the fifth foul. Because of this, a player must be sure to have beer remaining in their cups in the event they are charged with a fifth drink penalty. A player finishing prematurely, in other words on any of the other four drinks or during a random non-game related drink, must refill their beer. Once a fifth penalty is reached and the drinking is done the beer is refilled and for this reason and this reason only the team starts over without any penalties. Refills for other reasons do not abolish existing drink penalties.
Once all formality is done away with, the team going first selects a player to toss the die , with one of several possibilities occurring. The only way the "offense" can score is to land the die in the cup or have the die bounce off the table and not be caught by the "defense". Drink penalties occur when:
A die hits a "defensive" player's cup.
A toss goes over the table completely
When a toss fails to go over the string.
To clarify, here are the possible outcomes of a toss and the proper penalties and points for each.
A. ...the toss lands in a cup the "offense" is awarded one point and the "defensive" team must drink their entire beers. The beer is refilled and the game continues. Neither team is given a drink penalty.
B. ...the toss hits a cup and either remains on the table or bounces off the table and is caught the "defense" is penalized one drink. The "offense" does not consume, nor are they awarded a point.
C. ...the toss hits a cup, falls off the table, and isnot caught, then the "offensive" is awarded one point and the "defense" is penalized one drink.
D. ...the toss hits only the table, bounces off, and isnot caught, then the "offensive" is awarded one point. Neither team receives a drink penalty.
E ...the to nd is caught then neither team is penalized and the "offense" is not awarded a point.
G. ...the toss is over the table completely the "offensive" is penalized one drink. The "defense" need not imbibe and no points are awarded. The "defense" need not catch a die going completely over the table.
H. ...the toss does not go over the string the "offensive" is penalized one drink Again, the "defense" need not imbibe and no points are awarded.
I. ...the toss lands in the tosser's own cup beat the offendingplayer with a frozen leg of lamb before quietly asking them to leave.
Tips and Reminders:
The only team that can score a point is the team on "offense", or the team who turn it is to toss the die. Drink Penalties can be given to either team.
Points win you games, drinks get you drunk. They are separate scales.
Finishing and refilling your beer after a fifth drink penalty is the only way a team starts over without penalties.
Drink whenever you like, but if you finish your beer before the fifth penalty you must refill. For this reason many players who feel they must continually drink will have a second bottle of beer beneath the table for non-game related drinking.
It is not always practical to attempt to sink the die when looking to win the game. Certain situations call for tosses off the ceiling or tosses with a back spin forcing players to dive for the die. Such tosses, although difficult to execute, are the best ways to score points and build an early lead.
The best method for tossing the die is not really a toss at all but more of a push. Cock your elbow at a right angle allowing your forearm to do most of the work. A high arcing shot is always your best bet.
You must remain in your seat when tossing.
The thrill of victory can be intoxicating, however, never forget the code of ethics that accompanies a "gentlemen's" game. Shake hands at the games conclusion and never gloat in victory nor pout in defeat.