Beer-Die is one of the many drinking games played in Davis.

What you need

  • Beer, and lots of it
  • One rectangular table, preferable a sheet of plywood (regulation 8’x4’) of at least ½’’ thickness.
  • One Standard (not rounded) 6 sided die.
  • Four standard solo cups (Two cups if playing “Singles,” Three for “Australian Singles”)
  • Four competitors (Two for “Singles,” Three for “Australian Singles”)
  • Four chairs or a comparable place to sit
  • Four 5 gallon buckets (or something of comparable height) to use to hold table up.

Assuming you have the room to play: large basement, living room, backyard, garage, etc. Place the plywood atop the buckets and arrange the seats at each corner of the table with the cups one hand’s length away from the closest edge and one hand’s width from the side of the table. This should have each player seated at a corner with their cup (full of 12 oz. of beer) placed at the corner in front of them.

Game Play

Beer Die is a gentleman’s game and should always be played as one, any rules or suggestions are up to the discretion of the hosting party and any arguments will be mediated in a gentlemanly manner. Note: These rules are suggested rules that are used primarily in the Midwest and can be changed due to the discretion of the hosting party. We will discuss variations at the end.


The oldest player shoots first, no matter who won the previous game. The next shooter is the oldest on the second team, then the younger on the first, younger on second, and goes back and forth for the remainder of the game.


You Must Tap The Die Before You Throw – to let the other team know that you are about to throw. The throw must be underhand and thrown in such a way where the palm of the thrower is always hidden from the opposing team. This throw can be swung completely underhand from below the table or pushed upwards from above the head, given the comfort of the player. You must make sure that both of the opposing team’s beers are in the correct spot on the table, if not request a “cup-check” so you may throw.


A point is scored when the die “successfully” is thrown and hits the table, bouncing off of the edge closest to the opposing team, without that team “catching” it.


Catching is defined as grabbing the die with one hand, without touching both hands together or trapping the die between the hand and any object/person/clothing/etc, before the die hits the floor.

  • You may not reach over the table to catch the die before it flies off of the table.
  • Once the die has left the table and is in play, if the player hits the die and it rolls back on the table, the die is dead and considered a point, no matter if it rolls back off and is caught, this is to defer players from diving over the table/breaking the table/making a mess/being a dick.


  • Before the game is started the teams must confer to discuss how many “drinks to boat” which means how many drinks per beer are you playing – a casual game has no defined number, whereas “3 to boat” refers to each mistake causing 1/3 of a beer to be consumed.
  • Every drink consumed by one player of a team must be drank by the other player so that each teammate finishes their beers at the same time.
  • Saying “Five or Seven” – these numbers must now be referred to as “bizz” and “buzz” or else one drink must be taken.
  • Body – If the die touches your cup you must drink one drink
  • Ceiling – If you throw the die and it hits the ceiling you must drink one
  • Long – If you throw the die and miss the table completely you must drink one
  • Short – If you throw the die and it does not make it off of the table you must drink (unless it is a ‘bizz’ – then no drinks are necessary).
  • Sloppy Die – If the die is not thrown to you by the opposing team and you drop the die at any time you must drink one drink.
  • Sink – If the die ever sinks into your cup you must drink the rest of your beer – you are then allowed a ‘rebuttle’ – if you roll a ‘bizz’ out of the empty cup the other team must finish their beer as well – in our version, no points are awarded for a sink – but you are allowed to sign the table with a permanent marker – your first sink is your name/alias/picture with an underline and all other sinks after that are tallies under your name.
  • If anyone leaves the table for any reason (i.e: use bathroom/cell phone/eat) unless it can be agreed on by both teams, they must shot-gun a beer. This rule is in place to keep people at the table and keep the games moving, especially if there are others waiting to play.


  • Low Call – A low-marker must be pointed out at the beginning of the game (i.e: a door frame, picture frame, speaker, mark in the wall, light fixture) that is approximately one foot from the ceiling – any toss below this (remember it is gentleman’s game – so ‘well below’ usually constitutes low) can be called out by either team in which case the toss is negated and no drink shall be taken even if the die misses the table or is short.
  • Body – “A body is a body is a body” any die that strikes your cup results in a drink, no matter how it got there – so be a gentleman.


  • First team to score buzz points, winning by at least two points. Overtime is played for as long as necessary until one team is leading by two. (i.e: game continues at 16-15 until team one gets 17 or team two is leading by two points).
  • Naked Run: Many chapters of beer die implement the buzz-zero rule, if you cannot score one point before your opponent scores buzz then, pending house rules, you must strip naked and run a lap around their house/apartment/dorm/block. Disclaimer: Do not get upset at us if you go to jail for indecent exposure/public intox. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


Singles (One-on-one): All of the same rules apply, the players may each use two cups left at both corners or may chose one cup at the corner of their choice. Throw alternates from older to younger and all scoring/rules apply. (It is also common for singles games to occur on half the width of a normal table (8’x2’))

Australian Singles: This is a variation of die that allows three people to play. The oldest player begins on a side by themselves with the other two players positioned at the other side. The oldest shoots first, with the next oldest shooting second, the oldest then shoots again, with the youngest shooting last. After this round of four throws, each player grabs his/her cup and rotates one stop to their right. The single player then starts the next round, alternating with the team of two as in the first round until four throws are made. This rotating/four throws is repeated until the game is over. Scoring: The only person that scores is the player who is throwing the die. It is every man for him/herself, first player to score buzz wins. When you are on the side with two players, the two players drink together as though they were teammates, play defense together, but if one scores only that player gets the point.

Sky Die: This variation is played outside. The only change to the rules is the “low” rule. Low is now anything that is not thrown substantially high (i.e: over a branch, as high as the roof, whatever you decide on). Warning: Sky die makes you do crazy things, start with one game at a time. Add several cases to the “what you’ll need” list.

Beer Die Terms

  • Boat – Your cup is called a boat and the number of drinks left in it are how many to boat you are (ex: 3 drinks taken when 4 drinks were agreed on for each boat is referred to as “one to boat”).
  • PDT – “Perfect Die Toss” which just barely grazes the back edge for an uncatchable and inevitable point (some refer to it as a PTD “Prime-time Die”)
  • Mendoza – In baseball the Mendoza line refers to the ‘threshold of incompetent hitting’ – where Mendoza hit .215 over his nine season career. In beer die, if the die lands on the table before half way that is the ‘threshold of incompetent beer die’ – take your pants off until your team scores a point.
  • Bizz – five, don’t say it again.
  • Buzz – seven, again, do not repeat that number.
  • Sink/Plunk/Sploosh – When the die lands in a cup.
  • Side/Wide – When the die bounces off the long-length of the table.
  • Body/Plink – When the die strikes a cup.
  • Trap – When a defender catches the die with the assistance of trapping their hand and die against another surface.
  • Tops/Ceiling – When the offence throws the die and strikes the ceiling.
  • Long – When the offense throws the die over the table.
  • Body-catch – Some chapters allow defenses to save themselves from one drink if they catch the die after it strikes the body (the only negation to the rule ‘a body is a body is a body’).
  • Self-sink – When you throw the die into your own cup – finish as though it was a normal sink, do not roll out, and sign the bottom of the table with a derogatory name, you suck.