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Beer die is a table-based gentleman's drinking game where opposing players sit at opposite ends and throw a die over a certain height with the goal of either landing the die in their opponent's cup or having the die hit the table and bounce over the scoring area to the floor. The defending team attempts to catch the die one-handed after it hits the table, but before it touches a non-table surface. The game typically consists of two two-player teams with each of the four players having a designated cup on the table.
There are three distinct attributes which define a beer die hurler: offensive, defense, and stamina. A good offensive player throws many legal throws, and often will put pressure on the defense by throwing near the opponents cups, and edge of the table. A good defensive player consistently catches routine throws, and often will snare "hot tosses." A player with good stamina is able to drink often and over a period of many games without his or her game diminishing. When constructing a beer die team it is advantageous to bring different facets to the table. On the rarest occasions, teams form in which the combination of offense, defense, and stamina gains the greatest of beer die advantages, complimentary handedness.
Beer Die involves quick thinking, fast reaction time, precision throwing and awareness. However, most of all, Beer die requires a love for drinking with friends and a stomach that can handle it.
- To start, the eldest player shoots first. If a winner stays on, they have honors.
- Scoring is first to a pre-agreed upon number (usually between 7–11).
- All shots must be thrown above a predetermined height. Typically at least 6 inches above the tallest players head.
- All shots must land on the table.
- Only one hand may be used to catch, using two hands or 'trapping' is illegal and will result in a penalty.
- The defending team may never reach over the plane of the table while defending a shot. Doing so results in 1 point to the shooting team.
- If a throw hits the table but fails to go off the table, this is a stall and the offensive team takes a drink. If the die hits the opposing teams cup and does not go off the table it's a drink for the defensive team.
- The numbers '5' and '7' may not be spoken during the game. Other words may be used in their place (for example, 'biz' and 'buzz,' respectively), but any utterance of the actual numbers must result in a drink by the offender.
- Above all, the die gods ultimately decide the outcome of a game. Their decisions should be praised.
- A shot that hits the table and is not caught by the defending team is worth 1 point, it must go off the table.
- A made shot is worth 2 points. When made, both players on the hit side must finish and then refill their beers. This is called a "splooge."
- If a team "splooges" one of their own cups, game over, the opposing team wins.
- If the offensive team throws a die and it doesn't hit the table, it is a warning and a drink for the offensive team. If it happens again, it's a point for the defensive team and a drink for the offensive team.
The origins of Beer Die, often being the subject of debate, have and continue to be shrouded in uncertainty. The Zeta Psi fraternity at Tufts University, as well as several inactive (but now underground) fraternities at Colby College, are thought to have begun playing the game at their respective houses at around the same time in the late 1890s. Since the mid 00s, it has gained a cult following, with many a tense game seen at Newcastle University Dentsoc every Friday night.
- "Beer Die". PinkyMcDrinky. PinkyMcDrinky. Retrieved 22 July 2012.