Rules and variations for the classic bar and pub drinking game played with dice. There are various bar games with dice, but the ones listed under this name are all elimination games based on a poker hand with regular dice. Most games are one less round than the number of players playing the game, but in the case of two player games it is usually played as a best of two-out of-three game where the loser buys. In elimination games with 3 or more players the last remaining player at the end of the rounds of play is the loser, and buys everyone playing a round of drinks.
The object of the game is to not be the final player, as the “winner” is the one who buys everyone else the next round of drinks.
Five regular dice, scorepad and pencil.
Players “roll off” to decide the first player by giving a die to each player. The player who rolls the highest number will start the game. The first player who rolls the dice will set the score, with other players trying to set a better, higher hand remaining players to beat. The player rolls the five dice and can set aside dice and re-roll the remaining dice up to two more times to set their high hand, which must include a 1 (Ace) in it.
Usually the number of rounds in a game is one less than the number of players in the game.
The score sheet can be used to notate current high hands so the players know the score to beat or who has the high hand.
1’s are wild, and each hand must have at least one 1 in it. Example: with a roll of 2-4-4-5-6 ,all dice would need to be re-rolled because there is no 1 in the roll.
Dice hands are scored in order of rank and must contain at least one ace (1) in it:
5 of a kind (with 6’s) is the highest score possible, followed by
4 of a kind
3 of a kind
There are no straights, full-house, or two pairs in the game.
The value and the number of rolls it took to reach that total is noted, and play goes to the next player who will try to beat the hand set by the first player. Keeping track of the number of rolls it took to make a hand can help in cases of ties. For example, a hand with 4-4-4-4-1 rolled in two rolls would beat the another player with the same hand rolled in three rolls.
There is a whole language and list of terms that can accompany the game that can seem confusing at first, but can actually help in knowing and/or writing down hands to try and beat by the other players.
For example: By stating, “Forty-five in three” or, “Forty-five All Day” the player is saying that they rolled four 5’s in three rolls. It could be written down as 45/3 if someone is keeping track on paper. The next player would then need to roll a better hand: in this example, four 5’s in two or three rolls (“forty-five in two”; “forty -five in one”) or roll five fives in one to three rolls (“fifty-five in one”, “fifty-five in two” or “fifty-five in three”) as five-of-a-kind beats four-of-a-kind. The next players could also roll four or five sixes to beat the “Forty-five in three” in the example, and this would be the next hand to beat by the remaining players.
In taking multiple rolls, a player can choose to only set aside the wild aces (1’s) and re-roll the remaining dice. For example, a player rolls 3-3-4-1-1 on their first roll. They have a number of options they could choose:
a) Set aside the 3-3-1-1 and call out, “Forty-three in one” which means they rolled four threes in on roll. Their turn is over and pass the dice to the next player who will try to beat 43/1 with a better hand.
b) Set aside the 4-1-1 (thirty-four in one) and re-roll the remaining two dice, hoping for more 4’s or 1’s.
c) Set aside the two aces (1-1) and re-roll the remaining three dice, hoping for 5’s or 6’s to get a higher hand.
There are more options, but I think you get the idea.
Here are other terms that may be used in play:
“Mark” means the current score to beat.
“All Day” means “three rolls”.
“Horse on you” or “Horse on me” means losing in the final 2 of 3 match up.
“Horse a piece” means a tie in the final 2 of 3 match up.
Winning the Game
If a player wins the round, i.e., has the best hand after all players have rolled, they are eliminated. Play continues as a new rounds with the remaining players (winning and being eliminated) until there are only two players left. The last two players can continue play either as a regular hand where best hand wins and the last player is the loser, or it can be played where the player with the best two out of three hands is eliminated and leaves the final remaining player who buys a round for all of the players.
In the case of ties between players, those players that are tied would have a separate round to break the tie and determine a winner/loser.
Sometimes the game is played that if, during play, a player rolls five aces on their first roll the game is over and that player buys everyone a round.