Beer dice is a drinking game that is commonly played among college students. The game is also known as snappa. All you need for the game is a table, dice, four cups, and beer. The game is often played on a pong table. This dice game can be played by two or more players and the duration of the game lasts around 10-15 minutes.
In this game the players sit or stand opposite to each other and throw a dice over a certain height with the goal of either landing the dice in their opponent’s cup or having the dice hit the table and bounce over the scoring area to the floor. The defending team attempts to catch the dice 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, but can also be played one-vs-one.
There are three distinct attributes which define a beer dice thrower: offense, 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 over a period of many games without his or her game diminishing. When constructing a beer dice team it is advantageous to bring different facets to the table. The variant known as Snappa is played seated, with a chair at each corner of the table.
Deep in the Alpha Tau Omega house library at the University of Maine in 1972, four fraternity men tossed a single die above a table without letting it fall off the edge. Thus the game of Beer Die, also known as Snappa, was born, according to crowdsourced research from the official Beer Die League fan page.
Drinks involved in the game
When played as a drinking game, players are required to take drinks when certain events occur, or fail to occur. The Beer Dice League website specifies that the following rules are used:
- There are five drinks per cup (or “boat”).
- All drinks must be completed as a team.
- A player must drink 1/5th of a cup if:
- They say the word five or seven.
- Their toss misses the table completely.
- Their toss stays on the table, without hitting the cup.
- Their toss hits the ceiling.
- Their team tosses the dice out of turn.
- The dice strikes their cup (plink/body/ting).
- If the dice lands in a cup (plunk/sink/sploosh) that team must finish their drinks and roll the dice out onto the table. If the dice is a “bizz”, the team must finish another full drink.
How can you play Beer Dice game?
Players will separate typically into teams of two, standing on the same side of the table as their partner. This game can also be played one-on-one. The goal of the game is to land the dice into the opponent’s cup or to have the dice bounce off the table and the opponents fail to catch it. Cups are placed at the corners of each table, but not close enough to where it is in jeopardy of falling off.
To start, fill each cup with beer with 12 ounces of beer. You can also play with just water, or drink beer out of the can separately. Roll a dice, and whichever team rolls higher gets to either go first or choose which side they prefer. If you are playing winner stays, have the previously winning team shoot first. Decide whether you want to play seated, or standing.
The shooting team will throw their dice in the area, above an agreed-upon height, and attempt to sink the dice in the cup or hit the table. An agreed-upon height is within a foot of the ceiling if played indoors, or about 8 feet. Dice are intended to be thrown one at a time, this is not a speed game. The defending team must wait for the opponents to both shoot before shooting back.
The dice must land on the opponent’s side of the table, it cannot hit your side of the table and then bounce off. The defending team will try and catch the dice prior to it hitting the ground. The defending team is only allowed to use one hand, and may not use their body parts to assist in catching the dice. However, it still counts if you bobble the dice and still catch it. You may not reach over the table to grab a dice, it must be off the plain off the table when you make the catch.
During the game, you are not allowed to use the words five or seven. You may refer to five as buzz, and seven as bizz. If you break this rule, you must drink. When drinking in this game, both teammates drink. Opponents may attempt to trick you, such as asking what time it is, or what the score is.
The game can be scored either by drinking, points or both.
Example of a scoring system:
1 point if the dice hits the table, and the defending team fails to catch it.
2 points if the dice bounces off a cup, then goes off the table without being caught.
3 points if the dice is sunk in the cup.
In classic beer dice, you do not get extra points. You only get points in one-point increments.
Games are often played to 5, 7 or 11, win by 2. Make sure to establish what you are playing before the game starts.
In the drinking version of this game, drinks are finished when the dice are made in the cup. This is known as a “sink”. However, the game is not over. Grab another beer, and fill your cup up. To raise the stakes, after sinking a dice, roll it. If you roll a five, both opponents have to chug a beer.
If at any point you knock your own drink over, you automatically lose the game
You need to drink if:
- You do not throw the dice on the opponent’s side
- Miss the table
- The dice hits the ceiling
- You lose a dice
- You don’t throw the dice far enough
- The dice lands with a 5 showing
- Your opponents hit your cup
- You throw out of turn
- You say five or seven
Tips to play Beer Dice Game
- Should have a referee. There are often judgment calls needed, such as if a dice was thrown high enough.
- Partners should be selected based on a variety of factors: the ability to handle their beer, reflex skills, and ability to throw the dice well.
- This is a good way to start the night. Drinking this much beer can be very filling.
- If you have multiple teams, consider playing winner stays. If you have a lot of people, consider playing tournament style.
- Players must throw the dice the proper height and bounce it off the table through the opposing team’s cups.