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Drunkard's Dice

Drunkard's Dice is a combination drinking and gambling game, prevalent among the Dwarven kingdoms. It is played between two to five players.

Order of Play

The first player is assigned randomly. It rotates clockwise around the table with each new round. At the start of a round, all players roll all of their dice, keeping the values hidden from the others. The betting begins with the first player, and proceeds around the table, with each player having the option to call or raise. Once everyone at the table has called, declarations begin.

The first player declares, and the turn passes to the left. At any time, a player can call another players declaration. This must be done before the next player declares, which is often quite quickly at the beginning of games. Declarations must be of a higher value than all previous declarations. In the event that multiple people attempt to call, the host determines who called first. Once a call is made, the player must stand by it.

Once the call is made, everyone shows their dice. The dice that have the value matching the declaration are counted, and compared to the total number declared. If the total number meets or exceeds the number declared, the caller loses the hand and takes a drink, while the declarer wins the round. If the total number is less than the number declared, the declarer loses and takes a drink, while the caller is the winner. In either case, the loser of the hand also removes one die from their pool.

Once the round has been decided, a new round is started, and the dice are rolled again. Once someone is out of dice, they are out of the game. When only one person has dice left, they are the winner of the game, and get the game pot.

History

Drunkard's Dice is a variation on Liar's Dice, a game common across Helion. It has the same structure as Liar's Dice, with each contestant secretly rolling dice and then betting on how many of a given face are shown.

The key difference between the two games is the added drinking component. No single person can take credit for the change, as it was a popular house rule that was independently created by several different groups. It was first established as a casino game in Craghold nearly 500 years ago, and has since spread through most of the Dwarven kingdoms, to the point it has replaced Liar's Dice almost entirely. It has spread slightly into Corellum, with people in Amica being the most likely to play.

Components and tools

5 4-sided dice per player.
Penalty drinks, generally set at 10 per player.

Participants

Host. The host does not participate in the game, and is responsible for making rulings, verifying dice counts, distributing the drinks, and dividing the pots. In casino games, the host collects the vig for the house. In home games, there is usually no official host, as everyone plays, and rulings are generally come to by consensus.

Players. 2-5 players make up a game. Each player provides 10 drinks, with the host responsible for any beyond the initial offering. Players bet on the outcome, and drink as required by the game.

Base Rules

  • Table maximum of five players
  • Each player starts with 5 four-sided dice – these should be provided by the house, although in games outside of a casino people generally bring their own
  • Tables have a minimum bet, usually a specific denomination, and a maximum bet, generally 50 times the minimum (no limit tables exist, but are rare)
  • At the end of a round, 25% of the pot is moved to the game pot, the casino rakes 2% (rounded up) of the remaining money, and the hand winner gets the remainder
  • A turn is when one person acts, a round is a set of turns until all but one have passed or a declaration is called, and a game is until only one person has dice left
  • No magic - in casinos, expect to pass through a detect magic spell before entering the play area (people have been lynched for breaking this rule, and it would be considered a felony offense almost everywhere the game is played)

Declarations

  • A declaration is a statement that among all dice in play, there are at least that many dice showing that number
  • The value of a declaration is determined by the number of dice and the number on the dice
  • More dice are higher than fewer dice, and within the number of dice a higher face number is greater than a lower - E.g. two 4s < three 1s < three 2s

Drinking Rules

  • The entire drink must be consumed before the next round
  • If a player refuses a drink, they must match the current game pot and are out of the game
  • If a player passes out, as judged by the host, they are out of the game
  • If a player vomits, they are out of the game (Casinos usually have curtained areas where contestants can purge themselves, as it is considered bad form to vomit in front of the crowd)

Variant Rules

Passing: With the passing rule in play, any player can choose to pass instead of declare. If a player passes, they drop from the round and take a drink, but do not lose a die.

  • Dice In: Default passing variation, where if a player passes, their dice remain hidden and part of the final count
  • Dice Up: If a player passes, their dice are exposed and remain part of the final count
  • Dice Out: If a player passes, their dice are hidden and removed from the final count. This variation is almost never used in casinos, as it incentivizes collusion between players

No Drinks Barred: With this rule in play, any consumable liquid can be used for the drinks. This includes potions, such as a potion of healing, or any other potion. It is rare that this introduces potions other than healing potions, as few are truly useful in the game. It also allows for drinks like water or coffee to be introduced. This rule is often favored by players that are good at keeping track of what drinks are left and their positions.

Card Randomization: The turntable system is elaborate and expensive, and so generally only used in high end casinos. Many places will simply assign each drink to a card, with more potent drinks assigned higher numbers. The deck is shuffled, and a card is drawn to determine the drink.

Known Order:In some games, the drinks are randomized in the beginning, and the players know the order in which any drink is coming up.

Exact Match: If the called declaration is exactly the number of dice matching, the caller must drink twice.


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Cover image: by Chance Rose

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