Beat the Bartender
The origins of this game are unknown, but two versions are played. The first version, known as Beat the Bartender, is usually played in local taverns. The second, known as Beat This!, is played mostly by orcs.
Beat the bartender is usually played using 2d6 (although any two dice can be used: 2d10, 2d20, etc.). Bets are placed between the players and the bartender before the dice are thrown. The bartender rolls the two dice and scores the total of the two numbers thrown. Subsequent players roll the dice and have to score a higher total to win their bet. The bartender wins in the case of tied scores.
In Beat This!, one player takes the role of leader. The game is played with two dice against the leader. Bets are placed between the players and the leader before the dice are thrown. The leader rolls two dice and scores the total of the two numbers thrown. Subsequent players roll the dice and have to score a higher total to win their bet. The leader wins in the case of tied scores. After each round, the role of leader changes to the player with the lowest total score.
Orcs often have trouble finding two matching dice and sometimes play the game with two or even three dice of varying sides.
This game requires two or three dice of varying sides (d4 through d12). This game is based on the dice game known as High Dice, also known as Two Dice Klondike, Bingo and Beat the Bank.
For those who missed the original article, we discussed the various superstitions folks here at Wizards of the Coast harbor about rolling their dice--;and, of course, asked for your superstitions and stories as well! To share a few stories, of preparing the dice for action:
When I cleanse my dice, I place them in a tumbler and pour some Jack Daniel's Whiskey over them. Then toss back the whiskey and repeat. Do not rush to remove the dice from the glass; they must stay there the whole night. The next morning they are blessed.
I always wash the die pre-gameplay, and smoke a cigarette after every critical hit.
Back during the heady days when all my weapons did a d6 damage, I had the amazing ability to always get a 6 -- provided I struck myself in the forehead with the die before rolling. It wasn't 100% effective, but 80% sounds about right. It really irked people when we played Risk, though, since the DM could always throw more monsters at us in D&D.
If you use a dice game in your own campaigns, here's your chance to share it. Send it in to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we may feature it in a future edition of Dice Games!
About the Author
Mark A. Jindra has been a fan of Dungeons & Dragons for over 25 years. In 1998 he landed his dream job as a web developer for Wizards of the Coast and is currently the developer of the D&D website.