Three Man

December 11, 2004

It was some time late this football season when we decided that we needed to revive an old drinking game from college. We remembered "Three Man" being a game with dice that made the players do a lot of drinking. To be honest, we remembered a dice game called "Three Man" or "Four Man" or "Seven Man," but we couldn't remember which, and we certainly didn't remember all of the rules.

Shelly Williams may have the foulest mouth that I know, but she can do research. Last time I saw her, she gave me a pack of dice and a laminated copy of the official Three Man rules (so spilled drinks don't ruin the page). I hereby reprint those rules for posterity.

Everyone starts off by rolling one die until someone rolls a three. This person then becomes the three man. The game then proceeds around the circle with people taking turns rolling the dice. The dice are only passed when someone rolls something that does not require drinking. Here is what each roll means:
3Whoever is the three man must drink. If the three man rolls this then he may pass the title to a person of his choosing.
7Person to the right of the roller drinks.
9Person across from the roller drinks.
10Social...everyone drinks.
11Person to the left of the roller drinks.
Other dice combinations:
4 & 1 Whoever rolls this becomes the Thumb-Master. They can place their thumb on the table whenever they want. When this happens, everyone else must also put their thumb on the table. The last person to get his thumb on there must drink. The Thumb-Master only changes when someone else rolls a 4 & 1.
DoublesWhen someone rolls double they give the dice to someone of their choosing. This person rolls the dice and must drink for that many seconds. The dice may be given to two people instead of giving both to just one person.
At any time during the game the three man can be told to drink. However, the person currently rolling may not tell the three man to drink. If he does, he must drink.

This is pretty much the game I remember, but there were some small differences in how we played it at LSU.

First, you couldn't just tell the three man to drink any old time. As LSU students, we might have just killed each other with that rule.

To make up for that, any roll with a three in it meant the three man had to drink. So if the total was three, or if either die was three, the three man had to drink. On double threes, the three man had to drink twice.

It's not really a rule difference, but I also remember that on ten, it was customary for everyone to hold their drink aloft and say "social" enthusiastically before drinking.

Now, I'm going to show the nerd side of myself a little bit. I went ahead and figured out the odds of these different things happening.

EventOdds - Real RulesOdds - LSU Rules
3 Man Drinks1/1811/36
Drink to the right1/61/6
1 & 41/181/18
Drink across1/121/12
Drink to the left1/181/18
Nothing happens1/31/6

Now feel free to print this page and laminate it.