The Official Un-Official Rules for Deal’Ems

A few months ago I wrote a blog about drinking games called Drink a Double. Quite a few people both near and abroad have asked me how to play Deal’Ems…a game I discussed. I have recently come across the rules written by a friend of mine (JuJu).

So here you have it; The Official Un-Offical Rules


(The Game of NO Winners)


A Resolution to establish rules to govern “Deal’ems”,

WHEREAS, Deal’ems was created in the year 1971, by four adventurous Lads from Fremont Ohio. These fine American gentlemen, determined that just drinking their favorite beverage was not enough, and that playing cards for your favorite beverage was more fun, and that the beverages were meant to be chugged quickly and in mass quantities.

WHEREAS, there are no set rules or regulations governing play and the amount of “payments”. THEREFORE, let it be resolved, the following rules are here by established:

Preamble     (Hey whattaya doing . . . Playing Cards??)

A 52 card playing deck shall be dealt, one card at a time in a random manner, at the dealer’s discretion, resulting in ten (10) hands, five (5) hands for the dealer and five (5) hands for the opposing player. These are to be dealt in five (5) stacks of five (5) cards on each side. This will leave two (2) cards, one of which the opposing player will choose, leaving the last card for the dealer. These last two (2) cards will be regarded as “wild” cards for each respective side. These two (2) cards only determine the wild card and are not in play. In order  for your wild card to be in effect, it must be turned over on YOUR side ( it means nothing if turned over by your opponent ). If  BOTH wild cards are the same, then all drinking payments are to be DOUBLED.

Play begins by the opponent choosing one of the outer stacks and flipping over one card, then the dealer (choosing the stack directly across from where the opponent started), flips over cards until he beats the opponent’s first card. Once the dealer has a better poker hand, he ceases activity. The opponent then turns over cards until he has the best poker hand. This continues back and forth until the best poker hand has been determined. All cards must be turned over in the reverse order they were dealt, with the bottom card on top and face up. Whoever won the hand leaves their cards vertical, and whoever loses, turns their cards horizontal. This is needed to keep score of the game. The loser of each hand has to then drink determined units (you can determine your own measure of unit). The game continues until all five (5) hands have been played.

After the five (5) hands are played, the top five (5) cards facing up, represents the sixth hand. A winner is determined if he has won more hands than his opponent ( ex: 4 – 2 ). However, if after the game, each player has won three (3) hands, you have a tie, hence the nickname of the game of “The Game of No Winners”, you must play again until a victor has been rightfully determined.

The next rule is for when playing this game with more than two people in attendance that want to play. The loser of the game must stay on and face the next opponent, continuing to play until he has won. Then whoever lost to him must stay on play until someone finally surrenders.

  • If a player has to drink multiple units, he may so choose to go to the “well” and drink an agreed shot or shots to be negotiated between the two existing players.
  • If a player is taking too much time to drink his payment, his opponent may put him on the clock, this is usually done by the opponent stating the word “ten”, and then the countdown begins, 9. 8. 7. .etc. This isn’t usual practice unless the loser is taking an abnormal amount of time to drink his payment.


Although this has been discussed many times, this is now in effect to simplify things. All payments are determined from the result of each hand played, including the use of wild cards that decide the final poker hand.

Winning hands / payments needed:

High Card                    One Unit

Pair                                One Unit

Two Pair                       One Unit

Three of a Kind          One Unit

Straight                         Two Units

Flush                              Two Units

Full House                   Three Units

Four of a Kind            Four Units

Straight Flush            Four Units

Royal Flush                 Five Units

Five of a Kind             Five Units

As previously stated, there are no set rules regarding payment of units, but the founding 4 used a 1/2 of beer as One Unit. Whereas the accepted custom is now 1/3 of a beer.

There you now have it…The Official Un- Official Rules!


Drink A Double – The Art Of A Drinking Game

Drinking Game…According to Wikipedia; Drinking games are games which involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages. These games vary widely in scope and complexity, although the purpose of most is to become intoxicated as quickly as possible. Evidence of the existence of drinking games dates back to antiquity.

Drinking games fall into 1 of 8 categories;



Competitive Skill


Card & Dice



Sporting Event

Although I agree with the categories above, I believe they are all just sub-categories of the first….Endurance because without the endurance…you won’t know the others.

One would argue that drinking games are for young college students in fraternities. I would argue this difference; Drinking games are for anyone who likes to have fun. They’re for anyone who wants merely to carry on a tradition. They are for the competitive mind…and they’re for anyone who just wants to drink with a friend.

So if you want to play a good drinking game, stop by the Croghan Street Yacht Club (CSYC for short) watch as a deck falls from the sky.


The name of the game…..Deal’ems