Chuiniu! (chway-nee-oh) aka Chinese Liar’s Dice

Posted on by Scott Ferguson


chiniu chinese liar dice loud bar gameThroughout China if you visit a bar or club with Chinese patrons, you will see many people playing a dice game and making signals with their hands regardless of the loudness in the place. The game seems to grow wild at times, with players slamming their cups of dice onto the table and occasional screams or laughter. What are they playing? Why, it’s chuiniu, of course. What’s up with all of the signaling? In China, each number 0 through 10 has a unique way of being indicated by the fingers. Is it really that fun? Well, yes, it can be, depending upon with whom you play and what stakes you set. Below, I’ll try to explain the basic rules.

Objective: Make a valid bid or declare opponent’s bid invalid.


Basic Concept

–The loser pays the stakes–takes a drink, downs an entire cup, gives a kiss, pays money, removes an article of clothing . . .

–All players roll five dice, then take turns bidding on the results of all players’ dice, until someone yells, “Chuiniu!”

–The dice are counted and the loser determined.



–Each player has 1 cup with 5 six-sided dice.

–Each player shakes their dice, slams the cup down on the table, and shakes again.

–Peek at your dice, but don’t let your opponents see.

–Bidding goes in order using two numbers. For example, 3-5 indicates the player believes three or more dice show 5, counting among all players’ dice.

–Note: 1’s are wild and may be counted as anything from 2 to 6–unless a player bids on rolled 1’s, for example, 4-1, then 1’s aren’t wild for that round.

— Next player can bid higher or call a bluff.

— A higher bid requires either increasing the first number or second number. For example, 4-5 indicates four or more dice show 5 while 3-6 indicates three or more dice show 6. (Don’t forget to include wild 1’s in your bidding.)

— Bidding continues until someone calls the bluff, “Chuiniu!” Then everyone lifts their cups and the bid is verified or shown to be a bluff.

–If the bid is shown to be a bluff, then the bidder loses; if the bid is verified, the person who called the bluff loses.

–Time to pay the stakes. Cheers!

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