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in: Alcohol, Manly Skills, Out on the Town, Visual Guides

October 23, 2012 Last updated: November 9, 2018

Tab Payers: 12 Classic Ways to Get a Friend to Buy You a Drink

Going out to the local bar can get expensive. Instead of paying for all your drinks, trick your friends into paying for some of them with a few classic bar tricks. Below we’ve created a list of 12 classic bar tricks, or “Tab Payers,”  inspired by Esquire’s 1949 Handbook for Hosts. The tricks are pretty clever, some a little goofy, and they’ll hopefully elicit a laugh from your friends even when they have to pick up your tab — at least if they have a good sense of humor! These Tab Payers aren’t just good for winning free drinks at the bar either. You can use them at parties to simply entertain and break the ice with folks.  Enjoy!

bar game trick match box heads table knife

bar games tricks pile of pennies

bar game trick hold napkin tie into knot

bar game trick name on paper illustration

bar game trick water whiskey shot glass illustration

bar game trick body against wall illustration

bar game trick dollar bill inverted bottle illustration

bar game trick transfer water in saucer to glass illustration

bar game trick eight coins right angle illustration

bar game trick take coat off illustration

bar game trick square matchsticks illustration

bar game trick stay under water illustration

 Illustration by Ted Slampyak

Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.

What bar tricks do you have in your arsenal to score free drinks or simply to entertain your friends at the bar? Share them with us in the comments!