Have you ever been in a bar when someone offered to buy a round for everyone, or vice versa?

Yes, several times. In the Yukon.

Where there is traditionally a bell in every bar. And the locals, knowing you are new to town, chat you up and double dog dare you to ring the bell. The trick is, when you ring the bell, you buy a round for the house! Keep in mind the bars are not nearly so large as you might find in most places, nor as full of people.

Me and my friend didn’t fall for it, or ring the bell. But we both ended up piss drunk one night because people kept ringing the bell and drinks kept appearing before us. We had the misfortune to have ordered tequila for our first drinks, so that’s what just kept coming.

(Thank the lord we’d already set up our gear at the campground before going out to the bar. When I awoke the next day, I was so very, very thirsty. I managed to get some gear on and extricate myself from the tent, and began the hunt for the water tap which near every campground has. I was delighted when I finally found it, stuck my head under that tap and drank close to a liter of water. When I stood up, there was a sign on the post, which I’d failed to read earlier, which said, ‘This water not fit for drinking, boil first!’ Ooopsy! No ill effect though. Must have been the tequila!)

I’ve been on both ends more than a few times. There’s just something awesome about walking up to a packed bar and buying a round of drinks for the whole place. You’ll feel like a rock star all night long. And usually get completely shellacked by people returning the favor.

The craziest thing I’d ever seen was a guy who pulled it off on New Years…about five minutes after I’d bought two fingers of Johnny Blue in a rather high end place that charged silly high prices. I tried to switch my order and I protested my ass off that I couldn’t possibly accept a free drink that cost that much from a stranger, but the guy insisted and stood there while the bartender poured it to make sure I didn’t downgrade. That’s true panache right there.

Once. It was in Washington D.C. and a guy had just gotten a big promotion. He originally said “Drinks are on me!” then he had the good sense to say “By drinks I mean one beer each!”:smiley: I see why he got the promotion.

I’m not a beer drinker but I took one. I figured it was the closest I was ever going to get to the L’Chaim! scene from Fiddler on the Roof (and to be honest it wasn’t really all that close).

Yes. Moderate crowd, almost all regulars. Everyone got a chip for whatever they were currently drinking or usually drink. The draft beer drinker was not going to be allowed to order a double Jameson, he was going to get a draft beer chip.

Seen it often, and have even done it myself , but it was in an army bar and we all knew each other.

Ref Siam Siams bell, we had one with the same rule and much effort went into trying to get people to accidently ring it.

One attempt (unsuccessful) was tieing a length of thread to the bell and tieing the other end to someones epaulette who engaged in conversation was facing away from the bar.

One of our own who was notorius for being less then open handed when it came to buying others drinks (he’s dead now, bless him) deliberately rang the bell after it had been ordered to be closed and the grill was down.

The barman said “Permission to reopen the bar sir for just one round !”.

The permission was granted and our mate ended up pissed off and out of pocket.

The closest I’ve ever been to a situation like this:

One of my regular bar customers opened his wallet, flashed a bunch of Benjamins, and told me he was going to buy everyone in the bar a drink. There were roughly 60 people in the bar, and this guy had already had quite a bit to drink. I dissuaded him from following through with the offer because I was certain that he would probably regret it by morning. The next time I saw him, he thanked me for stopping him from spending all that money because he hadn’t paid his bills yet.

The “vice versa” in the thread title would be a whole barful of folks all buying drinks for one lucky schmo?

I’m not much of a bar-goer and never seen this, but this thread does seem to have a lot of people talking about Jameson as if it is the most expensive drink in the house. Isn’t Jameson just about as cheap as whiskey gets?

Maybe not lowest of the low but in some bars Jameson’s as pricy as things get.

I’ve been in both situations - buyer and buyee - usually when things are pretty quiet and theres less then a dozen people in the place.

Alaska here. We use the bell system. It can happen quite a bit depending on the makeup of the bar. In Alaska it’s illegal to have more than two drinks in front of you at any given time. I remember being at a bar during the 09 Superbowl that had so many people ringing the bell that the bartenders had to start using the little wooden “Good for one free drink” drink tokens.

Also been in the bar during the last night of a profitable fish opening after all the boats had sold their catch. If the price was good the bell will ring a few times during the night.

I’ve had it happen a couple times in Portland, usually due to someone having a big payday on a video poker machine in the bar.

I did it myself when the Cardinals won the World Series in 2006. About 15 people in there and I knew most of them. In my case it was “another of whatever they’re drinking”

Happens all the time at the bar I go to most. But that bar is barely surviving. 10 people is a major crowd. In the end we are all just taking turns paying for the drinks. It’s very common to come in and have someone you know pay for all your drinks, and you pay for all of theirs.

Once long ago, after sealing the deal on a big contract, I was in a bar that seemed like it had about a dozen people in it. I joyously shouted, “Bartender, a round on me”. It seemed like I hadn’t finished the sentence before 50 people had crowded around ordering. The bartender was chuckling at my naivety, but helped me out by telling people they could only have their usual drink. It cost about $150 (steep back then). I’ve never done that again except in the bar mentioned at the start of my post. A couple of times I did order drinks for everybody sitting at the bar, not everybody in the joint. In those cases, I knew most of the people, and I just felt generous and included a couple of other people down at the end.

Oh yeah, one more. Once at bar (and I had been there for a while), I shouted, “Bartender, a round on the house!” Everyone cheered and the bartender grinned, and then scowled when he realized what I had said. I probably pissed off everybody, because there was no round forthcoming, but I did leave a decent tip.

Yeah I’ve seen it done. It was always in smaller bars with a small crowd. Usually less than 12 people. When I experienced it, it was the person buying everyone a shot of a specific liquor, whiskey or tequila in my personal experience.

Yes, I have done it at least three times (3 holes-in-one) and been the recipient several other times.

Of course, the 19th Hole is where I have consumed most of my alcoholic beverages.

Never, not even close.

We have a card tournament (pitch) every other weekend at my local hole in the wall. By tradition, the winners buy the house a round. Also, as individual games are won and lost, winners always buy losers a round.

It is difficult to not get soused if you are having a bad day playing.

hmmmm, happens a lot in Asia.

I do remember being out with a group of traders including a very short loud guy named Charlie from Chicago in the Rappongi District in Tokyo. I forget which bar we were in but it was on the main drag near Kirin City. It was definately a high end expat bar with maybe 50 people in it. I have to admit that the group was made up of a bunch of drunk loud Americans.

A very posh Brit, no doubt an investment banker himself, since that was at least half the bar population, uttered a very audible “wankers.” Charlie screamed “a round on me.” Then a very loud Aussie said something that included “seppo”. Charlie then jumped up on the bar and scream “another round on me.” And that seemed to be the right thing to say as everyone then ordered up the most expensive 2 drinks they could. It cost Charlie a couple hundred thousand yen (it was probably USD3k) but he thought it was worth it. Pretty much pocket change to Charlie, but he probably managed to expense it.

Happened quite a bit at the bars I played in Ketchikan during the heady pipeline days. People would come off the North Slope with huge piles of dough and lookin’ for a good time - which could certainly be had there. Folks were always buying drinks for the band, anyway, and when that bell would ring again I’d often think: “Crap, another drink! I gotta still be able to play at 3 A.M.”
Don’t remember any law about more than 2 drinks at a time then (mid-70’s) but I can remember several occasions when pipeline workers would ‘six-pack the place’ (six of what you were drinking). Sounds crazy - but hey, it’s Alaska (or was).