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Drinking Games. How Many Shots Would it Take to Kill You? Find Out Here!

The dangers of drinking games – or, how many shots would it take to kill you?

Drinking games are an especially dangerous method for ingesting alcohol, as since during a drinking game a player generally drinks alcohol very quickly, they do not have time to feel the effects of the alcohol prior to drinking ever more.

A person playing a drinking game with hard alcohol can easily ingest enough alcohol to make themselves very sick before they even feel the slightest bit drunk. In some tragic cases, drinking game participants will drink a lethal quantity of alcohol. It happens every year at colleges across the country…

By contrast, a person sipping on cocktails all night would feel steadily more intoxicated, and would be less likely to drink themselves into a dangerous level of intoxication.

So how much alcohol would it take to kill YOU?

Note - The following information is hypothetical in nature and cannot be considered an accurate alcohol limit for any one individual. Myriad factors influence an individual's actual capacity to drink alcohol. Basically, don't use this as a personal guideline!!!

The LD50 of alcohol occurs at a blood alcohol concentration of 0.45%. What this means is that if 100 people presented with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.45% - half of them would die. LD50 = lethal dose for 50%.

Simulating a drinking game in which a participant rank many 1oz shots of 80 proof alcohol (40% alcohol) in quick succession – here is how many drinks it would take for a player to reach the LD50 for alcohol.


  • An 80lb woman would reach 0.45% BAC after 8 shots
  • A 100lb woman would reach 0.45% BAC after 10 shots.
  • A 120lb woman would reach 0.45% BAC after 12 shots
  • A 140 lb woman would reach 0.45% BAC after 14 shots
  • A 160 lb woman would reach 0.45% BAC after 16 shots


  • A 120 lb man would reach 0.45% BAC after 14 drinks
  • A 140 lb man would reach 0.45% BAC after 17 drinks
  • A 160lb man would reach 0.45% BAC after 19 drinks
  • A 180 lb man would reach 0.45% BAC after 21 drinks

The source for this information is WashingtonUniversity's BAC calculator

Note also that the LD50 is simply the dose of alcohol that will kill half of all people that achieve this BAC. You are still at risk of death at levels lower than this (particularly from asphyxiation from vomit) not to mention the risks of violence and injury associated with any degree of intoxication.

Have fun and drink if you must, but drink smart. Drinking games aren't smart.

Binge drinking PSA


EmperorJahrome on January 14, 2017:

This is total rubbish, I have a female best friend who can and is my only friend I can go down the pub with and shot and drink anything all afternoon, night and still get the shopping, lunch and life done and go out for some more. Infact she is the only person I know who can sit there in a 2 hour session or less and get through a liter and more of spirits and wake up with no more than a dry throat the next day and etc. That being said I have a high tolerance to alcohol due to it being a daily problem that anxiety drove me to- but when i'm not having anxiety/stress I can function if not better than most dumb ass sober people without breaking a sweat. I should already be dead at least 900 times now since 2012 alone if this BULLSHIT were true and less sexist because damn she could and has drank heavy drinking men under the table without even trying. Me I drink everyone under the table lmao.

Psychedeliceric on December 18, 2016:

These figures dont take into account how quickly the alcohol is drunk, whether it was drunk on an empty stomach or if the person has a tollerance to alcohol. These will all make a massive difference.

LD50 tables: Least harmful at the top, most harmful at the bottom.

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Marajuana: Lethal dose(LD)=more than 1000 x effective dose(ED)

LSD: LD = more than 1000 x ED

Psylocybin: LD = more than 1000 x ED

Ketamine: LD = 38 x ED

Codeine: LD = 20 x ED

MDMA: LD = 16 x ED

Cocaine: LD = 15 x ED

Alcohol LD = 10 x ED*

Heroin LD = 5 x ED

*Effective dose is amount needed to get merry. This changes with tollerance levels.

Nick on January 06, 2014:

well i downed a 70 cl bottle of neat brandy (40%) and i dint die... (that equates to 24 of these shots ) i mean i threw up a bit and eventualy passed out but i didn't die. (im 19 and healthy weight)

kieran on November 18, 2013:

ironically, this page is an exvcellent resource for those cowards wanting to kill themselves with alcohol as i do

fish on May 14, 2013:

why drink and drive when u can smoke and fly

GeorgeGreece on December 27, 2012:

I am 63 kg 19 years old and i can drink over 20 whisky drinks.

this research is rubish

... on November 11, 2012:

0.585. This is why I'm in therapy now

jordan on August 20, 2012:

this is stuypid people should be able to drink at any age but be responsible

Unhappyman on May 15, 2012:

This is a load of rubbish. I drank a 70Cl bottle of vodka. 26.3 units straight and within 5 minutes. I am a 10st male so according to this it should have killed me.

Tim on February 22, 2012:

Well Gee you would eventually die from lung cancer (smoking), or eventually become brain dead. The only reason cannabis is illegal is because alcohol is too widely available and 'tis better to have one 'evil' than two.

Gee on November 30, 2011:

Now write a hub describing how many bong hits it'd take to kill you. Oh, that's right - no one has ever died from smoking weed.

tyler on November 08, 2011:

machine.... your ignorant. stfu

Troll on November 03, 2011:

WTF, im 13, 17 stone of pure muscle, I drank 46 units of alcohol in 2 minutes, this was 10 minutes before going in for the London marathon, which i completed in 45 mins...

Mandee on October 27, 2011: 12 and i toke 14 shots...i didn't die

Experienced drinker on September 25, 2011:

Im not advising to test going over your limits as it is very dangerous but, especially for binge drinkers such as me, they can drink a lot more alcohol over the LD50. I think those statistics are absolute rubbish, if they were true, as others have said, most drinkers in the UK would be dead. Most I've ever drank in one night was 70-80 units i worked out, I know others who have drank a lot more.

Be careful, but remember, lies, dam lies and statistics.

machine on August 25, 2011:

Drinking is for losers.Once you quit and look around you it's easy to figure out.It's a phaze for some people but with others a lifelong journey.A drunk is a pathetic peace of ugly trash.I don't even talk to women who get drunk so whoreish.

machine on August 25, 2011:

I sure don't miss the hangovers lol.If your reading this your probally hung over.If that's the case pray to God hopefully he will let you live good luck.

tigsnbits on July 21, 2011:

yeah that's a lie. you may have lived but you would have thrown up way earlier. 20 min after so what you did them all at once? why am i even arguing this btw that video was weak.

funkiller on June 20, 2011:

mclovin you balls still haven't dropped just shut up

the king on June 15, 2011:

McLovin that is obviously not true, you would be dead.

McLovin ? on March 15, 2011:

I'm 13 and about 150 pounds and I drank about 23 shots of rum - didn't throw up until about 20 minuets after. Guess I'm lucky, or your facts need to be updated. Who knows.

the awesome dude on February 28, 2011:

hey how many shots will take to kill a human

Brent on February 21, 2011:

It has been 241 days since my last drink. I now hate life more than ever. The bottle was my best friend...something I could always count on to be there for me. is driving me absolutely insane.

Thomas on January 03, 2011:

Haha, if this is true I should have been 4 units past dead last year lmao

Adam on September 13, 2010:

This can't be true acording to this site last time I drank I was 2 shots away from dieing. Lol

danny on May 14, 2010:


I lived on rum, I tell you. It's been meat and drink, and man and wife, to me.


Wine hath drowned more men than the sea.


For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking.


I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.

FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Hangover Survival Guide

Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.


When you go out with a drunk, you'll notice how a drunk fills your glass so he can empty his own. As long as you're drinking, drinking is okay. Two's company. Drinking is fun. If there's a bottle, even if your glass isn't empty, he'll pour a little in your glass before he fills his own.

CHUCK PALAHNIUK, Invisible Monsters

I have taken more good from alcohol than alcohol has taken from me.


Bacchus ever fair and young,

Drinking joys did first ordain.

Bachus's blessings are a treasure,

Drinking is the soldier's pleasure,

Rich the treasure,

Sweet the pleasure--

Sweet is pleasure after pain.

JOHN DRYDEN, Alexander's Feast

As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did -- then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen -- Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair.


Scientists announced that they have located the gene for alcoholism. Scientists say they found it at a party, talking way too loudly.


Refrain from drink which is the source of all evil--and the ruin of half the workmen in this Country.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Thomas Green, Mar. 31, 1789

If a man rejoice not in his drinking, he is mad; for in drinking it's possible ... to fondle breasts, and to caress well tended locks, and there is dancing withal, and oblivion of woe.

EURIPIDES, The Cyclops

An aching head and trembling limbs, which are the inevitable effects of drinking, disincline the hands from work.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Thomas Green, Mar. 31, 1789

Alcohol is perfectly consistent in its effects upon man. Drunkenness is merely an exaggeration. A foolish man drunk becomes maudlin; a bloody man, vicious; a coarse man, vulgar.

WILLA CATHER, "On the Divide," The Troll Garden

Drugs or overeating or alcohol or sex, it was all just another way to find peace. To escape what we know. Our education. Our bite of the apple.


The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity. What one of us but can call to mind some relative more promising in youth than all his fellows, who has fallen a sacrifice to his rapacity?

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech, Feb. 22, 1842

Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic.



Is dandy

But liquor

Is quicker.

OGDEN NASH, Hard Lines

I always drank, from when it was legal for me to drink. And there was never a time for me when the goal wasn't to get as hammered as I could possibly afford to. I never understood social drinking, that's always seemed to me like kissing your sister.

STEPHEN KING, interview, Sept. 14, 2000

The contrast which exists between the abstemious man and the drunkard is this--the former governs his affairs, but the affairs of the latter govern him.


The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.


danny on May 14, 2010:

One is too many ant a thousand is never enough say now to drunk party..........................s

sheristeele from Siler City, NC on September 11, 2009:

Cool links.

Misha from DC Area on July 16, 2009:

If you don't drink and you don't smoke, you are healthy when you croak :P

recovering addict (author) on July 16, 2009:

Yes, if these are drank in very quick succession, within a few minutes, as in a drinking game.

Matty on July 04, 2009:

rubbish. You're trying to say 20 UK units is ld50 for a 10st male? 10 is LD50 for an 7 stone woman?Frankly if those figures had any factual basis the entire population of the UK would be dead.

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