Zhou Tai was born in Xiacai, Yang Province, starting out his military career as a pirate captain on the Chang Jiang. However, he joined Sun Ce along with Jiang Qin in 197 AD during the Campaign for the Wu Territory, and fought at the Battle of Xuan Castle later that year, defending Sun Quan and gaining a slash across his face. Zhou Tai was honored by a large banquet with all types of wine, and became a close friend of Sun Quan. Zhou Tai further served at the Battle of Xia Kou, Battle of Jiangxia, Battle of Chibi, Battle of Jing Province, Battle of Xiaoyao Ford, and Battle of Fan Castle.
He distinguished himself for a second time at the Battle of Yiling in 222 AD, where he avenged the death of Wu general Gan Ning by loosing an arrow at Sha Moke, the cowardly Shanyue king who had sided with Shu Han during the conflict. Zhou Tai fought at the Battle of Dongkou, Battle of Ruxukou, and a few other engagements against Cao Wei soon after, but it is unknown when he died.