This is a guide of how to play beer pong. It is a relatively simple game to play and very inexpensive. If you’re tired of the same old Xbox games or want to have some competitive fun with your friends, this is the perfect game. The average game takes around 20 minutes, but will continue to entertain you for hours. It is played by throwing ping-pong balls at cups and making them land and stay in the cups. Each turn, both teams are allowed at least 2 throws to try to “make” cups. After a cup is made, it is removed, and the first team to make all the cups wins!
Disclaimer: This instructional guide in no way supports underage drinking or the irresponsible consumption of alcohol.
Warning: This game may have health risks and as with any type of activity involving drinking alcohol, people may drink too much and experience alcohol poisoning, which can lead to serious injury or death.
Step 1: Items Needed and Setup
-Playing surface ~8 feet long
-20-22 red solo cups
-2 or more standard sized ping-pong balls
-A pitcher to fill with water
-Paper towels in case of spills
Modern Beer Pong is played on a flat rectangular surface, 8 feet is preferred but any table will work as long as all players agree on it. Two teams of 1-2 people will stand on their respective sides and form an equilateral triangle with 10 red solo cups as shown. Proceed to fill each cup with approximately 2 ounces of beer or water depending on which game you play. There is a line on red solo cups to indicate 2 ounces, however if you are using other cups, 1/4 to 1/3 filled with beer or water will work. You will need a foot or two of clearance surrounding the table to be able to play comfortably.
Step 2: Starting a Game
After the playing field has been set and both teams are ready, you need to determine which team gets the first throw. One member of each team gets a ball and locks eyes, they count to three and throw on three. If one person makes a cup and the other does not, the team that made the cup goes first. If neither team makes a cup, or if both do, the second team members take their turns; if they both miss or make a cup, it switches again. The teams will continue alternating until one is victorious. The winning team will start with 2 ping-pong balls, each person will throw 1 ball. If it’s a 1v1, the player will throw both and try to make them into the cups. If a cup is made, the other team must remove that cup and set if off to the side.
Step 3: Freshman Cup
This is a penalty that can occur at the beginning of a game after it has been decided which team is throwing first. If someone makes the middle cup before any other cup has been removed, that person must drop their pants and play with them around their ankles. They must play like this until they make another cup. This rule is typically not enforced upon women, however it is a fun way to ridicule your friends as they play in their underwear. If any cups have been made by their team prior to freshman cup, the rule does not apply and play goes on.
Step 4: Bonuses
There are 5 types of special cases that can occur during a game.
Bouncing: If you bounce if off the table and into a cup, it is equal to 2 cups, the one made plus one more of the other team’s choice.
Island: If there is a cup that does not have another cup right next to it, and there is a group of at least 3 cups touching elsewhere, the player may call “Island” and shoot for the lone cup. If they make it, it counts as 2 cups, just like bouncing, however if they make any other cup of miss, it counts as 0.
Same Cup: If a team makes the same cup in one turn, it counts as 3 cups, the cup they made plus 2 others of the other team’s choosing. They also get the balls back and get to shoot again.
Balls Back: This is similar to “same cup” except instead of making the same cup, two different cups are made in the same turn. The two cups are removed and the team gets the “balls back” to shoot again.
On Fire: If a player makes 2 cups in a row (doesn’t have to be in the same turn) they may call “Heating Up” and if they make a third in a row, they may call “On Fire”. After this, the player gets a ball back and may continue shooting until they miss, with each cup they make being removed after they make it.
Step 5: Re-racks
After making at least 4 cups, a team has the option to “re-rack” the cups they’re throwing at. Re-racks are only available at the beginning of a turn, so if a player shoots or the team has balls back from “same cup”, “balls back” or “Fire” shots, they must wait to re-rack. Each team is only allowed 2 re-racks per game and they go as shown above. If you are losing badly a 3-2-1 re-rack is generally a good idea. Some people if they are feeling cocky like to do a “Testicle” re-rack to show off.
Step 6: Trolling
This is an after game penalty, which applies to players who go an entire game without making a cup. This can be a player or players on the losing or winning team. They must sit underneath the table for the duration of the next game. Bystanders enjoy taking pictures as the player sits on the floor in shame. The more ridicule, the better. Calling them a troll for the rest of the day/night is highly recommended.
Step 7: Behind the Back/Gentleman Shot
This is a special type of shot that allows a player to throw more than once during their turn. If a ball bounces back at the thrower after their throw, and they reclaim it before it falls off the table and hits the ground or is recovered by the other team, they are granted a “Gentleman” shot. The player must throw the ball behind their back and try to make a cup. Women are generally allowed to throw with their off-hand. If a cup is made it counts as one and must be removed by the other team. These shots are quite difficult and grant the player praise if successful.
Step 8: Fingering and Blowing
Sometimes a ball will spin around the top of the cup before falling in and hitting the liquid. If this happens, men are allowed to “finger” the ball and women are allowed to “blow” the ball out of the cup. If the ball is successfully retrieved, the cup is not removed, however if the ball touches the liquid or liquid is spilled from the cup in the process, the ball is considered “wet” and the cup must be removed.
Step 9: Types of Shots
Arc shot: This is the most common, the idea is to have the ball come straight down into a cup, and prevent any attempts at fingering or blowing.
The laser: It is a fast shot that takes a good amount of accuracy but can also be used to knock cups over which counts as 1 cup.
Bounce shot: These were mentioned before, however another key part about them is that they can be clocked or swatted away by the other team after they have bounced.
Celebrity shot: This is another option, which allows a team member to have someone else not in the game shoot for them. Each team is allowed 1 celebrity shot per game and depending if they are winning or losing, it may be used to talk to a cute girl or to use as a last ditch effort to make cups.
Step 10: End Game Rebuttals and Overtime
After a team makes their last cup, the other team has a chance to “rebuttal”. Each member of the team has the chance to shoot until they miss, as if they were “On Fire”. If they manage to make all of their remaining cups, the game goes into overtime. A triangle formation is made with 3 cups (shown in the picture), and the team that originally made the last cup throws first. There are two types of overtime rules: sudden death and standard overtime. Sudden death means that the first team in overtime to make all three cups wins. Standard overtime allows for rebuttals and can send the game into double overtime and on from there. It is generally an end of game ritual to shake the other team’s hand, but depending on how close a game is or what was said during the course of the game, a team might deny the handshake.
Step 11: Now Start Playing!
Image credit: http://thisisbeirut.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/the-history-of-beirut/
The magic of Beer Pong is that the rules change wherever you go, people make up their own crazy rules, or make awesome custom tables. You can change it to be however you and your friends like, go on the internet to try to get ideas or just play and discover what you like.
Make me proud.