Beer Pong Drinking Game — What is it and what are the rules? (2023)


beer·pong: noun 1. a drinking game played at house parties where someone always says “I’m usually way better than this.”

By Mairyn Chorney on May. 23, 2018

(Video) How to Play Beer Pong | Drinking Games

Beer Pong Drinking Game — What is it and what are the rules? (1)

Beer Pong is a drinking game where players throw a ping pong ball across a table with the goal of landing the ball in the opposing team’s cups. If a ball lands in a cup, the defending team must remove it from the table and drink the beer in the cup. Each team takes turns shooting until one team eliminates all of their opponent’s cups.

Drink Responsibly!

Hold your hops! Before we get into the rules of Beer Pong, we want to disclose that we do not promote binge drinking and advise our fellow beer geeks to always drink responsibly! For more information, click here to learn how to be a responsible drinker.

How to Play the
Beer Pong Drinking Game

What You’ll Need to Play:

  • 20 solo cups
  • 1 eight-foot long rectangular table
  • 2 ping pong balls
  • Beer (of your choice, but preferably not your finest craft brew)

Setup for a Standard Beer Pong Game:Beer Pong Drinking Game — What is it and what are the rules? (2)

  1. Pick teams: Usually Beer Pong is played with 2 teams of 2 but you can have as many people on a team as you’d like. Just take turns throwing!
  2. Arrange cups: Generally 10 in a pyramid-like formation on your team’s side of a standard 8-foot table. Fill each cup with your desired amount of beer. Typically, 2 beer cans are used to fill up 10 cups. Repeat this setup for the opposite team.
  3. Decide which team goes first: To determine this, have one player from each team shoot the ball while maintaining eye contact with their opponent throughout their shot. If both players miss or both players make it, their partners will throw next. This goes on until one person makes it and their opponent does not. Once the starting team has been decided, the game can start.
Looking to buy a “legit Beer Pong table”?
Check out these official Beer Pong tables.

Beerpong Gameplay:

The team that is going first will have both ping pong balls. Each person on one team will take a turn trying to throw one ping pong ball into the opponent’s solo cups. When a ball is sunk, that team must remove the cup from the pyramid, drink the beer, and set the cup aside. The ball is allowed to bounce, or it can go directly into the cup, but read below for details on house rules. The game goes on until one team has no cups left. The team with remaining cups wins the game.

House Rules for Beer Pong:

There are a lot of different rules that can be added to your game of Beer Pong. You are more than likely going to learn a new rule every time you play. Here are some rules you should know about so you don’t look like a total Beer Pong newbie at your next house party.


Elbows is usually an unspoken rule… until someone breaks it. When shooting, your elbows must stay behind the edge of the table. This means no reaching as far as you can over the table to try and sink your ball. If this rule is broken, the shot does not count.



During the game, each team can request of a re-formation of the opposing team’s cups. Each team is allowed to do this twice per game at the start of their turn. You can not ask for a re-formation during “rollbacks” or during a “redemption round”.

Popular Re-Formations

Beer Pong Drinking Game — What is it and what are the rules? (3)Beer Pong Drinking Game — What is it and what are the rules? (4)Beer Pong Drinking Game — What is it and what are the rules? (5)Beer Pong Drinking Game — What is it and what are the rules? (6)Beer Pong Drinking Game — What is it and what are the rules? (7)
Bounce Shots & Swatting:

If your ball hits the table before going into a cup, then 2 cups are removed. The cup you sank, and another cup of the defender’s choice. If there are only 2 cups left, the bounce shot will only remove the 1 cup. If a bounce shot is thrown, the defending team can swat the ball away before the ball hits a cup. Swatting is only allowed on a bounce shot. If a player swats on a non-bounce shot, the other team will get both balls back and shoot again.

Fingering & Blowing: (yes, you read that right)

If a ball is thrown and is spinning inside of the cup, the defenders can either try to flick the ball out with one finger. Instead of fingering the ball out, you can try to blow into the cup to get the ball out. Once the ball has settled into the beer, fingering & blowing are not allowed.


Explosion is when both partners sink their ball into the same cup. All cups touching the cup that was sank, will also be removed. A variation to this rule is that only 3 cups are removed (the cup that was sunk, and 2 additional cups chosen by the defenders).


If you shoot, miss, and the ball rolls back towards you on the table you may grab the ball and re-shoot. This re-shot MUST be a trick shot. Throw the ball with your non-dominate hand, behind the back, blindfolded, off the wall, blow it out of your mouth… Get creative!

(Video) How to Play Beer Pong

Death Cup:

If a player on the opposing team is still drinking their beer from a previous round, you can try to throw the ball into their cup. They must be holding the cup in order for this shot to count. If you are successful, your team automatically wins the game of Beer Pong and the other team must drink all the beer left on the table.


After the last cup is hit, each player from the losing team gets redemption. This is their chance to stay in the game. Each partner will get one shot to try and sink a cup. If they miss, it’s game over. If a cup is sunk during redemption, their last cup comes back into play and the game continues. Each team gets only one redemption round.

Beer Pong Rules – A Video Demonstration

A Brief History Lesson – Who Invented Beer Pong?

Beer Pong is believed to have originated in the 1950s within the fraternities of Dartmouth College. Back then, their version was more like a traditional game of Ping Pong because they used paddles and a net. Sometime in the 1980s in the United States, the game change to no paddles or net and the name Beer Pong was adopted.

Did we miss your favourite Beer Pong rule? Let us know!
Variations of Beer Pong :

Looking to switch up your Beer Pong game at your next house party? Check out these hilarious variations by CollegeHumor.

Looking for more fun drinking games to play with your friends?
  • Sociables Drinking Game
  • Warm Beer Prank Drinking Game
  • Pass the Pitcher
  • Boxing
  • Flip Cup (AKA: Tippy Cup / Flippy Cup / Canoe / Taps)
Drinking games that won’t get you drunk:

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(Video) HOW TO PLAY BEER PONG!!!(The Super Splash Bros Rules)


What are the actual rules of beer pong? ›

It involves four people, teams of two, where a ping pong ball is propelled across a table aiming at one of the opponents cups. When a ball is sunk in a cup the players from the team scored upon have to drink its contents. Once all the other side's cups are empty that team has won.

How do you play beer pong with beer? ›

Beer Pong is a drinking game where players throw a ping pong ball across a table with the goal of landing the ball in the opposing team's cups. If a ball lands in a cup, the defending team must remove it from the table and drink the beer in the cup.

What is the objective of beer pong? ›

The object of Beer Pong is for one team to win the game by successfully eliminating all of their opponent's cups. As this is a game that nearly always combines alcohol and students, then getting drunk is often seen by many as being the other object of the game.

What is Pong drinking game? ›

Beer pong, also known as Beirut, is a drinking game in which players throw a ping pong ball across a table with the intent of landing the ball in a cup of beer on the other end. The game typically consists of opposing teams of two or more players per side with 6 or 10 cups set up in a triangle formation on each side.

How does the Pong game work? ›

Pong is a two-dimensional sports game that simulates table tennis. The player controls an in-game paddle by moving it vertically across the left or right side of the screen. They can compete against another player controlling a second paddle on the opposing side. Players use the paddles to hit a ball back and forth.

How do you win cup pong? ›

The trick is to aim the ball in the direction of the most cups for the best shot. Aim for the closest cups first instead of going for the more difficult ones in the back. This could give you an edge over your opponent who might be trying for the far cups.

How do you start beer pong? ›

A popular way to start the game is to have two opposing players look each other in the eye and without looking away or looking at the cups, shoot at the cups. The first team that makes a cup goes first. Teammates alternate turns until someone makes it. If both teams make it, you keep shooting.

How do you end beer pong? ›

To win a game of beer pong, one team has to eliminate all of the opposing team's cups. You eliminate an opponent's cup by successfully throwing a ping pong ball into it from the other end of the table.

What happens if a cup falls off the table in beer pong? ›

It counts just the same as if the ball went in the cup. The team that had the cup hit the ground must now get down on all fours and commence licking the beer from the ground. What is your proudest beer pong moment?

Is beer pong a skill or luck? ›

The object of the game is to eliminate the opposing team's cups of beer. The team left with at least one cup of beer on their side of the table wins. Undoubtedly, Beer Pong requires strategy, skill, and a little bit of luck.

Why do you dip the ball in beer pong? ›

Either way, after each round, the opposing team retrieves the ping pong balls from wherever they were thrown, dips them in the water cup to remove any visible grime, and aims to do the same thing on the other side.

Why is it called beer pong? ›

Students apparently left cups of beer on a ping pong table during a game, and players began aiming for the cups. The game was originally played with paddles (a convention which still remains at some colleges), but fraternity brothers at Lehigh University adapted it to “throw pong."

Can you catch the ball in beer pong? ›

4.2 Grabbing, Swatting, & Fingering

1. The ball in play may be grabbed or swatted after it has already made contact with a cup, but not while the ball is in the cup. You may not grab or swat before the ball has hit a cup except in the case of bounce shots, as permitted by the rules herein. 4.2.

What are the 3 rules of serving in table tennis? ›

There are 3 steps you need to follow to serve correctly:

1) Hold the ball on your palm, above the table, and behind the end line. 2) Throw it up vertically at least 16cm. 3) Hit the ball so that it bounces once on your side, clears the net, then bounces on your opponent's side.

What are the 7 basic skills in table tennis? ›

The basic table tennis skills are forehand and backhand hits, pushes, flicks, loops, spinning the ball, and serving.

How many points do you need to win in Pong? ›

A game is won by being the first player to win 11 points, and be at least 2 points ahead of his or her opponent. If both players have won 10 points, then the first player to get a 2 point lead wins the game.

How many cups is a trick shot in Pong? ›

Any trick shot is also worth two cups. #3. On a bounce shot (it has to be an intentional bounce) you are allowed to hit the ball away. #4.

What is the key to beer pong? ›

Hand-eye coordination and muscle memory are two must-have skills in order to be good at pong, says Seivert, so it would help to find a former athlete. And while shorter players can be good, height is helpful too.

What is sudden death in beer pong? ›

Both teams get an opportunity to shoot each round of Sudden Death. The game ends when one team outperforms the other in the same round; there is no rebuttalling(extra turns) in Sudden Death. If both teams match one another in the same round then we continue with one cup until they don't.

What happens if you hit the same cup in beer pong? ›

8.1 If both players in a team make the same cup, including if one or both of those shots are bounced shots, that team get both balls back and get to nominate 2 other opposition cups as being made (i.e. 2 shots in 1 cup is the same as making 3 cups).

Why is it called gentlemans in beer pong? ›

Gentleman's Re-rack

When you get down to just 2 cups left, no matter where they are, you can ask for a “gentleman's.” This means the cups will be arranged into a line (perpendicular to the end of the table) for easier aiming.

Is death cup a rule in beer pong? ›

The Death Cup refers to any cup that's been sunk but has yet to be fully consumed. Should a player sink a ball into the unfinished cup, the game is immediately over. This rule incentivizes all players to finish their drinks fast and holds everyone accountable for every beer.

What happens if the racket touches the table? ›

Your opponent gets a point if any part of your body or racket touches the table.

Is heating up a rule in beer pong? ›

When an offensive player has made 2 cups in a row, they can call “heating up.” This means that if they make a third shot in a row they are "on fire". When a player is "on fire" they continue to keep shooting until they miss.

What is beer pong without beer called? ›

In Beirut, 10 cups are arranged in a pyramid shape on both sides of a table; the competitors then stand at either side and take turns throwing the ping-pong ball across the table, rather than paddling it. If a ball is sunk into a cup, one of the opponents has to chug it.

How long is a beer pong table? ›

Description. Red Cup Pong Professional Beer Pong Table. About our Tables: 8 feet long regulation dimensions, with an easy to clean surface that will not warp like a home made table.

How many cups do you need for beer pong? ›

Beer Pong Setup

At each end of your beer pong table, arrange ten cups in a pyramid-like formation. Fill each cup with your desired amount of beverage.

How drunk does beer pong get you? ›

According to the survey, "It only takes 32 minutes to reach a 0.16 BAC while playing Flip Cup, which can lead to amnesia, vomiting, or a loss of consciousness." In comparison, it will take around 40 minutes of beer pong to reach a 0.08 BAC.

What serves are illegal in ping pong? ›

It is illegal for a player to move their hand high and drop the ball while attempting the serve. The ball must be thrown up. There is also no limit to how high the ball can be thrown up, it just need to be at least 16 cm (over 6 inches) and straight up.

What is not allowed in ping pong? ›

Hitting the Ball

Double hits are not allowed, so you may not hit the ball with the fingers of your racket hand, and then hit the ball with your racket. player that does this. A player may not throw the racket at the ball in order to hit the ball.

Is a beer pong table 6 or 8 feet? ›

Official beer pong tables have an overall length of 8' (244 cm). In a 10 cup game of beer pong, the opponent's front cup is 6' 8.5” (204 cm) from the end of the table. In a 6 cup game of beer pong, the opponent's front cup is 6' 11.5” (212 cm) from the end of the table.

What are the rules for ping pong serving? ›

In a singles match, you have to serve diagonally (like in doubles). In Doubles, you're required to serve from the right half of your side to the opposite side in the opponent's half (diagonally). But this rule doesn't apply at all in Singles. You're free to serve anywhere, diagonally or straight, from any location.

Why can't you touch the table in table tennis? ›

Your opponent gets a point if any part of your body or racket touches the table. No – this is a very frequently misunderstood rule in table tennis. The ONLY part of the body that cannot touch the table is your FREE HAND – i.e. the hand not holding the racket. The rest of your body can touch the table any time.

How many let serves are allowed in table tennis? ›

The simple answer is that there is no limit to the number of times you can replay the service after it has been touched the net. According to Rule 2.09, it is a let “if the ball contacts the net assembly and you will serve again.” There is no limit on the number of lets in table tennis.

How do you win in beer pong? ›

Drink the contents of the cup and remove it each time a ball makes it into the cup. Continue doing this until all of the cups are gone. The winner is the first to eliminate all of the other team's cups. The game is automatically won if members of the same team sink the ball into the same cup of the opposing team.

What happens if you make both balls in the same cup in beer pong? ›

1. Death Cup: When a team makes two balls into the same cup simultaneously, it becomes the “Death Cup” and the other team automatically loses the game. Some people don't play this rule.

How long is a 7 person table? ›

To seat four to six people, look for a table that is at least 60" long. For six to eight guests, your table should be at least 78" long. The rule of thumb is to allow 24" of space per seat at your dining table.

How long is an 8 person table? ›

A 60” to 72” long rectangular table can seat up to 6 adults. An 84” to 96” long rectangular table can seat up to 8 adults. A 108” to 120” long rectangular table can seat up to 10 adults.

How many cups are in beer pong? ›

Beer Pong Setup

At each end of your beer pong table, arrange ten cups in a pyramid-like formation. Fill each cup with your desired amount of beverage.


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