How To Play Beer Pong: Rules and Guide

In our opinion, it’s probably the second-best game ever created (after table tennis of course). Below we’ll take you through everything you need to know about the wonderful game that is beer pong. Let’s get started.

How to play Beer Pong

The object of the game

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. When none of the opposing team’s cups are left you win the game.

The setup

The game is played be two teams, typically either 1v1 or 2v2 and is generally played on a ping pong table, or the longest table available.

If you’re taking your pong seriously you can even buy a dedicated beer pong table.

The game begins, by allowing the team that won the previous match to shoot first, or you play eye-to-eye to determine who shoots first. During the normal course of play, if both team members make a cup, they get “Roll-Backs”. Otherwise, it’s the next teams turn to shoot.

This continues until one team makes all the cups or until one team asks for a re-rack”. There are multiple options as to what formation of re-rack you want. A triangle, line, diamond, and sailboat are all common options. After one team has made all the opposing teams cups, the opposing team has a chance for “redemption”, but only if they haven’t re-racked yet. If the losing team shooting on redemption succeeds in making all the cups left before missing, the game goes into overtime until the game ends.

What you’ll need

  • Beer – Beer makes it fun, but water can be used if necessary. Any liquid really.
  • 6 – cup or 10 – cup. 16 oz Red Solo cups are the standard.
  • A beer pong table (but any longish table will do)
  • Ping pong balls (at least 2)
  • An audience

Beer Pong Setup:

Depending on whether you play 10 – cup beer pong or 6 – cup beer pong, you form the solo cups in a large triangle on opposite ends of a table. Fill the solo cups 1/3 of the way full with beer/water/etc.

Beer Pong Rules List:

*House rules always determine which rules/effects are played.

  1. When a team makes two balls into the same cup simultaneously, it is referred to as “Death Cup” and the opposing team automatically loses the game. Some people don’t play this rule.
  2. When a team or person makes two shots into different cups on the same turn, the opposing team drinks the two cups, removes the cups from the triangle, and the shooting team receives the ball back for another shot. This is called “Roll-Backs”.
  3. If the ping pong ball bounces off the lid of the cups and back onto the table before hitting the floor, you can grab it and shoot again, this time left-handed (female) or behind the back (male). If the ping pong ball hits the lid and bounces up into the air, you can grab it before it goes into one of your cups or bounces back to the opposing team. If the ping-pong ball hits the rim of a cup and then falls into a different cup, depending on house rules, it would be one or two cups.
  4. During the course of a game, it may be advantageous to reorganize your cups into a different pattern. This is called a Re-Rack. You’re only allowed one Re-Rack per game and Re-Racking prevents you from a redemption shot. There are many different patterns or shapes that you can Re-Rack into. The most common patterns are a triangle, line, diamond, and sailboat (triangle tilted) but you can essentially Re-Rack into whatever you want.
  5. Bouncing the ball into the opposing team’s cup counts for two. However, the opposing team may swat the ball mid-bounce. Bouncing is best attempted while the opposing team is distracted or inebriated.
  6. There are two special conditions where you can either blow or finger the ping-pong ball out mid-shot. If you’re a male and you’re playing against a female and the ball begins to toilet bowl into the cup, quickly “finger” the ping-pong ball out of the cup. This is invalid as soon as the ball touches the beer in the cup. If you’re a female, the opposite is true. There must be a male on the table and you are to “blow” the ping-pong ball out by literally blowing into the cup and pushing the ball out.
  7. After one team makes all of the opposing team’s cups, the opposing team gets a chance at Redemption (assuming they haven’t Re-Racked). Redemption is when you attempt to make all of your opponent’s cups without missing. Both you and your partner have a chance at redemption in doubles ( 1 – shot each). Should the losing team succeed in redemption (making all the cups left without missing), the game then goes into overtime, where a 3 cup triangle is played again. If, while shooting the ping-pong ball, a player’s shooting elbow goes over the edge of the table, their shot should not be counted. This is called “elbows”, or “bows”.
  8. A “celeb” shot or celebrity shot is when you let a friend shoot for you. You can only “celeb” once through the entire game.
  9. If at any time you knock over a cup inside the playing triangle, you remove that cup from the game. If a team wins by making all the opposing team’s cups before their opponents make one cup, the losing team must run naked around the house. This is called getting “skunked”.