How To Play Beer Pong: Beer Pong Rules & Game Play

Drinking games are growing by the minute, and beer pong is one OG game that will be around for a while. If you want a basic rundown, your objective in beer pong is to get your ping pong ball across the table in another team’s cup.

The game continues until one team gets all their ping pong balls in the other team’s cups. Now, when you read through this, it seems simple, right? Well, there are a lot of layers involved, especially when it comes to the rules and regulations.

This article will walk you through all the beer-pong rules gameplay play you must master before starting the game. Before you proceed, drink responsibly!

Origin of Beer Pong

Like most drinking games, even beer pong has an origin story. It is believed that the origin of beer pong dates back to the 1950s and 1960s at Dartmouth College, where the game was first played among students.

Multiple students left half-filled beer cups on the table, and the others started aiming at those cups on the ping pong table. Instead of the hand, the players sought and shot the ping pong ball with the paddle.

Since then, beer pong has become a very mainstream and popular drinking game that’s played worldwide.


How to Play Beer Pong?

Beer Pong

When it comes to playing beer pong, there are two aspects you need to prioritize. Firstly, you must sort out what you will need in the game. Secondly, you need to know about the setup of the game.

So, let us explain them in detail.

What Will You Need to Play Beer Pong?

The first step to playing beer pong is sorting out all the necessary materials and essentials. This includes:

  • 20 solo drink cups
  • Rectangular table (8 feet at least)
  • Ping-pong balls – 2
  • Beer (of your choice)

Once you have these items sorted, you can then go ahead and sort out the game’s set-up. It is a three-step process, so it shouldn’t take you long.

How To Setup the Beer Pong Game?

With the items out of the way, you next must focus on setting up the beer pong game. There are a few common factors worth considering.

Sort the teams – Beer pong involves two teams, and you can have two or more players on each team if you want the game to end quicker. It all depends on how long you want to play the game.

Arrange the cups – Once you have the team sorted out, the next thing is to arrange the cups. You need ten solo drink cups on each side of the table. And you need to arrange the cups in a pyramid shape. Also, you have to fill up each of the cups with beer. Ideally, you can use one beer can on each side of the table.

Decide the turn – The last step is to decide which team will go first. You can toss a coin, play a rock, paper, and scissors game, or find other ways to pick the team.

What are the different Beer Pong Formations?

Anovitalrtant part of setting up the beer pong table is to familiarize yourself with the beer pong formations. Typically, there are four types:

  • 10-cup pyramid formation
  • 4-cup diamond or square formation
  • 3-cup triangle formation
  • 2 cup double formation

Depending on how complicated or easy you want to keep the game, you can pick a formation that works for you.



how to play Beer Pong

With the set-up and the basics of the game out of the way, let us shift our focus on how to play the game. It is pretty simple.

  • Typically, each team has two players who take turns throwing the ping pong ball into the opponent’s cup.
  • Once a ball lands in the opponent’s cup, they must chug the drink and remove the empty cup.
  • This will continue until one team takes down all the cups and wins the game.

Beer pong is that simple and uncomplicated. It is very nerve-wracking because as the cups are removed, it becomes harder to aim for the single cups, especially when you are already buzzing from the alcohol.

Scoring in Beer Pong

The scoring system in beer pong isn’t complicated at all. You start with a set number of cups. Generally, each team has 10-15 cups on each side.

The primary objective is to take down as many cups of the opponent as possible. So, you aim to hit the ball into the cups on your opponent’s side. The team that eliminates the cups on the other side and brings the count to zero wins the game.

The players must take turns if it’s a draw until one team eliminates the last standing cup on the table.

Variations And House Rules

If you follow the above rules, playing beer pong is pretty simple. There are no complications involved at all.

However, besides these standard rules, there are a few different house rules in beer pong that you must check.


When shooting your ping pong ball, your elbows must be behind the table’s edge when hitting your ping pong ball. Not many players, especially drunk ones, will take notice. However, we’d recommend you follow the standard rules as they come. Keeping the elbows behind the table ensures the player isn’t reaching over too much.


Except for redemption rounds or rollbacks, each team gets two chances to request the reformation of their opponent’s cups. So, if you notice that your opponent’s cups are arranged simply, you can make things a little complicated for them.

Bounce Shots and Swatting

This is where beer pong is more interesting. Bouncing happens when the ball bounces on the table once before landing inside a cup. If that happens, two cups are removed instead of one. However, if you do the bounce when only two cups are remaining, the “perk” remains void. Only one cup is removed in that case.

Fingering and Blowing

Before your mind reels towards something naughty, let us bring it back. This trick is applicable if you notice the ball swirling on the edge of the cup. The defenders can remove the ball by blowing it out of the cup or flicking it. Once the ball touches the beer, this trick isn’t applicable.


If two players from the same team sink their ball in the same cup, that’s an explosion. In this case, the cups adjoining the “sunk” cup will be removed. It’s a bonus trick that works great if you want to eliminate multiple cups simultaneously.


This is a simple rule. If you roll and throw the ball, but it bounces back towards you, you can pick it up and rethrow the ball. However, this reshot needs to be a trick shot, not a straightforward one.

Death cup

If your opponent is chugging their beer, you can keep playing and throw your ball into the cup they are holding. It is a trick shot and takes a lot of skill. However, if you manage to get the ball into the cup your opponent is holding, it automatically means you win the game.

Redemption or Rebuttal

The last and possibly one of the most popular house rules is redemption. In this, each player from the losing team gets a chance to restore their place in the game. Each player gets a chance to sink a cup during this redemption round.

Tips and Strategies of Beer Pong

With the standard house rules and the set-up process out of the way, let us shift our focus to tips and strategies.

There are a few important ones you can focus on:

  • You must pick a good teammate to enhance your chances of winning in beer pong. Not picking someone good or at least decent will end up costing you. Always aim for someone who has good coordination and aim in the game.
  • Avoid getting too drunk because that will affect your coordination in the game. Instead, focus on keeping your calm and staying focused on the game.
  • It doesn’t matter what you are playing beer pong for; take it seriously. The last thing you want is for something to be friendly and party-like. You are playing it for fun but don’t lose your competitive edge.

These are some of the most important tips we recommend you keep checking on when it comes to playing beer pong. Following these tips can help you enhance your chances of winning.

Safety Considerations When Play Beer Pong

Beer Pong is a drinking game, so don’t lose sight of that. Even though you are playing with beer, it is still an alcoholic drink.

  • For individuals with very low alcohol tolerance, we’d recommend stepping down after one round of the game. The last thing you want is to end up drinking uncontrollably and risk getting drunk or incoherent.
  • Another important safety consideration is the hygiene of the place you are playing in. Throwing the ping pong balls in different directions will make them fall on the ground. Those same balls will land inside the beer cup too. If the area isn’t clean, you will also contaminate the drink. It isn’t hygienic as well.
  • Lastly, there’s no guarantee that things won’t get out of hand in a drinking game. So, you can expect a brawl when playing the game. Try to maintain calm during the calm.

Although beer pong is somewhat of a fun and interactive game, we’d recommend keeping the following safety considerations in mind.


Beer pong is one of the oldest and most popular drinking games. It is easy to play, manageable, and involves a competitive edge that most players love indulging in. If you are unsure about the game’s rules and regulations, we hope this article gives you all the insights you need to know.

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