This is how to play Beer Pong, the party drinking game from the USA

8. April 2017 - Anika Semmer

How to Play Beer Pong - All You Need to Know | Game Rules




Beer Pong is the most popular American party drinking game on campus for a reason. You can play it in pairs or have a real Beer Pong competition. But beware: this drinking game is addictive! And this is how to play Beer Pong.

Ping-pong balls, plastic cups, skill and beer – that’s all you need for Beer Pong. Two players or teams face each other at a (ping-pong) table and try to sink ping-pong balls into plastic cups. And these are filled with beer, which the opposing team is allowed to excrete with every hit… or must, depending on how you look at it. 🙂

Beer Pong is easy to play and you can vary it as you like with a variety of rules (see below). This is how to play Beer Pong as a tournament, or just the two of you!

How to Play Beer Pong – Game Rules

  • Number of players: 2 – infinite
  • set-up: takes 3 min
  • Play time per round: about 10-15 minutes
  • Drinks: Beer or mixed drinks
  • Skills: Dexterity, accuracy, concentration

What I Need to Play

  • At least 2 players
  • 40 mm Ping Pong balls
  • Beer Pong plastic cups (capacity: 16-18 oz = approx. 0.5 l)
  • A table, ideally: Beer Pong table
  • Beer or other spirits
  • Optional: table tennis racket


This Is How to Play Beer Pong

This is how to play theParty drinking game Beer Pong

Civil was from Geoffrey Fairchild at CC BY 2.0

For each round of Beer Pong, 2 players or two teams of 2 players each play against each other. Each team stands at one broadside of the table. Plastic cups filled with an agreed amount of beer or other drink are placed in front of each team.

When 2 individual players play against each other, the first player throws his table tennis ball and tries to hit it into one of the cups opposite. In doing so, he must abide by some rules decided before the game, for example, the elbow must not cross the edge of the table when throwing the ball. If he hits the ball, the other player has to empty the cup. If he does not hit the ball, the possession changes and it is the other player’s turn. This continues until one player has hit all the cups and won.

If teams with two players each play against each other, both players always throw in succession before the possession of the ball changes and are free to decide who will drink the cup in case of an opponent’s hit.

Tip: Play Beer Pong with table tennis bats instead of throwing the ball!

Preparation and Game Setup

This is the playing field to play Beer Pong

Playing field for the party drinking game Beer Pong

Before the game starts, place 6, 10 or 15 cups on each side of the table in the shape of a triangle about 2 cm from the edge of the table in the middle, i.e. in rows of : 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4 or 1-2-3-4-5 cups. The edges of the cups touch each other and the tip of the triangle points to the centre of the table. Draw a dividing line with chalk on the middle of the table and provide each team with a cleaning cup filled with water.

The cups are now filled with a drink – typically beer. The filling quantity can be freely determined – usually one bottle of beer is distributed among the cups of each team.

Now you form teams and agree on the rules (see below). Beer Pong can be played in countless variations and with many different rules.
As a playing field, you can use a table or a table tennis table – it is important that the table is at least 1.5 m long. The more cups you set up, the longer a round will last.


The Beer Pong Game Begins

To decide which team starts, you take turns throwing at the cups. The first hit decides who starts.

The player or team that has scored now gets two table tennis balls and tries to throw them into the cups of the opponent’s half of the field. When throwing the balls, the elbow must not come over the edge of the table, otherwise the hit does not count and the player must repeat the throw. If the ping pong ball does not touch the playing surface during the throw, the opposing team may not defend the throw. It drinks the hit cup empty and removes it from the playing field..

If, however, the ball hits the tabletop (bounce), you may try to deflect the ball by hitting it away with your hand, arm or head, for example. If a bounce hits a cup, the team must excrete this cup and a second cup and take them from the playing field.

If neither ball hits a cup, possession of the ball changes and no cup is exen. If both balls hit the same cup, the opposing team must drink 4 cups. If one hits the cleaning cup, this must also be drunk out.

Before the start of the game, it is decided whether the possession of the ball always changes after the 2 throws, regardless of hits. Alternatively, the rule is that if you get a hit, you can throw as many times as you want until you miss.

How to Win the Beer Pong Game

The winner is the first team to throw all the opposing cups. If this team has started the game, the opposing team may still play its last round and try to hit all the cups as well. If it succeeds, the Beer Ping round goes into overtime.

On each half of the playing field, 3 new cups are filled up and set up as a triangle and discarded until one team has discarded all the cups and the other team has not with the same number of rounds. The losers must now ex all remaining cups (except the cleaning cups).

Special Beer Pong Rules

You can supplement these basic rules of Beer Pong with additional rules just as you like. For example:

  • All diversionary manoeuvres are allowed in which the table, opponent and cups are not touched.
  • If there are 10, 6, 3 and 1 remaining cups, the cups are rearranged as a triangle.
  • If you knock over a cup with a ball, it is replaced and the thrower must throw a new cup.
  • Balls that are spinning in the cup can be blown out as long as they are spinning.
  • If a player hits in 2 rounds in a row, he reports hot, if he hits the third in a row, he burns and may – if he has reported both aloud – continue throwing until he misses.
  • If a ball remains on the edges of the cup, a cup is removed at the thrower’s discretion and he may throw again.
  • One may not grab a ball before it has touched a cup.
  • If a thrower hits a body part first and then into the cup, this throw counts as a miss.
  • If the thrower hits the cleaning glass, it must be drunk and replaced.
  • The ball in the cup must not be touched or fished out.
  • When throwing, one must not touch or support the tabletop.
  • Each cup that you accidentally knock over in your own field counts as a hit by the opposing team.
  • While the other team is throwing, you must not blow, fan air or change the airflow.
  • If team 1 knocks over one of their own cups and immediately sets it up again and team 2 doesn’t notice, nothing happens.
  • If a thrower knocks over one of his own cups, he must drink it himself and he is taken out of the game.
  • You must not obstruct or impede the thrower’s view of the cups.
  • Spectators are allowed to help distract the thrower, as long as they do not physically interfere with him throwing.
  • If a spectator touches a ball, the throw is repeated.
  • If a player breaks a decided rule, the opposing team may remove a cup of their choice from the game and the offender must drink it up.

You can find many more party games at Abenteuer Freundschaft! Do you already know our best-of with the most ingenious dice drinking games and the best card drinking games?  Also, here are more home party ideas and board game tips to browse as well as plenty of inspiration for activities with friends, partner and family.

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Image source Cover photo: Emilija lines up a shot by Geoffrey Fairchild at CC BY 2.0

*There are affiliate links in this article. This means that if you order a product from amazon via one of these links, Abenteuer Freundschaft will receive a small commission without the product becoming more expensive for you.


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