Beer Pong Rules

Basic Beer Pong rules are below. For controversial rules please see the next section: Beer Pong Rules Part 2.

We'll just be discussing two-on-two play on this page. Take a look at the menu bar at the top for additional pages.

People (players) needed:

4 people (two-on-two)
What you need:

2 ping pong balls (having extras can be clutch if one breaks or gets lost)



4-6 beers per game (2 or 3 beers per side)



Any less than 2 or 3 beers per side and the cups will probably fall over



A flat playing surface - typical size and height is that of a ping pong table (9 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 2.5 feet above the ground) which is a bit larger than a University of Michigan pool table (this author's alma mater) that measures about eight feet long and four feet wide.



Creative tables are often necessary and at times encouraged (like in the picture below).



When a ping pong table isn't available indoor play typically consists of improvising with an old oak dining table or kitchen table. In extreme circumstances a pair of end tables placed about 9 feet apart can work as a makeshift beer pong table comprised of two island tables separated by the proper distance. The guys below improvised with a desk on its side.


20 cups (10 per side) plus 2 water cups = 22 total cups



16 ounce Red Solo cups are definitely the standard (pictured above).

In desperate times resourcefulness (pictured below) can be the difference between playing a game and having to find something else to do.



Object of the game:


Eliminate all of your opponents cups before they eliminate all of yours [like Anna Kournikova tried to do on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (below - see more here)]:




Setting Up:


Teams of two stand next to each other and are across the table (length wise) from the opposing team.



Each team arranges ten cups in front of them in a pyramid (4-3-2-1) similar to how bowling pins are arranged.



Each side fills their cups (those immediately in front of them) evenly with 2 or 3 (or more) beers. Distributing the beer equally amongst all the cups.



Game Play:

Players try to eliminate their opponents' cups by tossing ping pong balls across the table into their opposition's beer filled cups.



Teams take turns tossing ping pong balls ("shooting") with each member of Team A shooting across the table before each member of Team B shoots back across the table.



When a ping pong ball is successfully tossed into an opponent's cup (below) the opponent must drink the beer from the made cup and remove that cup from the table. That cup has now been eliminated from the game.




Once all of a team's cups have been eliminated the game is over.

If you win celebrate like the girls below ...



or do something more masculine if you're a dude (below) - maybe this isn't the best example.




Warning: Avoid shoulder injuries by stretching properly and wear proper footwear so you don't find yourself asking your friends for ingrown toenail remedies.

Check out Beer Pong Rules Part 2 for information on:

  • Blocking a shot
  • Blowing
  • Bouncing
  • Beer pong distractions
  • Doubling Up
  • Drinking on the side
  • Dropping a ball in your own cup
  • Leaning over the table when shooting
  • Losing team drinks
  • Naked run
  • Overtime
  • Pulling a made cup
  • Rebuttals
  • Re-racking
  • Re-racking in the middle of a turn
  • Spills
  • When a cup slides
  • Which team shoots first
Detailed illustrations of the above terms can be found at Beer Pong Rules Part 2.
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