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Official Beer Pong Rules

Beer Pong Rules

Beer Pong is a popular drinking game that involves throwing ping pong balls into cups of beer (or any other beverage) arranged in a triangular formation. The game can be played with two players or two teams. Here are the detailed rules for playing Beer Pong:


The objective of Beer Pong is to eliminate all of the opposing team’s cups by successfully throwing ping pong balls into them. The team that eliminates all of their opponent’s cups first wins the game.


  • 20 Cups: Standard plastic cups (10 for each team).

  • 2 Ping Pong Balls: Standard ping pong balls.

  • Table: Typically a rectangular table, about 8 feet long.

  • Beer (or other beverage): To fill the cups (optional, can be played with water).


  1. Arrange the Cups:

    • Arrange 10 cups in a pyramid (triangular) formation at each end of the table. The base of the triangle should be at the edge of the table with 4 cups, followed by 3, 2, and 1 cup forming the tip.

    • Fill each cup with an equal amount of beer or other beverage (usually about a third full). Alternatively, fill with water and have separate beverages for drinking.

  2. Determine Starting Team:

    • Decide which team will start the game. This can be done by a coin toss, rock-paper-scissors, or shooting for the middle cup (eye-to-eye rule).


  1. Taking Turns:

    • Teams take turns throwing ping pong balls into the opposing team’s cups. Each team gets two shots per turn (one shot per player if playing with two players per team).

    • Players must throw the ball with an arc and may not cross the edge of the table while shooting.

  2. Sinking a Ball:

    • When a ball lands in a cup, the cup is removed from the table, and the opposing team must drink the contents of the cup (if playing with beverages).

    • The cup is then set aside and is no longer in play.

  3. Re-Racking:

    • Teams may request a re-rack (rearrangement of remaining cups) once per game. Standard re-rack formations include a diamond, a line, or other agreed-upon shapes.

    • Re-racks should be done at the start of a team’s turn.

  4. Bounces and Swats:

    • If a ball bounces on the table and lands in a cup, it counts as two cups. The defending team may attempt to swat away a bouncing ball before it lands in a cup.

    • Direct shots (without bouncing) count as one cup.

  5. Redemption:

    • After the last cup is made, the opposing team has a chance for redemption. Each player gets one shot to try and make all remaining cups. If they succeed, the game goes into overtime.


  • Overtime Setup: Each team sets up three cups in a triangular formation at their end of the table.

  • Overtime Play: Teams alternate shots until one team makes all of the opponent’s cups. Redemption rules apply in overtime as well.

Winning the Game:

  • The game is won by the team that eliminates all of the opposing team’s cups first. If both teams are tied after overtime, additional overtime rounds are played until a winner is determined.

Additional Rules and Variations:

  • Elbows Rule: Players must keep their elbows behind the edge of the table when shooting.

  • Blowing/Fingering: In some house rules, if the ball is spinning inside the cup, a player may blow or flick it out. This rule should be agreed upon before starting the game.

  • Island Rule: If one cup is isolated from the others, a player can call “island” and aim for that cup. If successful, the cup is removed.

  • House Rules: Many variations of Beer Pong exist, so it’s important to agree on house rules before starting.

Beer Pong is a lively and social game that adds excitement to any gathering. By following these rules and playing responsibly, everyone can enjoy a fun and competitive game of Beer Pong.

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