How to Play Beer Pong

how to play beer pong

This is yet another drinking game which is popular in parties and among college students. It’s a fun game that is easy to learn and doesn’t have many strict rules. But you should put less beer in the cups to avoid over drinking alcohol. Beer pong consists of two teams with two players each.


• Two teams

• 20 or 12 16-oz plastic cups

• Ping pong table or any flat table

• Beer or any beverage of your choice

• 2 ping pong balls

• A basin of clean water and a towel which will be used to clean the pong balls.

Setting up Beer Pong

Arrange the cups in a triangular shape or pyramid on the two opposite corner of the table. Each triangle should face the opponent team. Have one cup in the first row, 2 in the second, 3 cups in the third row and 4 cups in the fourth row.

You can also play with 6 cups each! Fill the cups with beer half way or quarter depending on how much alcohol you want to consume.

Determine who plays first. If this is your first round, then you can toss a coin or use the “Eye to Eye” method whereby players from both teams play while maintaining eye contact.

If both players miss or hit the target, they are given another chance until a winner is found. The winner’s team will then go first.


The main objective of the game is to ensure your opponent consume more alcohol by clearing their cups before they clear yours. Each team will be allowed to shoot on a turn by turn basis.

When a player shoots the pong ball and it lands on the opponent cup, the opponent team drinks the beer in the cup and the cup is removed from the table. You can alternate drinking with your partner so that if you drink the first cup he drinks the next.

The cups should be rearranged after a hit to form a triangle or diamond for an easy shoot. There are three types of shots; the arc, the fastball, and the bounce shot. The most common one is the arc shot.

beer pong rules

Winning the Game

The team that successfully eliminates all the cups of the opponent team wins the game. In case of a draw whereby the two teams remain with one cup each, they go for overtime.

In this case, each team is given three cups and the first team to hit the opponent’s cups wins the game.

In a situation whereby the winning team didn’t lose any cup a shutout occurs. If this happens the losing team will have to do whatever the winning team commands them to do.

This can be embarrassing commands like going streaking or consuming a large amount of alcohol.

Beer Pong Rules

There are variations in Beer Pong rules and some groups can have their own in-house rules. The game rules should be stated before the game starts. Here are some of the common rules.

Deciding who goes first

If you had not played together before then both teams can toss a coin or use the “Eye to Eye” method. In Eye to Eye, players from both teams shoot pong balls while maintaining eye contact until a winner is found.

But if they both miss or hit the cups then they are given another chance. This goes on until a winner is found, then his team goes first.


Players are allowed to toss, throw or bounce the ball into a cup. A tossed ball that gets into a cup is worth one cup while a bouncing shot that lands in a cup is worth two cups (the one that it landed on and another one from the pyramid). The defending team can slap or block a bouncing ball but not a tossed shot.

When shooting, the player’s elbow should not cross the edge of the table and they can lean but not touch the table.


Each team can request to arrange the cups at the start of their turn. This can also be done after a cup has been knocked. Each team is allowed two re-rack per game but if you are playing the 6 cups beer pong, then you are allowed one re-rack per game.


If a pong ball hits the table and bounce into a cup, then that cup is removed plus another cup in the same pyramid. But if it bounces into a cup when only 2 cups are remaining, then one cup is removed.

On Table Rollbacks

If a ball bounces back to the shooter without touching the ground, then he can shoot it back. If it lands on a cup then it counts as one cup.

Rebuttal/ Redemption

After the last cup has been hit, the losing team has a chance to hit the remaining cups. Each player shoots until they miss and any leftover racks may be used. Once both players miss and there are remaining cups, then the game is over. If they hit all the remaining cups then they go for 3 cups over time.


This happens when there has been a draw. Each team gets three cups which are placed in a triangle shape and they are filled with beer. The team which made the game to go for overtime will shoot first. The team which scores all the three cups first wins the game.

Read more

Check out the best beer pong tables on the market!