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Master The Game: Essential Beer Pong House Rules

Posted By Keith Thompson On June 13, 2024

Beer Pong always injects fun and excitement into any gathering full of swill-loving attendees. This guide will explore everything you need to master the game—from equipment setup and beer pong house rules to variations/twists. So put your brews on ice, and let's learn this thing.

What is Beer Pong?

beer pong house rules

Beer Pong, born on college campuses in the 1950s, has become a beloved party staple. The game involves teams or individuals taking turns heaving (pun intended) a ping pong ball into partially filled cups of beer on a table. It sounds simple enough, but when you add alcohol to any activity, the word "simple" gets thrown out the window.

Setting Up the Game

Equipment and Table Setup

To get started, you need a standard table, 20 cups arranged in two triangular formations (like bowling pins), and several ping-pong balls. An ideal table is 8 to 10 feet long and about 2 feet wide. Quality ping-pong balls are crucial, so chuck those dented ones in the garbage beforehand.

Basic Rules of Beer Pong

beer pong rules

How to Play the Game

Teams take turns aiming to land their ball in the opponents' cups at each end of the table. Shots can be arc, bounce, underhand shots, or any combination. In my experience, the bounce shot seems the easiest to pull off while intoxicated, but I believe you and your peeps might see it otherwise.

Scoring and Winning

A successful shot forces the opponent to drink the beer in the cup. The drinker then removes the cup from the table. Play continues until one side eliminates all the opponents' cups. The overall goal of beer pong is to continue playing games until one person is left who can continue playing. That person is the ultimate winner and recipient of the Iron Liver Award.

Common Beer Pong House Rules

Popular Variations and Twists

The beer pong house rules can be anything and everything. Your imagination is the only limiting factor. However, "Death Cup" is the king. It's a simple twist that creates a much more intense contest. I'll also mention the "Suck It" cups later in the post.

The Death Cup: Adding a Dizzying Spin (Again, Pun Intended) to Beer Pong

what is beer pong

If you want to get Beer Pong crazy, look no further than the Death Cup variation. This sweet alternative can instantly turn the tides and adds an insane layer of unpredictability to the classic game.

What is the Death Cup?

The Death Cup is a specific cup that replaces one of the regular beer pong cups. If the opposing team successfully targets it, the game comes to a screeching halt, and the DC ace becomes the winner.

How about giving the DC a boost?

I'm sure most of you have heard of a drink called the "Boilermaker." If not, it's simply adding a shot of whiskey to a beer. Why not make the Death Cup a pinch more deadly? Fill the beer halfway and drop in a shot glass filled with whatever whiskey you have in the house - Now yer talkin'.

Setting Up the Death Cup

To set up a Death Cup game, you'll need to designate one cup as the infamous Death Cup. A different-colored cup is the easiest solution. Typically, you would fill this cup with beer to the top (or beer and a shot of whiskey).

  1. Placement: Each player decides on the Death Cup placement. You can choose any spot within your pyramid of cups.
  2. Marking: As mentioned above, whatever you can do to make this cup stand out will do.

Rules of Engagement

The rules surrounding the Death Cup are straightforward but pack a wallop:

  1. Instant Loss: If the opposing team lands a ball in the Death Cup, the game ends, and the team that made the shot is declared the winner. It's sudden death in the truest sense.
  2. Redemption: If you're feeling in a charitable mood, you might want to include the "redemption shot" option. This shot gives the losing team one last chance to save themself. If they hit your Death Cup, then the game marches on.
  3. The "Suck It" Cup: Another variation is to include one or two "Suck It" cups within each triangle. This option assumes you are drinking a different beer while playing a game. These cups within the triangle are empty, and if hit, the thrower has to finish whatever beer they have left in their cup. You would then remove the cup just like the others when hit. And go figure, the SI cup(s) do not need to be hit to win the game.

Other BP Twists

Here are a few shot ideas that might be worth trying. To ramp up the craziness, add them to any beer pong game:

  1. Blindfolded: You may need a partner to help position you at the table.
  2. Behind the Back: This one requires a lot of skill. Add alcohol, and the game may take forever to finish.
  3. Hook Shots: Just like Kareem used to do. You're going to need a high ceiling to use this shot type.

Play BP Responsibly

Playing BP is a great time, but watch yourself and the others with you. It's easy to get carried away while engaging in such a competition.

Make sure everyone has a place to crash if necessary. Having a "key master" (as in the movie "Say Anything") is also a good idea. There is no point in putting someone's life at risk - do the right thing and keep everyone safe.

So enjoy your BP battles, but let's be careful out there.

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