There are many versions of Beer Pong. Depending on who you are playing with, they may have different rules they play by. Therefore it is a good idea to make sure everyone is playing by the same rules before you begin. This will prevent any drunken disagreements! 

Beer Pong usually uses a ping pong table. However, any large table will usually do just fine. Just be sure that whatever surface you are playing on is stable, flat, and you won't be overly bothered by beer spills. Afterall, the beer WILL spill.

Beer Pong Game Setup

The first order of business is to set up the cups. The ideal cups are "Dixie" cups and should be filled about 1/4 full with beer (or about 4 ounces). Use the "ribs" on the cup to make sure all cups are evenly filled.

Once you have filled the cups, you should arrange them bowling alley style on the table as shown in the image to the left.

The rack shown at left uses 10 cups per rack. Shorter games can also be played by using different racks (usually 6 or 4 cups per rack). Generally, shorter games use one of the "Re-racks" shown later in this article


The idea with Beer Pong is to shoot your ball into your opponent's cups. Whenever you successfully get your ball into an opponent's cup, the opposing team must drink.

If playing "doubles", then there are generally two balls that are in play.

  • Each team member shoots once before the balls are passed to the opposing team.
  • If a ball makes it into a cup, then the opposing team drinks the beer in that cup.
  • If both team members make their shots, then a "Roll Back" results. This means that they get to shoot again - just like in pool.
  • If both team members make a shot into the same cup then that team automatically wins and the opposing team must drink all the beer on the table. If the opposing team has not managed to make a shot by this time, then the game is a shut out and additional penalties apply.
  • There are three primary Shot styles:

Arc Shot - This method is a "direct" shot that attempts to "arc" the ball directly into the opposing team's cups.

Fastball - Also known as a "laser beam", the fastball is sometimes not allowed under house rules due to it's tendency to get out of hand. Where allowed, the Fastball is a "direct" shot.                              

  Bounce - Bounce shots are "indirect shots" when the shooter bounces the ball into the cup. Once the ball bounces on the table, the opposing team can block by swatting the ball away from their cups. Assuming the shooter successfully makes this type of shot, the opposing team must drink two cups of beer - one is the one that the ball landed in, and the other is the choice of the shooter.

  • Depending on house rules, a bounce shot can be any shot that bounces off of anything. So you could conceivably bounce a shot off the ceiling, the walls, a chair, whatever. No matter, once the ball touches anything, it can be blocked by the opposing team.
  • Re-racking

    At various points during the game, the cups must be re-racked. This happens at the end of a team's turn and when the number of cups drop to 6, 4, 3, 2, and 1. Racks are arranged like this:


    If a ball is spinning on the edge of a cup, a player can defend the cup by either blowing the ball out of the cup, or by flicking it out with his/her fingers. Depending on house rules, some games go by the rule: dicks flick, bitches blow; meaning only females can blow the ball out, while only males can flick balls out with their fingers. Once the ball touches the liquid in the cup, it is dead, and the defending team must drink.

    Ball Blocking
    If a ball bounces off of any object it is considered a "bounce" shot and can be swatted away by the defending team.

    Gentleman's Shot

    If the shooting team recovers a ball either because the ball bounced back, or the defending team swatted it back, then the shooter may be entitled to a "Gentleman's Shot". In this case the shooter can take another shot, but generally has to do so with his/her back turned.


    If a defending team is about to lose, and both team members make their shots, then the game is extended. The table is re-racked with six cups per side, and game play continues as usual.


    • If a defending player touches the ball before it bounces off of an object, then that player must drink a cup
    • If a defending player spills a beer attempting to defend against a shot, then that player must drink the equivelent of all the cups he/she spilled. The spilled cups are removed from the table as if they had been sunk by the shooter.

    Winning Beer Pong

    If a team makes both shots in the final cup then they win and the game is over. If, however, the team merely makes the last cup once, then the opposing team has the opportunity for a "Rebuttal". If the opposing team fails their rebuttal attempt, then the game is over. The losing team must drink all the remaining beer on the table.


    If the losing team fails to make any shots during the course of the game, then this is considered a "shutout" game. Under this circumstance, a special consequence is set in place to put particular ridicule on the losing team. Typically the losing team is required to streak naked through the house, or some other similar consequence. This adds extra excitement and incentive on both sides.


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