You are here: Home > Beer Pong Rules

Beer Pong Rules

Its kind of hard to wrap up the rules of beer pong in a few short lines because the game is played differently everywhere. There are a few things that are the same no matter where you play though:

-There are two teams, of one or two players each.

-Each team fills 6 or more 16-20 oz cups, usually between 1/4 and 1/3 full with beer. Cups usually start in a triangle formation.

-Each team takes turns throwing ping pong balls into the other team's cups. First team to sink all of their opponents cups wins.

Those are about the only universal rules in beer pong. Everybody has different opinions about different rules, so if you play beer pong in 4 different places over a weekend it's quite possible that none of the 4 games will be exactly like the others....

These are the beer pong rules that will change from house to house:

-How many racks each team gets.

-The guidelines regarding a "lean" or "reach". (These are important!!!)

-The "Gender Rules". Sometimes there are gender beer pong rules, sometimes only the female rule applies, sometimes there are none. To save a cup that is in danger of being sunk, a guy can "finger" it out as long as it is in a rotating motion in the cup. Likewise a girl is allowed to "blow" it out under the same circumstance. You are allowed to perform the action that you would perform in sexual foreplay. Loophole / inconsistancy - Gays, lesbians and bisexuals. What do you do when a guy blows a ball out, you say "Hey dude you can only blow balls if you blow guys", and he looks up and says "I do blow guys?". Well thats another decision based on house rules. With 10% of the population batting for the other team, it is a good idea to decide for your house whether you have "Gender rules", "Sexual Orientation rules", or neither.

-Bouncing - If bouncing is allowed, a player may bounce the ball off the table and into an opponent's cup. If he sinks the cup, the opponents must take away that cup and one cup connected to it on the formation. Defending players may swat the bounce though, which makes this move rather risky. If you hit you could get two cups, but you run the risk of wasting a throw.

These are the beer pong rules that can change from house to house but are generally considered universal:

Redemption - I've personally never been to a game that didn't have this rule. If one team sinks all of their opponents cups, the opposing team has a chance to "redeem" themselves. Each player hits until he misses. So theoretically if theres 10 cups left during redemption, the first player could sink all 10 and come back. If a team comes back in redemption, both teams go into "overtime". Overtime rules differ a bit from house to house. Usually the rules are 3 cups and no racks.

Game Cup - If you sink your ball into a cup that has beer from the game in it that an opponent is holding, game win!
Again I've never been to a game where this rule wasn't applied, but ya never know.

Hot shots - If a team sinks two cups in one round of throwing, they get the balls back and get to throw again. If a team gets hot shots on the last cup, the game is over with NO redemption.

Extra curriculars:

Here are some random stipulations I've seen played. These stipulations are what really seperates one region's beer pong game from another. These are usually designed to make the game more dynamic, punish bad playing, just for fun, or all three.

Boob shot - If a player throws the ball and lands it in a female opponents cleavage (her boobs), each player has to drink a cup. We've seen it played where a boob shot ends the game like a game cup shot.

Air balls - If you throw and dont hit a cup or the table, you drink one of your cups.

Catching - If a player throws a ball that does not hit the table or a cup and the opponent catches it, the thrower must drink one of his/her cups. This is great for big parties with limited tables to play on because more people will get to play as the game goes much quicker. Sometimes you are allowed to catch for the last cup, and sometimes your not. Being allowed to catch for the game cup just makes the games go that much quicker, as the last cup usually takes the longest.

Assassin- This is what seperates the men from the boys. To get a cup, you must call out a single cup and hit that exact same cup. Hitting a cup you didn't call gets you NOTHING. This game is suited best for small get togethers of 4 to 6 people, because these games will take forever unless one of the two teams are extremely accurate. For a better description of the rules of Assasin beer pong, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Shut out rule - These are fun, and we believe every house should have a shut out rule. You usually want these to be relatively embarassing, as they should be for getting shut out. These usually only apply in 10+ cup games. Here are a few shut out rules I've heard of:
1. Run around the house naked - This is a classic and definetly the most popular shut out rule. The players who got shut out have to run around the house naked.
2. Must chug all of opponents beers - This can be a killer because you've already drank your own 10 cups, now you gotta drink your opponents 10 cups! I dont want to hear it got shut with it. (rule not recomended for annoying drunks)
3. Kiss your opponents bare feet - Kind of unoriginal, but I have seen this one implemented before. This one can often be the worst one of them all =P

If you have a different shut out rule that you'd like to share with us, email it to us and we'll gladly post it here and give you full credit!

Thats about all you need to know to play America's greatest drinking game!

Our Beer Pong Rules:

Here are the rules we play by at our parties. They are relatively standard, but it's genius is in its simplicity :)

-10 cups. no racks.
-Bounces are allowed
-No gender rules
-Shut out Rule - Run around the house naked.
-Lean rule - Elbows may not cross the edge of the table.
-Redemption applies
-Hot Shots applies
-Game Cup applies
-Boob shot applies, each player on opposing team must drink a cup.

Assassin - The Cadillac of Beer Pong Games:

Assassin is the cadillac of beer pong games. In assassin you can't just aim for the area with the most amount of cups and hope for the best. Assassin requires a high level of accuracy, because in order to make your opponent drink a cup you must call that cup out before sinking it. If you call out the back left cup and sink the back right cup, nobody drinks, your turn is over. Obviously if you do not call a cup and you hit nobody drinks, and as usual if you dont hit a cup nobody drinks. Assassin is a great game for small get togethers where beer is limitted and is a great way to narrow the field in tournaments. The one situation where assassin is not suited is large parties where playing fields are limited and many people are waiting to play, because no matter how good the players are, assassin games always take longer than standard beirut games.