page title icon How to Play Beer Pong? Rules of the Game

The origins of Beer Pong dates back to the time between the 1950s and 1960s. It originated in the United States in the decade between the two years. Just like most other games, this one also involves two teams.

But unlike most other indoor and outdoor games, its nature is slightly different. It is a drinking game, and it has been growing in popularity ever since the time of its emergence.

Read on to know all you want to know about how to play beer pong, its rules, it’s scoring, and all the other aspects.

What is beer pong?

Beer Pong is a drinking game featuring two teams. In it, players from each team throw a ping pong ball to land it in their opposition’s cups placed on a table.

If the ping pong ball lands in one of the cups of the opponents, the latter removes it from the table and drinks the beer in it. A Beer Pong game continues until the players of one side eliminate all the cups of the other side.

The object of the Game

Two aspects add up to constitute the object of the beer pong game: drinking alcohol and winning the game by removing all of the opponent’s cups.

The objective of the players of each side is to play beer pong skillfully to drink lesser beer. However, those who are addicted to alcohol deliberately play the game in a way that they get to drink more of it.

What all do you need to play Beer Pong?

On pen and paper, the straightforward rules may make it look simple to play Beer Pong. But according to rules, you need to arrange for a few items before you can start playing the game.

The items you need to play Beer Pong include solo cups, a rectangular table, ping pong balls, and beer.

As far as the exact numbers of these items, the table below gives a fair idea about it.

Name of the itemNumber of items
Solo cups20
8-feet long rectangular table1
Ping pong balls2
BeerAs per preference

Setup for a Beer Pong Game

The setup for the game revolves around the rules. Here’s a step-by-step guide that tells how to set up beer pong.

  • Picking teams: In most cases, the drinking game of Beer ping pong involves two teams with two players each. However, there is no hard-and-fast rule for the maximum number of players who can take part in it. If necessary, more than two players can also take part in the game. Though each team remains responsible for choosing the number of players, it is important to ensure that the chosen players get a chance to throw the ball in their respective turns.
  • Arranging cups: The cups are arranged in the form of a pyramid on either side of the table. But how many cups do you need for beer pong? Each pyramid consists of 10 cups on an eight-foot-long table. Both the sides can fill up their chosen amount of beer. But there is a rule to do it, though. All the ten cups must be filled by using 2 beer cans. The two teams taking part in the game need to follow this rule.
  • Deciding on the team that takes the first chance to throw balls: Choosing the starting team features on top of the beer pong rules list. Just like the other aspects of the game, there is also a well-specified rule to perform this step. One player from both teams shoots the ball and while doing it, they keep an eye on their opponent. If both players either make it or miss the ball, their partners continue the same process. It goes on until one of the players or their partners succeeds in shooting the ball without their opponent doing it.

How to Play Beer Pong?

The ping pong balls remain with the team that goes first. Apart from the rules that define how to play beer pong, both teams must also focus on getting the equipment and set up for the game. Quality items can make the overall experience of playing the game invaluable for the players of both teams.

Read on to get an insight into how many balls for beer pong you need at a minimum and how to play cup pong.

First up, here’s an insight into how to play beer pong.

  • In each turn, a team gets 2 shots with one shot for each of its members. If a player succeeds in landing the ball into the cup, a player from the other side must drink the contents of the cup and remove it from the table.
  • In the beginning, the cups are arranged in the form of a pyramid. But the shape of the arrangement of cups keeps changing after each round due to the elimination of cups. As a result, it becomes more challenging for players at the subsequent stages to deposit the ping pong ball in the cup. The shooting team can choose a maximum of 2 re-racks to arrange the cups as per their convenience for shooting.
  • The game continues with two players of each side shooting the cups until one of the teams loses possession of all the cups.
  • A team is allotted an additional rollback if two of its players sink their shot in one turn. It doesn’t happen in the event of a rebuttal.

If you are wondering how to beer pong, these rules sum it up. Read on to know more about scoring, winning the game, and other rules linked to it.


Scoring plays a prominent role in every game. It marks the line of distinction between a win or a loss. It also has a similar role in a beer pong game. However, there is a different method of calculating the scoring of a beer pong game.

Each of the teams starts a game with 10 to 15 cups and this number keeps reducing with time until the final result. The objective of each team is to retain as many cups as possible while reducing the number of cups with the opposition to 0.

Winning the Game

When one of the teams succeeds in eliminating all the cups of the other team, the game comes to an end. If both teams end up with 1 cup each and eliminate it in the final round, the game ends in a draw. If a beer pong game ends in a draw, overtime helps decide the winner.

A maximum of 3 cups is used in the overtime round. The team that succeeds in eliminating any one of the three cups of its opposition emerges victorious in the end. If a single round of overtime does not produce any result, multiple rounds of overtime can be used to decide the winning team.

When a team eliminates all the cups of the other team without losing any of its cups, the ensuing situation is called shutout. In such a situation, the winning team asks the losing side to perform a dare.

Though it can be embarrassing or challenging for the losing team, it has to perform the dare as directed by the winning side. The latter decides the dare to be performed. 

The players of each team must stick with the above Beer Pong rules throughout the game for fair gameplay. Read on to know more about it.

Rules of Beer Pong

What are the rules of beer pong?” is one of the commonest questions that comes to the mind of those who wish to get an insight into the game before playing it.

Here is a list of some of the beer pong rules and regulations.

  • Arranging the teams is an important requirement of the game. There are several ways to decide it. Scissors or Rock are the common methods used for this purpose.
  • Either 10 or 15 cups are arranged in an equilateral triangle. In these cups, two teams that take part in the game put an agreed amount of beer. They may also choose to use another alcoholic drink instead of beer. The rules of the game permit it. Both teams also keep a cup to rinse the beer pong ball.
  • The team that goes first shoots ping pong balls to put them into the cups of the other team. When one or both the balls land in the opposition’s cup, one member of the successful team drinks the beer or the drink in the cup and removes it from the table.
  • Both teams perform the task of shooting ping pong balls into the cups filled with beer in multiple turns. They do it until one of the teams succeeds in eliminating all the cups of the other side. 
  • If both teams eliminate the last cup of one another in the final round of a game, it ends in a tie. Thereafter, the winner is decided with the help of overtime which involves a maximum of 3 cups. A team wins this round upon eliminating any one of the cups. If a round of overtime ends up without a winner, a new one begins and the process continues until the time a winner is decided.
  • Players use a wide range of techniques for shooting the ping pong balls in the cups. They may either use an underarm or an overarm technique.
  • The rules to beerpong do not favor uncontrolled drinking of beer or alcohol. Instead, it highlights the importance of controlled drinking to avoid health risks.

Final thoughts

For those who wonder how to play beer pong game, the above rules answer the question in the best possible manner. Because it involves beer or alcoholic drinks, players need to be careful.

They should take steps to make certain that they take a regulated amount of beer or alcohol to stay safe from the standpoint of their health. Playing by this rule, in conjunction with the other rules of the game, can go a long way toward making it a fun activity. 

Gavin is the Chief Editor at 99sportz. In his free time, he enjoys playing Table Tennis & Pool. Here he pleasures in unearthing Table Tennis & Pool products and sharing unbiased reviews with readers by writing product reviews & carefully crafting buying guides with his acuity in two of the sports. Know more about Gavin Wade on 99Sportz About page.