Beer Pong is a drinking game which is especially popular among college students, but can be enjoyed by any group looking for an innovative way to have fun and drink together. It is generally played in teams of two, with the teams standing at opposing ends of a flat, rectangular surface (preferably a ping pong table, but anything accepted by both teams can be used). 6 or 10 cups are formed in a pyramid at either end of the table, with the base of the pyramid centered at the edge of the table. The players attempt to toss or bounce ping pong balls into the cups, each of which is filled with 1/3 of a beer (or other intoxicating spirit). When a player makes a shot into a cup of the opposing team, a player from the opposing team drinks the contents of the cup and removes it from the table. The game continues in this way, with both players from one team taking a shot, followed by both players from the other team. The team that is able to clear all of the opposing team’s cups first is the winner, with the losing team splitting the contents of the winning team’s remaining cups. To begin, a player from each team takes a shot simultaneously without looking at the cups. This is repeated until one team makes, and one team misses. This decides who gets the first possestion. After the first game, the winning team gets the first shot.

Staring the Game

To begin, a player from each team takes a shot simultaneously without looking at the cups. This is repeated until one team makes, and one team misses. This decides who gets the first possession. Alternatively a coin toss can be used to determine the starting team, this is conducted by an official BPA referee.

Bouncing vs Tossing

beer pong shooting guide

Any player taking a shot has the option of attempting to toss the ball directly into the opposing team’s cups or bouncing the ball one or more times into the cups. If a player successfully makes a bounced shot, the opposing team has to drink two cups: the one in which the shot was made and another from the pyramid. As we already know, a regular (non-bounced) toss is only worth a single cup. However, there is a catch. The defending (non-throwing) team can defend cups against bounce shots by blocking or swatting the ball once it hits the table. The defending team can only defend a shot once the ball has hit the table, so the throwing team doesn’t take a risk by tossing instead of bouncing, as tossed shots are indefensible.


As the game progresses and the original pyramid formation is lost, it gets more difficult to make successful shots. To account for this, a team must “re-rack” at certain numbers of remaining cups in order to keep a compact shape at which their opponents can shoot. Each team gets 1 re-rack per game at any time. Displayed below is a visual of the starting 6 cup formation and the various rack positions that players can use to consolidate at there discretion.

beerpongasia racking formations

-Take note that as at the beginning, the bottom cup must be flush with the end of the table after re-racks as well.
Reracks can only be performed at the start of a team’s turn, not an individual player’s. If one team member has already taken a shot there cannot be a rerack for the second player, they must wait until their next turn.


The rebuttal rule only applies at the end of the game. When one team has all of their cups eliminated, they haven’t lost yet. Each player on the team which has had their cups eliminated gets to shoot until they miss. If and when they both miss and there are still cups remaining on their opponents’ side, they lose and proceed to drink what’s left of their opponents’ alcohol. But, this does give them a chance to come back and force overtime (which will be explained later). There is an exception to the rebuttal rule: when it comes into conflict with the Make It-Take it rule, Make It-Take it is observed. This occurs when, for example, there are two cups remaining on a side and the shooters from the opposing team each make their shot, clearing the table. Under usual circumstances, they would get the balls back and shoot again, which in this case gives them the victory because it’s their turn and they cleared the table. Rebuttal doesn’t take place when the team that clears the table earns Make it-Take it. The game just ends. This isn’t just an arbitrary choice of one rule over another; there is some logic behind it. Rebuttal is simply the last turn for the losing team. Make it-Take it means you lose your turn when the other team makes both cups on the same turn…so if you think about it, you’re losing your turn if this happens to you; it just happens to be your last turn. In short: Make it-Take it is observed before rebuttal when they come into conflict.

Pulling the Cups

This rule makes the game a little more exciting. Once your opponent makes a shot into one of your cups, it is in your best interest to pull that cup immediately, because if the other member of that team makes a shot into the same cup, the game is over and you end up drinking a lot of booze (which may or may not be a good thing). There is no penalty if you incidentally interfere with the second shot from the opposing team because you are trying to pull the cup out of the way; just be honorable about it. Once again: if two shots are made in the same cup on the same turn, game over.

Rim Shots

Occasionally, the ball will quickly circle around the rim or inside of the glass before it hits the bottom instead of just going right in. When a ball is doing this, the shot isn’t made yet. The defenders have an opportunity to knock the ball out of the glass before it hits the liquid. Here, house rules apply. Some play by the popular saying, “Bitches blow, dicks flick,” which refers to the sex of the players and how they are allowed to defend these shots based on their sex. This means that women are only allowed to blow the ball out of the cup, while men can only flick the ball out with their fingers.


As with any drinking game, spills are inevitable. If you spill one of your cups, there is no penalty. You’re just dumb, because you lost that cup and just gave your opponents a freebee.


Once a shot is taken, it is considered a live ball. We already know that the defending team can’t interfere with a non-bounced shot. Once the ball comes in contact with anything but the bottom of the cup, it is live, meaning it can be defended or it can still be made in the cup. For example, if a shot is taken and it bounces of a defender’s chest and goes in a cup; that counts. If a shot is taken and it hits the wall and goes in a cup, same deal.


If, on rebuttal, a team is able to eliminate all of their opponents’ cups, regulation ends in a tie. Each team fills up three more cups, and racks them in a triangle (see “re-rack” section). Then, resume play using normal game rules. If, by some improbable twist of fate, overtime ends in a tie, continue playing overtimes until a winner is decided.

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