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Here at Cornhole Worldwide, it should come as no surprise that our favorite drinking game is—obviously!—Cornhole. But… what about our second favorite? That would be the game that makes us nostalgic for house parties, cheap beer, and even cheaper entertainment.
We’re talking about Beer Pong, which anyone can play for the low, low price of a couple of ping pong balls, some plastic cups, and a six-pack!
What is Beer Pong?
Beer Pong is a drinking game played by two teams of one or two players each. The game is played by teams taking turns throwing ping pong balls across a table and trying to land them into one of the opposing team’s cups on the other side.
When a ball lands in a cup, the beer in the cup is consumed, and the cup is removed from play. The winning team is the first team to eliminate all of its opponent’s cups.
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How to play Beer Pong
You will need…
6-15 16oz paper or plastic cups
1 card table (or any similarly-sized table)
2 ping pong balls
Beer! (Dealer’s choice, but a good rule of thumb is don’t use anything you’d feel bad about wasting on a drinking game) If you’re not into beer, try wine, or hard seltzer, or use soda if you want to make the game playable for all ages
Usually, each team is made up of one or two people, but you can play with bigger teams if you want, or have multiple teams and set up a series of beer pong matches, complete with a beer pong bracket!
Arrange the cups
Six, ten, or fifteen cups are arranged on each side of the table in a triangle, a line, or a diamond. The triangle is standard, but other shapes can work just as well if you’re playing with more or fewer people (or if you just to mix things up!).
The amount of beer you pour in each cup is up to you, but we recommend filling each cup between one-third and one-half full. That way they are less likely to be knocked over when someone shoots the ball.
Eye to eye
To decide which team goes first, one player from each team has to throw their ping pong ball into one of the other team’s cups while keeping eye contact with their opponent across the table.
If both players miss—or if both players make it—another player from each team will step up next. Repeat until you have a starting team!
The starting team members will both take a turn trying to throw a ping pong ball into the opposing team’s cups.
If a ball lands in a cup, the opposing team must fish out the ball, drink the beer, and remove the cup from the table. The beer doesn’t have to be drunk all at once but the cup can’t be removed from the table until the beer is gone.
You can throw the balls overhand, underhand, bounce them off the table, or use any other throwing method you like, as long as your elbow doesn’t go past the end of the table. The game continues until one team has no cups left on the table and has drunk all the beer.
Beer Pong redemption rules
When a team has lost, they have one chance for redemption. Redemption is when the losing team shoots ping pong balls at the opposing team’s cups until they miss a shot.
If the losing team eliminates all of their opponent’s remaining cups, the game goes into three-cup overtime to determine the winning team.
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Beer Pong house rules
Agree to additional rules before starting the game starts to spice things up. Here are some of our favorites!
Every bounce on the table before landing a shot counts to have another cup taken off the opponent’s side of the table. As a consolation, the defending team can choose which cups they want to remove.
Extra balls rule
If a team makes both shots in a row on their turn, they get both balls back and get to shoot again.
Sudden death cup penalty
Players have to drink all the beer in their cups before cups can be removed from play. If an unfinished cup is left on the table and the opposing team gets a ball into that cup, the game is over immediately.
Set up the cups like usual, then each team is given a shot of liquor to pour into one of the opposing team’s cups before the game begins.
Teams should either hide which cup the liquor is going into or take turns turning their back to keep the extra-boozy cup a surprise until it’s activated in-game.
Vodka is typical but any hard liquor works here. If you’re doing a booze-free version or an all-ages game, use apple cider vinegar for a sour surprise!
Use one differently-colored beer (such as a dark stout) to designate one of the cups on each side as “the wormhole.” When the wormhole is activated, teams switch places!
This can be used strategically to help a losing team take the advantage, but be careful! There’s another wormhole on the table and activating it at the wrong time will undo your gains.
Ring of fire
Since Beer Pong isn’t much of a challenge for seasoned Cornhole veterans, use the ring of fire variation to show off your skills.
It’s played the same way as usual, except instead of trying to eliminate all of the opposing team’s cups, you only need to eliminate the three corner cups and the middle cup to win!
Anyone who can’t do this in eight shots or less needs to play more Cornhole to work on their aim! If you do manage to do it within eight shots, maybe you should participate in the world series of beer pong!
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Set up a barrier between the two sides of the table so opposing teams can’t see each other’s cups. Teams set up their cups in any configuration they want, as close to or far from the barrier as they want. Players take turns throwing balls over the barrier until one team is out of cups.
Now that you know the official—and some unofficial!—rules of our second favorite drinking game, contact us to order a custom-made Cornhole board and matching bags so you can play our number one favorite drinking game!