top of page
  • Writer's pictureNeverland London

Beer Pong Rules: The Ultimate Playbook for an Electrifying Game

Girls Playing Beer Pong at neverland London
Beer Pong Nights at Neverland London

Welcome to "Mastering the Game: The Ultimate Beer Pong Rules," your go-to guide for turning every casual gathering into a legendary event. Whether you're a seasoned player looking to refine your skills or a newcomer eager to make a splash, we've got you covered. Beer pong isn't just a game for house parties - it's a social experience that brings people together, tests your aim, and keeps the fun flowing.

The origins of Beer Ping Pong rules evolved from similar drinking games played at 1950s fraternities. Dartmouth College in New Hampshire is most likely to have been the first venue for Beer Pong.

Dive in to learn the rules of this great drinking game and find out what will make you the champion of the table, how to impress your friends, and ensure every cup is a victory. Get ready to elevate your beer-pong game prowess to the next level!

Setting Up to Play Beer Pong

Setting up for a game of beer pong is simple and sets the stage for the fun ahead. All you need is a long, flat surface like a ping-pong table, ten plastic cups per side arranged in a triangle, diamond, or pyramid shape, and, of course, a few ping-pong balls.

Fill each cup with your beverage of choice—traditionally beer, but you can customize it to suit your group'. At Neverland London we find that Prosecco is the drink of choice (but remember to drink responsibly!).

Make sure there's enough space around the table for players to move freely. Once everything's in place, gather your friends, divide into two teams, (p.s make sure you're not on the losing team :) and get ready to play!

Girl playing beer pong at neverland
How to set up your Beer Pong cups in a six-cup formation

Beer Pong Table Setup

  • Arrange either six or ten cups in a pyramid-like formation at each end of your beer pong table.

  • Use a standard beer pong table, 8’ x 2’, or any flat surface that works for you. Beer pong tables are ideal for official games, but any flat surface can be a substitute (table tennis tables are a great substitute).

  • Make sure the cups are securely placed to prevent them from being knocked over.

Beer Pong Cup Arrangement

10 Beer pong cups
Beer pong tip: Make sure to fill your 10 cups with just the right amount of beer to avoid spillage and maintain a fair game with your opponents.

  • Fill each cup with your desired amount of beverage, typically 1/4 full.

  • Use standard 16 oz beer pong party red cups, but you can use other cups - larger or smaller doesn't matter. Just make sure your team's and the opponent's cups are the same.

Ping Pong Balls in Beer Pong

  • Use two ping-pong balls. Players take turns throwing a ping-pong ball at the cups on the opposing team's side to eliminate them.

  • The ball can be tossed or bounced into the cup

  • A tossed ball that sinks is worth one cup, while a bounced shot that sinks is worth two cups.

Young people playing beer pong
Get ready to blow that ball out!

Understanding the Basics

of Beer Pong

Beer Pong Rules - How to Play Beer Pong

Here you'll understand the importance of eliminating the opposing team's cups before they can eliminate yours.

The objective is to get your ball inside your opponents cups, making them to drink the contents and gradually remove the opposing team's cups.

Playing Beer Pong - Gameplay and Rules

Taking Turns and Shooting

Shooting in beer pong
Remember to focus on the target and follow through when shooting in beer pong.
  • Each beer pong team shoots twice per turn, with each player taking one shot to try and get the ball in the other team's cups.

  • If both players make their shot, the shooting team receives another turn.

  • Keep track of whose turn it is, and make sure to take your shots.

Sinking Cups and Re-Racking

Sunken cups beer pong
Sunken cups in beer pong can be a game changer. Make sure to aim carefully to avoid losing points!

  • A beer pong cup is “sunk” as soon as the ball lands in the cup and touches the contents.

  • Any cup that is sunk must be immediately removed from the table and the defending team is responsible for drinking its contents.

  • Make sure to keep track of which cups have been sunk and which ones are still full.

Beer Pong Games - Special Situations and Rules


beer pong rules
Keep that elbow in check for a successful game!
  • When throwing, the thrower’s elbow should never protrude over the rear edge of the beer pong table.

  • If this isn't followed, the shot taken does not count and the other team gets the ball.

  • Decide who begins the game by playing “eyes” or flipping a coin.


Eyes - eye to eye method for who goes first
It's all in the eyes when it comes to this classic party game!
  • When a game between new opponents begins, the "eye-to-eye" rule is used to determine who goes first.

  • One team member from each team looks the opponent in the eye. Both throw at the same time.

  • Whoever hits first can start the round with his team. The hit cup is not removed or drunk. The team only gets the ball.

Dead Cup and Trickshot Rules

Dead cup beer pong
Keep your shots clean and accurate to win the game!
  • If a cup is hit, it must be drunk after both balls have been thrown.

  • If a player throws the ball and it bounces back over the table to their own side and is caught, it is the thrower’s turn again

  • This rule is known as a “trick shot”.

On Fire and Iceland Rules

fire and ice
Heating up vs Iceland
  • If a player lands two hits in two rounds in a row, they can shout “heating up” and in the case of a third hit may throw in the next round until they no longer hit.

  • If a cup stands alone (without touching others), the player can refer to “Iceland or Island” on the cup.

  • If the named cup is hit, the shooter may choose a second cup for the opponents to drink.

Bounce Shot

beer pong shots
By bouncing the ball off the table, you can catch your opponents off guard and secure the win.
  • The bounce shot in beer pong is a clever move that can really shake things up. Here's how it works: if you bounce the ball off the table and it lands in a cup, it counts for two cups instead of one.

  • But there's a twist—your opponents can try to swat the ball away as soon as it bounces, so you need to be quick and sneaky this one.

Beer pong house rules

  • House rules might add variations to this basic rule, such as requiring a specific cup to be removed first or limiting the number of bounce shots per game.

Winning the Game and Resolving Disputes

man celebrating a win
Winner winner chicken dinner!

Overtime and Rebuttal Rules

  • Winning the game of beer pong is all about sinking that final cup, but sometimes, the path to victory can be a bit more complex. As long as only one cup remains, the opposing team gets a chance for a rebuttal. Each player on the losing team gets one last shot to tie the game. If they succeed, the game goes into overtime.

  • In overtime, both teams re-rack the cups, typically three cups on each side in a triangle formation. The team that made the last of the remaining cups in regular play shoots first in overtime.

  • The rules remain the same as in regular play, but the intensity ramps up as both teams battle to avoid elimination. Overtime is played like a normal game (without re-racks), and double or triple overtime may be necessary until one team wins. The winning team is the one who sinks the remaining cups.

Resolving Disputes

Two boxing gloves
Keep calm and have fun!

Disputes can arise in the heat of competition, so it’s essential to have a clear understanding of how to resolve them.

Common disputes include whether a bounce shot was interfered with illegally or if a player's shot should count. To keep the game fun and fair, designate a neutral party as the referee, or agree on the rules before starting.

Scoring and Penalties

Group of people playing ping pong
It's a score!
  • The team that eliminates all of the opposing team’s cups first wins the game.

  • If a dispute arises, refer to the official rules of beer pong or agree on house rules before the game begins.

  • Make sure to establish and agree on the rules before the game begins to avoid conflict.

Advanced Gameplay and Strategies

Fingering and Blowing Techniques

Blowing in beer pong
Blowing in beer pong is a great way to add some excitement to the game and show off your skills.
  • Fingering is when the ball is spinning inside a cup and the defending team pulls it out with their finger.

  • Blowing is when the ball is spinning inside a cup and it is blown out by the defending team.

  • If not specifically called at the beginning of the game, neither fingering nor blowing count.

Bitch Cup and Bomb Rules

The "death cup" is a fun twist that will keep players on their toes and make the game more intense!

  • If a cup is made and is pulled up from the rack before the contents have been consumed, it can be referred to as a “bitch cup” or “death cup”.

  • If the opposing team makes the bitch cup, the game is automatically over.

  • If both team members meet in the same cup, the “bomb” rule applies, and 3 cups are removed from the opposing side.

FAQ - Official Beer Pong Rules

What's the difference between Offical Beer Pong Rules vs House Rules

When it comes to beer pong, there's often a lively debate between following official rules and embracing local rules. Official beer pong rules, as set by organizations like the World Series of Beer Pong, provide a standardized framework that ensures consistency and fairness in competitive play.

These rules cover everything from cup arrangement and shooting techniques to re-racking and rebuttals. On the other hand, house rules are the custom variations that make the game unique to each group or party. These can include fun twists like "death cups," additional challenges for missed shots, or unique re-racking formations.

 Whether you stick to the official playbook or mix things up with your own rules, the key is to have fun and keep the good times rolling.

Official Beer pong rules - Re Racks

Re-racking in beer pong is a strategic move that allows players to rearrange the cups into a more advantageous formation, which makes it easier to sink the remaining cups. The rules for re-racking can vary depending on whether you’re playing by official or house rules, but here are some common guidelines:

Frequency: Most games allow each team to re-rack once or twice per game. Some variations might allow a re-rack at specific intervals, such as after every two cups are made.

Formation Options: The allowed formations can vary. Common formations include the triangle shape, diamond shape or straight six.

Endgame Re-racks: Near the end of the game, when there are only a few cups left, re-racks are often crucial. Most games allow a re-rack when there are six, four, three, or two cups remaining, to help make the shots easier and more predictable.

Official Beer pong rules - When can I get a third shot?

If both players on a team successfully make their shots during their turn, they are often awarded an additional, or "bonus," shot.

This means that each player on the team gets to shoot once more, providing them with a potential third shot in the sequence. This is sometimes referred to as "heating up" or "on fire."

Official Beer pong rules - What is the Island Cup rule?

Adding an additional cup, often referred to as the "island cup" or "bonus cup," can add an extra layer of excitement and strategy to a game of beer pong.

Here’s how it typically works:

Island Cup:

If a single cup is standing alone, not touching any other cups, it is called an "island." Some house rules allow players to call "island" before taking their shot. If the player successfully makes the shot, they can often remove an additional cup as a bonus.

However, if they miss, the penalty might be losing their next turn or simply not getting the bonus.

Lastly - Players should only play Beer Pong games with alcohol if they meet the legal drinking age requirements.


bottom of page