Beer pong is a 2-versus-2 drinking game played in homes and parties across the world. The goal of beer pong is to take turns throwing a ping-pong ball across a table, landing it in one of your opponents’ cups. If you succeed, the opponent has to drink the beer in the cup and remove it from the table.
When Was Beer Pong Created?
Beer pong may have originated in the 1950s-60s, originally played by university students in the United States. The original beer pong was said to have been played on an actual ping-pong table and with paddles. Over time, the paddles were removed and a unique table was chosen for the game. It was given its official name title of “beer pong” in the 80s.
Some places also call this game Beirut. In certain cities, Beirut is the beer pong game we know today while beer pong is the original game using paddles. Generally speaking, beer pong is the name that has been adopted globally; however, this game and name is most popular in North America.
Who Created Beer Pong?
While there is no official record verifying the creator of beer pong, the theory is that it originated in U.S. fraternities. Fraternities, nicknamed frats, have always been famous for their parties, making this theory seem very likely.
Most frat parties are held in designated fraternity houses where the members live. These members are all university students, typically between 18-21 years old. Members of Dartmouth have claimed credit for creating the original beer pong game, while Bucknell University students are said to have changed it into the modern game we play today.
How Do You Play Beer Pong?
Split up into 2 teams of 2 people each. Each team will position themselves on a (short) side of the table.
Each team will then make flat pyramids (triangles) out of 10 cups in the center of their side of the table. Some casual games make smaller triangles out of only 6 cups. Make sure each cup is touching the two cups next to it. Fill the cups in each triangle with about 2-beer cans worth of beer.
The two leftover cups should be filled with water and put off to the side.
Teams will take turns attempting to throw a ping-pong ball into one of their opponents’ cups within the triangle. Team A will go first, one at a time, followed by Team B, and then repeat. When the throw is successful, the cup will be removed. By the end of the game, the losing team will not have any cups left in their triangle.
How Do You Score in Beer Pong?
If you manage to throw the ball into one of your opponents’ cups, you have scored. One of the opposite team members must remove this cup, take out the ball, and drink the beer in the cup. Their triangle is then left with one less cup. The ball should then be cleaned in a water cup and given to the next player.
What Are the Rules of Beer Pong?
To begin a game of beer pong, both teams should select a player and give them a ball. Then, at the same time, both players shoot the ball while looking at each other. If one member makes the shot, that team will begin the game. This shot does not count towards the score, so the cup is left in place.
Each team has 2 “reformations”, which they can request before they shoot. This repositions the cups into a new shape: small triangle, house, diamond, 3-cup triangle, or stacked/line.
Elbows must not pass the table when shooting – the shot should be done from behind your side of the table. If you break this rule, the shot does not count.
There are some special shots and rules to know. These include:
- Bounce shot: You can shoot the ball onto the table, where it bounces up and into a cup. If you do this shot, the other team can swat the ball after it bounces.
- Fingering/blowing: If a ball is thrown into a cup and is spinning in the cup before falling into the beer, the opponent can either flick the ball out with a finger or blow into the cup to get the ball out.
- Rollbacks: If you throw the ball and it rolls back to you, you can grab it and shoot again – but this time you must shoot with your non-dominant hand or with a trick shot.
- Balls back: If both you and your partner make your shots during the same turn, you both get your balls back and can shoot again.
- If one player makes two shots in a row during consecutive turns, they must say “heating up” to let other players know. If they make their next and third consecutive shot, they say “fire” and can keep shooting until they miss.
- Island: If one cup is isolated from the rest, a player can say “island” and shoot for it. If they make it, that cup is removed plus a second cup chosen by the opponents.
One by one, the cups will be removed after successful shots. When one team can remove all of their opponents’ cups, the losing team has one shot at redemption.
If both members can make a shot, the previously-winning team will put one more cup on the table and the game goes into overtime. If even one of the members loses the shot, the game is over and the winning team takes the trophy.
What Is Required to Play Beer Pong?
To play beer pong, you’ll need:
- Two teams of 2 people each
- A rectangular table – the official table is 8 ft. long X 2 ft. wide, but most casual games are played with any long rectangular table available on site
- 22 cups – the standard cups are “red solo cups”, but any will do
- Beer (about 4 beers worth)
- At least 2 ping-pong balls
What Are Beer Pong Boards Made Out of?
Beer pong boards or tables are often made out of plywood. This provides the firm and stable surface needed to hold the cups and, sometimes, bounce the balls.
Alternative boards can be found made of plastic, both for regular use and as a floating table for pool use.
Calculating the Points of Beer Pong
Beer pong does not follow a points system but instead counts cups remaining and cups removed. The team with more cups is winning.
What Is the Official Total Score for Someone to Win Beer Pong?
To win at beer pong, your team must throw a ball into each of the opponents’ cups before they do the same to you. If the opposing team loses their redemption shot, you have won the game.
The fastest a 10-cup pyramid beer pong game can end is after each team shoots at least 5 times.
Can You Win Beer Pong by One Point or Does It Have to Be Two Points?
You can win beer pong by one point. If each team has one cup remaining, and you sink the next shot, your team is the winning (again – so long as the redemption shots aren’t done correctly).
Do You Have to Score the Exact Number of Points to Win the Game?
After removing all of your opponents’ cups, there is no way to win “extra” points. it is impossible to go over the score required to win. You have won the game and it ends.
Do You Get Reset or Penalized in Points?
If you break a rule, your shot may be nullified. If the opposing team successfully throws their redemption shots, you reset one of your cups and the game goes into overtime.
How Many People Can Play Beer Pong at Once?
A standard game of beer pong includes 4 players, playing 2v2. In tournaments, you can include as many teams as you’d like.
What Is the Official Size of a Beer Pong Board/Table?
During official beer pong tournaments, the table measures 8 feet long X 2 feet wide X 36 inches high. In most games hosted in homes, universities, or bars, the table rarely meets these exact requirements.
If you’re looking to play for fun, just try to find a table that is as close to 8-feet long as possible – don’t worry too much about the other dimensions.
As for the surroundings, most beer pong games don’t have limitations on the field unless you are participating in an official tournament.
What Is the Official Size of a Beer Pong Ball?
Beer pong balls are standard ping-pong balls. They measure 1.57” in diameter, or 57 mm.
How Many Beer Pong Balls Does Each Player Get to Throw Per Turn?
Each player will throw one ping-pong ball per turn, for a total of two throws per team per turn.
Are There Beer Pong Tournaments?
There is a World Series of Beer Pong featured on sites such as TIME, CNN, FOX, and WSJ. This is the longest-running organized tournament in the world, with over 1,000 participants across the U.S. and Canada.
For more U.S. tournaments, see here.
Is There an Official Beer Pong Website?
The closest thing to an official beer pong website is the World Series of Beer Pong page.
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