Table of Contents
Beer Pong House Rules
Two teams, twelve cups, four beers, one re-rack a game.
Each team takes a side. Coin toss determines side unless winning team is on the table. Each team gets six cups and two beers. Cups arranged in a triangle pointing out, lined up with play line on each end of the table. Distribute beer evenly in all six cups. For cup setup, cups should not be placed with the very base edge of the cup against the edge of the table. The lip of the cup should be the guide for the back of the table line-up.
Players must be behind the end of the table on their side. They are not allowed to stand forward of the end of the table. When shooting, their elbow on full extension may not cross into the table playing field. Spectators are encouraged to make sure players are in compliance with this rule. Each team mate takes a shot each round. All balls that bounce on the floor should be washed out of courtesy.
Each team has 3 minutes to take their shot. This is to ensure expediency and cut down on people wandering off to get in the pool. We prefer to not set a stopwatch for each round; rather, opposing teams may call out this rule if a problem becomes apparent. If a team member is gone for more than 3 minutes, they forfeit their shot that round. Again, we encourage leniency between teams for team members who are making every effort to return to game play, especially in light of retrieving more drinks, using the rest room, etc.
Team members, with their team mate’s agreement, may call in a “celebrity shot” to take their shot that round, up to three times per game. They cannot call a member of the current opposing team on the table. “Celebrities” can turn down the offer. Celebrity shots are encouraged if you do not think you will be able to take your shot in a reasonable amount of time.
Determining Who Goes First, aka “Eyes”:
If a winning team is present, they go first automatically. The challenger goes second. The winning team may cede the first shots to the new team if they’d like. If not in tournament game play, or with no winner on the table, each team takes turns shooting. A team mate steps up to the table and looks their opponent in the eyes while counting to three. On three, they shoot. The first person to get it in, the balls return to their team and they take their first shot that counts for play. Note: that cup does not get removed from the game.
End of Game:
When a team member hits the last cup, and no redemption happens (see above), the game ends.
Drinking the Beer:
If an opponent gets a cup on your team’s side, your team must drink the beer in that cup. We do not have any rules on the books about drinking it before you take your next turn; however, beer should be consumed within the next several turns of game play. Ideally, team members split the beers consumed. You and your team member may determine between the two of you who drinks the beer.
Occasionally, a team member takes a shot and the ball bounces back to their side of the table. Rollbacks must cross the center table line before the shooting team may grab the ball. If it hits the floor, it is out of play and play proceeds as normal. If a team member grabs their rollback successfully, the shooter can re-shoot, using their non-dominant hand – or behind the back.
Bounce shots are allowed. If you get a bounce shot, it is good for two cups—the cup of the successful shot and an additional one at the team’s choosing. However, bounce shots can also be swatted by the opposing team. Opposing team cannot, however, touch the cups in any way while defending a bounce shot. Note: if only two cups remain, the bounce shot is only good for one cup.
During the game, each team member may call “Island.” This allows the shooter to call a cup that is naturally separated from the rest of the cups. The player must call this before the shot and specify the cup. If the player gets their island, they can remove the island cup and an additional cup of their choosing. If the player gets a different cup than the island they called, they do not get that cup.
In the case of interference from an audience member, or an opposing player, the ball is returned to the shooting team for another attempt.
Knocking over a cup:
If, in the course of defending a bounce shot or otherwise, a team member knocks over one of their opponents’ cups, that cup counts for your opponents and does not return to play. If you are shooting and knock one of your own cups back off the table, that does not count. That cup returns to play and beer is added.
If a team member is drinking a cup of beer or has their beer on the table, and the opposing team sinks that cup, it is an automatic win for the opposing team.
If a pong ball is lost in the pool house, another one is added to play.
Each team gets one re-rack of the cups, once per game. A re-rack is intended to bring the cups into a neat and closer formation. Any formation is allowed, however, it must be along the back of the table and cups should touch in any formation. Common is a line, straight out from the back, or a mini-triangle with two in the back and one in the front. Team members should agree on the re-rack formation and must do it at the beginning of their turn, before either has shot.
When re-racking, opponent teams should not place the very base edge of the cup against the edge of the table. The lip of the cup should be the guide for the back of the table line-up. All re-racks should also be based on center line indicated at back of table.
If team A has a missed shot, and then a completed shot in the last cup on the table, the game enters redemption. This is a chance for the losing team to make a comeback and stay on the table. Team B shoots as usual. - If they make one cup, and miss the second, that acts as a call-back to Team A. The table remains the same and play continues, no cups are removed. - If they make two cups, Team A’s original shot is invalidated. Team B keeps the second cup they hit, but as the first one was in response to Team A’s shot, game play proceeds and those cups stay on the table. - If they miss, the game ends. In the case when team A gets both remaining cups, team B must respond with two cups to stay in.