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Beer Pong Variations


There’s hundreds of ways to play beer pong/beirut, and everyone has there own set of rules, but I figured I would compile a list of some of the more popular variations of the game.  No matter which one you choose, you’re guaranteed to kick back and have a good time.  Always remember to enjoy responsibly though.  With that said here’s the list:



Virginia Style Beer Pong


-          Set up 6 cups in a triangle formation on both sides of the table (one in front, two in the middle, three in the back) on your favorite Red Cup Pong table

-          Place a water cup on both sides of the table as well to wash dirty balls during the game

-          Divide yourself into teams of one or two

-          Teams alternate shooting and in the case of two person teams each player gets one shot per round

-          Lob shots only

-          If a ball bounces off the table or a cup rim, then players on the opposing team may play defense to try and prevent the ball from going in a cup

-          In a two person game, players alternating drinking sunk cups

-          Before a player may shoot, they must drink any cups made in the previous round

-          Teams are typically allowed one re-rack of their choice per game, usually done with 3 cups remaining

-          After the last cup has been sunk, the opposing team is allowed rebuttal shots. Each player is allowed to shoot until they miss or until they have made all of the remaining cups.  If a team successfully completes a rebuttal, then each team sets up a three-cup triangle, and play continues.

-          Once a champion has been crowned, that team is allowed to stay on the table until they are defeated




10 and 21-Cup Beer Pong


-          Same rules as Virginia style, but with a couple variations

-          In 10-Cup there is a triangle set up with a base of 4 cups, while in 21-Cup there is a triangle set up with a base of 5 cups

-          Since there are more cups, it is often recommended to have teams of 3 when playing 21-Cup

-          For 10-Cup, teams are allowed two re-racks per game, one at 6 cups and one at 3 cups remaining.

-          For 21-Cup, teams are allowed three re-racks per game, one at 10 cups, one at 6 cups, and one at three cups remaining

-          In 21-Cup, it is common for players to match up with a player on the opposing team, and each time one sinks a cup, they must drink it.


Central Pennsylvania Beer Pong


-          Very similar to Virginia style with a couple of added flairs

-          Players may bounce, and if on a bounce the ball lands in a cup, the opposing team must drink two cups of the shooting teams choice.  Like in Virginia style; however, player may swat at a

-          Shots can be taken off of the ceiling as well, and a successful ceiling shot counts as four cups

-          For those with a more powerful arm, if you can throw the ball hard enough to knock a cup off of the table, then the opposing team must drink another cup

-          An additional rule for this game type is to have a penalty cup.  Whenever a player misses a shot, he must chug the penalty cup, guaranteeing everyone is feeling good by the end of the game



Traditional Paddle Beer Pong

-          Teams of two arrange two cups on each side of the pong table, one cup in each corner.

-          A single point is awarded if the pong ball hits the opponent’s cup, and five points are awarded if a player sinks the ball into the opposing teams cup or manages to knock it over.

-          When you double fault, hit yourself, or hit your opponent, you must take a drink, but this does not count as a point against you.

-          In the case of a hit, the opposing player must take a drink.  In the case of a sunken cup or knocked over cup, the player must fill up their cup and chug.

-          Players play to 21 as in normal ping pong, and must win by 2 points

-          A valid serve only occurs when the ball has touched both sides. Following a drink, the team that drank serves the ball the next round.

-          Once the ball has been properly served, it is game on.  Players may play the ball off of any surface: walls, ceilings, tables, counters, you name it.  You may play the ball only once on your side of the table, and play continues either until a player must drink or until a team unsuccessfully returns the ball.




Battleship Pong

-          Divide yourself into teams of four

-          Set up a 10x10 grid of cups on both sides of the table

-          The name is just as it implies, so you are going to be playing Battleship with beer and liquor.  One team leaves the room, while the other team sets up their cups. Set up your ships: aircraft carrier (5 cups), battleship (4 cups), destroyer (3 cups), submarine (3 cups), and patrol boat (2 cups).  The ships must be in a straight line, but other than that can be laid out in anyway within the 100-cup grid.

-          Once you have placed all of your liquor cups fill the rest with beer. Both liquor and beer cups should be filled fairly low, otherwise you’ll be lucky to be standing by the end of the game.

-          The other team sets up their cups, and then play can commence

-          All shots must be lob shots

-          When a player hits a ship, the opposing team must say that they have hit a ship, just like in the board game.  If a shot is made, then the player who hit the liquor cup is allowed to shoot again.

-          Players only get the ball back when they hit a liquor cup, not when they hit beer cups.

-          A winner is crowned when all of an opposing team’s ships have been sunk.

-          This game is a ton of fun; just make sure everyone is alternating drinking since it is quite a bit of alcohol. Two games of this and you should be more than good to go.




I have also compiled a list of some other interesting rules I have come across which you can use when determining the style of beer pong you want to use in your own house tournaments.



Additional Rules:


-Blowing- if there are guys at the table then players on each team are allowed to try and blow the ball out of a cup as it rims around.  Girls typically only use this technique.


-Fingering- if there girls are on the table then players are allowed to try and finger the ball out of a cup as it rims around.  Typically used by guys, players must make sure the ball or their fingers do not touch the beer otherwise it doesn’t count.


-Skunking- If a team fails to make a single cup before the other team makes all of their cups, then the losing team must strip off all of their clothes and run around the party completely naked.


-Bouncing Only- One variation of the game could be created in which players on each team are ONLY allowed to use bounce shots.  This would be fairly difficult since most players are not very skilled at the bounce shot.  Although it is not a commonly instituted rule, only allowing players to use bounce shots could be an interesting spin on any home game


-Rollbacks- Rollbacks are a critical part of any game when determining rules.  I can’t even begin to tell you the number of arguments I have seen over rollback rules.  The most commonly allowed rollback is when a missed shot rolls back to the shooting table while remaining on the table.  If the shooting team recovers the ball, then the person who shot the ball is allowed another shot.  This shot must be either a behind the back or opposite handed shot to make it more difficult to sink the cup.  Another aspect of the rollback is when both members of a team both make their shot in the same round. In this case they get both the balls back and are allowed to continue shooting.  If you decide you are going to allow rollbacks make sure you lay down the guidelines early to avoid the inevitable argument over house rules


-Calling Cups- In some games I have seen additional cups awarded to players who call out their shots.  If the player successfully makes a cup, this would count for two cups; however, if he makes a cup he didn’t call or misses altogether, then it doesn’t count.


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