The Complete Team 2 Beer Pong House Rules: 2008
All rules assume a game of two (2) players versus two (2) players unless otherwise noted.
Section 1: Supplies
- A hard, flat, relatively level surface at least two (2) feet wide, seven (7) feet long,
and a comfortable distance from the floor. Eight (8)
or nine (9) feet in length is preferred. A standard ping pong table is excellent.
- At least twelve (12) plastic sixteen-ounce (16 oz) cups. Ten (10) are
to be used as beer cups and two (2) are to be used
as water cups.
- At least two (2) standard size and weight (legal) ping pong balls.
Four (4) is recommended.
Section 2: Before the Game/Setting Up
- The playing surface (table) is to be set up as level as possible and
preferrably at least two (2) feet from surrounding
walls. A clean, dry table is highly suggested.
- “Water/dunking cups” should be filled with warm water and should always
be refilled when dirt, hair, and/or other assorted
solids have accumulated or if the water changes color.
- (Optional) Each player must choose at least one (1) legal ball to
be his or her ball, where each ball has distinct markings
on it (see Figure 2-1). Otherwise, only two (2)
legal balls are used for all four (4) players and
any player may use any ball. This information assumes
the game is two (2) players versus two (2) players.
- Ten (10) “beer cups” are to be placed in a triangle formation at each
end of the table. Water
cups may be placed to either side of the triangle
but are generally on the team's right side (see Figure
- For every drinking player on a team there must be at least
one (1) beer on their side. This beer is to be distributed among
the beer cups the team is defending. It is suggested that the
beer be distributed evenly but it is not necessary,
though every cup must have at least one fourth (1/4)
of an inch of beer in it. For example, when playing
with one (1) beer, more beer may be poured in the
rear cups than those in the front to help prevent the
back row from being knocked over.
- Once the preliminary shots begin (see Section 3), beer cannot be added
to or removed from any of the cups in play.
- At any point in the game, if a ball is lost, damaged, or excessively
dirty, a substitute ball may be used when both teams
are aware of the ball substitution.
Figure 2-2: Beer pong table
Section 3: Preliminary Shots
Section 3.1: First Shots
- All players shoot at the same time for the first shot.
- Bounces have no extra value.
- Same cup counts as three (3) cups.
- If the same amount of cups are made, see Section 3.2. If a different
amount is made, see Section 3.3.
Section 3.2: Same Amount Made
- All cups stay on the table.
- Whoever made their shot may shoot again. If all players of a team
missed, all players shoot again.
- If all shooting players
make the same amount of cups again, their partners
who did not shoot that round will shoot next unless
three rounds have passed with no made cups (see Section
Section 3.3: Different Amount Made
- The team that made the least amount of cups must remove and drink the
difference from the rack they are defending, where the cups to be removed
and drank may be chosen but must begin with those which were made.
- If one team makes two cups and the other only one cup, the
team which made one cup may choose which of the made
cups to remove from the rack they are defending.
- The only time a team may choose non-made cups is when the
opposing team makes two balls in one cup and one
or fewer was made in theirs.
- The team who made the most amount of cups gets to shoot first in each
- Regulation play begins. See Section 4.
Section 3.4: Can't Buy a Bucket
- If three rounds pass with no made cups, the team that won the previous
game may decide who shoots first or a coin toss/writing utensil spin determines
which team shoots first.
Section 4: Regulation
Section 4.1: Beginning of Round
- Every round consists of two (2) turns, where each team has one (1)
- During a turn, each player on a team may shoot only once unless
another shot is earned.
Section 4.2: Water cup
- Before it is shot, a ball must be dunked in the water cup if it has
touched any surface other than a hand, the table, or the cups.
- Exception: A rolling or near-rolling ball must always be dunked in
the water cup before it is shot.
- The purpose of the water cup is to rinse the ball so debris does not end up in
a beer cup. If debris is not rinsed off of
a ball after it has been dunked in the water
cup, it is suggested that the player at least
attempt to remove said debris before shooting.
- If a player makes a shot without first dunking his/her ball, the shot still counts as intended but the player must drink the cup that the unrinsed ball landed in.
Section 4.3: Shooting
Cups that are “made,” “sunk,” or “counted” are to be
taken out of play and drank by the team defending
said cups. If extra cups are “counted,”
the defending team may choose which extra cups
are to be removed from the rack they are defending
but always must drink the “made” cups.
Section 4.3a: All Shots
- Players may shoot in any order, at any time, as long as it is their
- Exception: Either team may ask for a time out before
shooting has begun.
- Both feet and the player's waist must remain behind the back of the
table while s/he is shooting (see Figure 4.3a-1).
- The player may not come in contact with the playing surface or any object on the playing surface while
- Illegal shots are considered as misses.
4.3a-1: Legal Shooting Area
Section 4.3b: Bouncing
- Intentional bounces count as one extra (+1) cups to what is made.
- An intentional bounce must bounce at least one (1) time on the playing
surface or wall.
- Wall bounces are only allowed when the walls are clean and at least
two (2) feet from the table.
- Any type of bounce may be blocked, including bounces off of cups.
- Blocking: Influencing a ball's mid-air trajectory counts as blocking, including blowing at
- Shots that touch the ceiling or ceiling fixtures are not considered
as bounces, intentional or otherwise.
- Volley Rule: If and only if the bounce is an intentional
bounce, volleying may begin.
- To volley, a player must hit the ball once with his or her body
(including clothing and jewelry such as rings
or bracelets) but no other external objects.
- A ball may only be hit once per team before the other team volleys.
- The volley ends when the ball is dead (see Section 4.6b).
- Volleying players must keep their feet in the legal shooting area
(see Figure 4.3a-1).
- Once the ball crosses the middle of the table, it is only worth
one (1) cup.
Section 4.3c: Same Cup
- When two players on a team make it in the same cup, it counts as
two extra (+2) cups to what is made, therefore:
- Three (3) cups total if no bouncing.
- Four (4) cups total if one (1) shot is bounced.
- Five (5) cups total if two (2) shots are bounced.
- When three players on a team all make it in the same cup,
it counts as four extra (+4) cups to what is
made. This only applies to games of three (3)
versus (3) three or more.
- Exception: If one person is playing by him/herself,
same cup by the other team counts as only as
one extra (+1) cup to what is made.
Section 4.3d: Defending
- All players intending to defend or interact with the shooting player(s) must keep at least one (1) foot in the defending team's legal shooting area (see Figure 4.3a-1).
- Breaking this rule will result in a warning for the first instance and loss of the offending player's next turn for each subsequent instance.
- Blowing: While a ball is spinning in a cup, the
defending team may blow into the cup in
an attempt to pop the ball out of the cup.
Section 4.3e: Amazing physics/mistakes
- Rim Rule: If a ball settles
on the rims of two or more cups, it counts
as one (1) pity cup that the ball is touching,
as determined by the defense (see Figure 4.3e-1 and Figure
- If a ball bounces off an opposing team member but still goes in a
cup, the ball counts as intended.
4.3e-1: Three-Cup Rim Rule
4.3e-2: Four-Cup Rim Rule
Note: Two-Cup Rim Rule is not pictured
because it is extremely unlikely to occur.
Section 4.3e: Interference
- If an individual not playing the game interferes with a ball's midair
trajectory, knocks a ball from a shooting
player's hand, or moves the cups on the
table, resulting in a missed shot, the
person who shot said ball is allowed to shoot
again without penalty.
Section 4.4: Re-racks
- Each team has two (2) re-racks to use during the game.
- No mid-turn re-racks (see Section 6.1).
- Re-rack shape is determined by the team asking for the re-rack.
- Re-rack must fit inside the ten (10) cup triangle, with the exception
of four (4) cup “Bozo buckets” (see
Figure 4.4-1), and six (6)
cup “Double Bozo Buckets” (see
- Re-rack placement is determined by the racking team. Cups are often
placed as far back as possible.
- If a cup moves outside of the ten (10) cup triangle lines, the cup
may be moved to the closest position in bounds
without costing or request of a re-rack.
4.4-1: Four-Cup Bozo Buckets
4.4-2: Double Bozo Buckets
Section 4.5: Cups out of Play
- During the game, cups out of play must be consumed by any member
of the team defending them.
Therefore, if someone is drinking from a beer cup,
it is considered as out of play.
- A cup becomes out of play when it has been made and moved three (3)
or more inches by the defensive team or when a ball is removed from it.
- See “Death Cup” in Section 4.8b.
Section 4.6: Determining End of Turn
After all players on a team have shot during the turn, their balls
are out of play, and all members do not get to shoot again (see Section
4.6a), it is the end of that team's turn.
Section 4.6a: Shooting Again (Not End of Turn)
- If all players' shots on a team go into a beer cup that is
not empty, it is still their turn and all players
on the team may shoot again.
- NBA Jam Rule: If one player individually makes a
cup in three (3) or more consecutive turns/shots,
ignoring goaltended shots, s/he is considered “on fire” and
may continue to shoot until s/he misses.
- If a team gets to shoot again, but not all players are on fire, and a player on fire misses a shot, that player is no longer on fire.
- Saying “S/he's heating up!” and “S/he's on fire!” is
highly encouraged after two (2) and three (3)
or more cups have been made in a row, respectively.
- When all players of a team are on fire, it is called “team fire.”
- If one or more of the players' balls on a team go into a beer cup
and all of the remaining balls are illegally blocked,
the shooting team may choose to re-shoot (disregarding
all penalties and sunk shots
that had just occurred) or accept the penalty cup(s)
and end their turn. It is not the end of their
turn until a decision has been made.
Section 4.6b: Out of Play Balls (Dead Balls)
- A ball becomes in play the moment it is legally shot.
- A ball becomes out of play when any of the following have occurred:
- It has settled or is rolling
- It has fallen off the table
- It was not an intentional wall bounce and has touched a wall
- It has passed beyond the back of the table
- It is under complete control of the defense
- It has touched the floor or any object on the floor other than the table
- Just because a ball is out of play it does not mean that it cannot
score. If at any time a ball falls into a cup,
that cup is made and must be taken out of play.
- Exception: A ball being returned to a team cannot
score on the team who is receiving the ball.
Section 4.7: End of Round
- After each team has ended their turn in the current round, it is the
end of the round.
- Once the round is over, if it is not the end of the game (see Section
4.8), a new round begins and each team receives another
- There are no “rebuttal” turns. If the team who shot last
in a round has zero (0) cups left to shoot for, the
defending team does not get to shoot again unless overtime begins
(see Section 4.8 and Section 5).
Section 4.8: End of Game
At the end of a game, the losing team is responsible for consuming all of the beer
in the remaining beer cups in play. It is not uncommon for the
winning team or other people to consume one or more “courtesy cups,” especially
when many cups remain.
Section 4.8a: Regular Wins
- When only one team has zero (0) cups left at the end of a round,
the team with cups remaining (cups they are defending)
- If both teams have zero (0) cups left at the end of the round,
overtime must begin (see Section 5).
Section 4.8b: Instant Wins
- Negative Cup Rule: If a team has negative cups left (i.e. a bounce
is made when there is only one cup remaining), the
game is over regardless of whether the round has been
completed and the team that caused the
negative cups wins. (The team defending the side with
negative cups loses.)
- Death Cup: If a non-empty beer cup that is out of play is made,
the game is over and the team that made the non-empty out of play cup wins.
- Three Strike Rule: For every penalty a team receives while defending one or fewer cups, that team is given a “strike.” Three strikes against a team per game results in an automatic win for the opponent.
Section 5: Overtime
- If both teams have exactly zero (0) cups left at the end of the round,
overtime must begin.
- All regulation rules apply unless otherwise noted.
Section 5.1: Setup
- Players will place three (3) cups in a triangle formation within the
10-cup triangle on each side of the table, where the rims of
the cups must come in contact with each other.
- One beer is to be evenly distributed into all six (6) cups.
- Shooting order is reversed per each overtime. The team that shot first
during regulation will shoot last during the first
overtime. If a second overtime occurs, switch back
to regulation order, and so on.
Section 5.2: Re-Racks
- Unused re-racks carry over into overtime but no additional re-racks
are granted to either team.
Section 6: Fouls
Section 6.1: General Fouls
- Asking for a re-rack out of turn or when it is not allowed (the re-rack
is still made and the request cannot be withdrawn).
- Simply saying the phrase “re-rack” does not necessarily
constitute asking for a re-rack. The request must
be directed toward the other team but may be accidental.
- Intentionally knocking a cup over by throwing a ball at a high velocity.
- Shooting out of turn (made cups do not count).
Section 6.2: Goaltending Fouls
- Blocking an in-play, non-bounce shot,
intentionally or otherwise.
- Intentionally moving a non-made in-play beer cup while one (1) or
more balls are in play resulting in a missed shot.
- Intentionally moving the table while one (1) or
more balls are in play resulting in a missed shot.
- Knocking over / spilling a cup, intentionally or otherwise.
- Exception: If the cup is saved and approximately seventy-five percent
(75%) or more of the original liquid in
the cup remains, the cup is still in play
and is to be returned to the position it
was in before knocked over, unless there
is a ball inside the cup.
- Goaltending does not end the streak of a player (see
NBA Jam Rule in Section
- Goaltended shots are considered as made/sunk shots but do not
effect one's “heat” status (see
NBA Jam Rule in Section
Section 6.3: Penalties
- Each foul committed results in a one (1) cup penalty when pointed out by
someone. The foul-committing team determines the cup to be
removed from play from the rack they are defending.
- Exception: Penalty cups do not determine the end of the
game. Instead, the team that got fouled is immediately allowed
to take one (1) shot that cannot be blocked per foul.
- The cup is placed as per the shooter's preference, but must be within the “10-cup triangle,” and is treated as in-play.
- If necessary, pour some water into the cup for stability after consuming the beer in it.
- Three Strike Rule: For every penalty a team receives while defending one or fewer cups, that team is given a “strike.” Three strikes against a team per game results in an automatic win for the opponent of the team with three strikes.
Section 7: Expert Rules
Expert rules are the same as regulation rules but with the following changes:
- No blowing.
- Only one (1) re-rack is allowed per team.
- During the preliminary shot, all players must keep eye contact while
- Spilled cups cannot be recovered unless caused by a non-player.
Section 8: What has changed:
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