Beer Pong Rules and Common Questions

Many of us have enjoyed playing beer pong at parties and get-togethers. But did you know that beer pong has official rules? Maybe you’ve been playing it wrong all along and never knew it!

The rules are simple, but let’s go over them quickly so you know them.

Set Up the Game

Before you play, you need to get your cups and your table set up. Beer pong is meant to be played on a ping pong table.  

These days, you can find official beer pong tables. Official tables are 8 feet long by 2 inches wide and have spaces for the cups. 

Most people use Dixie or Solo cups that they can just throw away when they’re done playing. The cups should be 16 ounces. Fill each cup approximately 1/4 up with beer. 

Set up the cups in formation. Each side’s formation is placed an equal distance from the center line. The most common formation is a triangle or pyramid, with the cups 6 inches apart. You can use either 6 or 10 cups. 

The triangle’s point should face the center line. As cups are cleared, the formation may be adjusted at certain times.  

Elbows & Wrists

Depending on house rules, you may have wrist or elbow rules to follow. Almost every game requires players to keep their elbows behind the table when shooting. You can make the game more challenging by requiring that the wrists stay behind the table. 


A team can request that the cups be re-racked or rearranged. Each team is allowed to request this twice per game, so choose wisely! Re-racking can be done when there are 6, 4, 3, or 2 cups remaining. 

Bouncing & Swatting

When your ball hits the table and bounces directly into a cup, you get to remove that cup, plus a second cup of your choice. If there are only two cups remaining, this doesn’t apply. However, this does apply even if the bounce and landing were accidental. 

Fingering or Blowing

This is a defense approach you can take to prevent the other team from scoring. 

If the ball is spinning in a cup, you can use one finger to pull it out or you can blow the ball out. Some players choose not to allow these rules. 

Death Cup

If you’re holding a cup in your hand that you’re required to drink, drink it fast and put it down. Otherwise, if the other team makes a shot into that cup, it’s an automatic win for them. 

These are just a few of the most basic rules for a solid game of beer pong. Make sure you get a beer pong table to help your game run more smoothly.