Beer Pong Regulation Official Rules

Are you planning to throw a house party? Is beer pong possibly going to be played? You wanna know the official house beer pong rules? Well! You’ve come to the right place. As a beer pong connoisseur I have played thousands of matches in my life and every single game has had the rules set that are listed below. Here we have the complete set of Beer pong rules that will clear up any arguments at your tailgate or college party.

official beer pong rules

The Official Table Setup

First off, unless you’re a freshman, make sure your table is a minimum 8 feet long. This is the official beer pong regulation size that is played in professional tournaments. Arrange 10 cups in a pyramid formation on each side of your beer pong table. You have to fill the cups with the required amount of beer, alcohol or any other drink you want. Commonly one or two 12 oz bottles of beer is divided between all 10 cups. However, the amount can vary depending on how much you want to drink. (“fill it up at half way you lightweight”)

The Game play

A few things you need to know before starting the game are…

  • The game is played by two teams on opposing sides of the table
  • Each team member takes their turn throwing ping pong balls in cups of the opponents.
  • If the ball lands in a cup, it will be removed so the opponent can drink it’s contents.
  • The first team to hit all of their opponents cups wins the game

These are just the basics of how the game works, now lets jump into the more technical stuff.

Who Shoots First

If it is not the first beer pong game of the night being played, then the winner of the previous game gets to shoot first. 

If it is the initial game, then the team that gets to shoot first is decided by a quick eye-to-eye toss. A player from each team will make eye contact with each other while they both say “eye for eye” on the last work of that saying “eye” both players will toss the ball across the table trying to land it in one of their opponents cups. Whoever makes it into a cup… their team gets to shoot first. If both players make the eye for eye throw, they must continue repeating this until one player makes it and the other misses.

Elbows & Wrists Rules

It is an obvious rule that must be followed in any game of beer pong. For the elbows/wrists rule, you have to keep your elbow or wrist (whichever the house rules are) behind the edge of the table. If you break this rule, your shot will not be counted. This can be one of those rules that cause a lot of arguments because it is sometimes hard to determine if they actually broke it or not. This is why it is always good to have a decent referee standing table side to see if this rule gets broken.


Teams are allowed to request the rearrangement of their cups twice per game before their turn. This process is called re-racking. It will take place when the cups you have are in the arrangement of 2, 3, 4 or 6. In case you get balls-back after making 2 n a row, it is still your turn which means you will not get a re-racking. If you will request a re-racking on the last cup, it will be centered and pulled back. (sometimes teams will do this as a courtesy if the 2 re-racks have already been used).

Swatting and bouncing

Bouncing the ball into a cup is fun thing to do when playing beer pong, but if an opponent sees you bounce the ball they are allowed to swat the ball of the table blocking it from entering one of their cups. If they are unable to block the bounce, the shot is worth 2 cups. If there are only 2 cups let and you bounce, only one cup will be removed. You have to be extra careful when it comes to bouncing because it will not only speed up the game, but also give the opposing team an advantage if they’re a bunch of bounce boys.

Blowing / fingering

Bitch** Blow and Guys Finger. It is the rule in which guys will try to remove the ball from the cup with their finger before it touches the beer (if it is in the cup spinning around but hasn’t hit the liquid yet) and girls will can try to do it by blowing the ball out. Know that such cups will not be counted if the beer pong ball makes it out of the cup before hitting the liquid. This is a rule that makes the game interesting. If you are confused that how this happens, trying spinning a pong ball around in a cup and blowing in the center before the ball is done spinning on the walls of the cup. This is a very easy process, and experienced players love to make the game difficult by using these tricks.

Fixing cups 

The players are allowed to ask for the cups to be fixed at any time in the game unless a single cup remains, at that time the other team will decide if they will center your cup as a courtesy. Do not get it confused with racking. It is the process of putting the cups back into their same place in case they are knocked out or out of their position. If a cup is spilled on accident it will be removed from the game and counted as a cup made by the other team.

Death cup / Bitch cup

Once the cup is made and in the hand of your opponent, if you are able to throw the ball in the cup again before the content is consumed your team will be the winner of the game automatically, its almost like accidentally pocketing the 8-ball in a game of pool while you still have balls in play. On the other hand, if the cup is still on the table and 2nd ball lands in it, this will be equal to 3 cups that will be removed from the table. The cup in the hand of an opponent without the content consumed is known as death cup, so when an opponent makes a shot, it’s a good idea to get the cup off the table and drink it right away.

On table rollbacks

If the ball rollbacks on the table towards the shooter without hitting the floor, it can be scoped up and shot again with a behind the back toss for guys and an opposite hand toss for ladies. If made the shot will be counted as a regular shot.

Rebuttal / Redemption

After one of the team wins, the players from the losing team will get a chance to hit all the remaining cups. They can keep hitting until they miss, if they miss one then the game is over. If they are able to hit all the remaining cups without missing, then both teams will re-rack with 3 cups in a triangle formation and play from there. 

In Conclusion

These are the official rules for playing house beer pong. If any of your house rules differ from these, they must be stated and shared with all players before the game starts. Don’t be the guy that makes up new rules as they play.