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Beer Pong rules are like the laws of sovereign nations.
For example, did you know that while it’s totally legal to have chewing gum in America, you can go to jail for chewing gum in public in Malaysia? Okay, well I actually just made that up, it’s almost definitely bullshit, but the point here is that when you go to someone’s house to play beer pong, you can’t expect them to play by the same rules as you do.
There will never be universal beer pong rules, and you always have to cede to your host’s preferences, no matter how strange they are. That said, some rules are better than others. Here are five beer pong house rules you should absolutely be following, if you don’t already.
Spilled Beer Policy
This is simple: When beer spills from your cup, the cup is sunk. It doesn’t matter if it’s fair or not, this is a hard stance issue. If your partner tries to swat away a bounced ball and knocks over all 10 cups? Well you just lost, and that’s your own fault for partnering with the drunk guy at the party with worse hand-eye coordination than your grandmother. And yes, this will lead to times where the cup keeps drifting and drifting towards the edge of the table before it finally tips over with a lazy shot, but these rules go both ways. Spilled beer is sunk beer. Keep the game moving.
Correct Re-Rack Policy
Here are your house rules for re-racking. In a six cup game, each team gets one re-rack, at any point, in any configuration they would like. In a ten cup game, you get two re-racks, but you have to get down to six cups before you can begin to use them. You can set up the cups any way you want, but common sense has to come into play here. No, you are not allowed to line up a single line of six cups to the point where the top cup is basically immediately in front of you. No, you cannot set a rack where all the cups are not touching. Other than that, you do whatever you want. Rack when you want, how you want.
You do not get to re-rack in the middle of your turn, and that includes getting a bring-back. If you have sunk cups, you have to wait until your opposing team has taken their shots before you can implement whatever rack you want.
Correct Rebuttal Policy
The game is not over when you have sunk the last cup.
However, the rebuttal and overtime process is usually way more complicated than it needs to be, so let’s break it down right here.
If the final cup was sunk by the first partner, you have two choices. You can either skip your second shot, leaving the opposing team with a single rebuttal opportunity, or you can try to have your partner sink the final cup a second time. If you go with that second shot and make it, the opposing team gets two rebuttal opportunities to take it to overtime. If you make it, the game is over, and there is no rebuttal. Note, if the final cup is sunk with your team’s second shot, then the opposing team gets two rebuttal opportunities no matter what.
Also important to note for rebuttal: each shot is make-it-take-it. It doesn’t matter if you’re only getting one or two rebuttal shots, that shot is for the player, who will shoot until he misses, or until he forces overtime, whichever comes first.
And, obviously, if the game goes into overtime, the team that forced the rebuttal gets to go first. I feel like I shouldn’t even have to remind you of that.