Bottoms Up

Tired of flip cup and beer pong every weekend? Try these popular alternatives.

By Lindsay Biondy, University of Pittsburgh


After a long week of studying for exams, writing countless essays or procrastinating by watching Netflix, it’s finally Friday night.

As usual, the beer is flowing, the liquor is cheap and you’re ready to blow off some steam with your friends. All of a sudden, they break out the ping-pong balls, and you all head to the kitchen, only to realize that yet another game of beer pong is set up. Even worse, all the cups are filled with water. Is it so much to ask for a new game to play?

You groan in frustration, and your friend hears you loud and clear. They deconstruct the beer pong cups, and with a wave of their hand, introduce you to…flip cup. You almost flip the table. It’s time to take matters into your own hands. The next time you or your friends throw a party, be prepared with these cool new drinking games (But only if you’re 21).

1. Beer Ball

Players: 4

Materials: 2 ping-pong balls, a decently long table

Alcohol: 4 sealed cans of beer

Begin with two teams of two, one team on either side of the table. The object of the game is to finish your beers before the other team. Each player begins with a sealed can of beer in front of them.

Choose one team to go first, and the first teammate will try to hit one of their opponent’s beer cans with the ping-pong ball. If they hit it, the person who threw the ball opens the can of beer in front of them. If they miss, the can stays sealed. Then, their teammate takes a turn, trying to hit either of the opponents’ beer cans. Once both teammates go, it’s the other team’s turn. Repeat.

Once you have your beer open, if you hit one of your opponent’s beers, start chugging. The ping-pong ball will ricochet off the beer can, and you keep chugging until either of the players on the other team retrieves the ball, puts it on the table and shouts, “stop!” Then you stop chugging, and your partner takes a turn.

Once your partner finishes their turn, it’s the other team’s turn. If you miss your opponent’s cup, nothing happens. That was your turn. If you finish your beer before your partner, you stop throwing, and your partner throws twice. You can still play defense, though, and go after the ball when your opponent throws it. The first team to finish both of their beers wins.

Warning: I don’t recommend you play more than two rounds in a row. You’ll be chugging a lot of beer, and diving onto the floor to get the ball after three games doesn’t sit well. You’ll also go through a lot of beer quickly, so I recommend using a cheap one, like Natty Ice or Natty Light.

2. Defend the Castle (Also Known as “Flong”)

Players: 8+

Materials: 2 ping-pong balls, a decent-sized table, many solo cups

Alcohol: Beer

If you don’t want to stray too far from the classic drinking games, then this is perfect for you. It’s basically a combination of flip cup and beer pong, hence the name “Flong.” You need at least three players on each team, but it’s more fun with more players. Set up the game by placing six cups in a triangle at either end of the table, as you normally would for beer pong.

4 Drinking Games to Spice Up Your Weekend

image via Hexjam

On the remaining two empty sides of the table, set up flip cup for every player on your team, except for one (this is the person who will be playing the beer-pong portion of the game). The two “beer pong players” will start the game by going eye-to-eye and throwing a ball into the opposing players’ triangle of cups. Whoever wins the shoot-off throws first. If the ball is made, the game of flip cup begins. Whichever team finishes first wins.

If the team who won flip cup is the same team who made the beer-pong shot, that cup is consumed by the other team and removed from play. If the winner of flip cup is the team who had the beer-pong ball sunk in their cup, their cup is rightfully defended, and it stays (hence the name “Defend the Castle”).

The last player in the flip-cup game then replaces the beer-pong player, and the beer-pong player fills in for the flip-cup game. Repeat until one team’s triangle of cups is gone.

3. Name That Tune

Players: 3+

Materials: iPod/laptop/stereo/boom box

Alcohol: Mixed drink/wine/beer

We’ve all gotten bored with our friends and decided to see who has the best music knowledge. You know, you’d play a song and they would guess the title as fast as they could. It’s the same idea, except the adult version. One player is the DJ, and the others take turns identifying the songs being played.

The twist? You only have the first five seconds of the song to do so. The tasty twist? If you guess wrong, you drink. If you guess right, the DJ drinks. How much? A sip? A shot? A finger’s worth. In this case, a finger’s worth means the amount of liquid that equals the length of your pinky. So, if your pinky is two inches long, you have to drink two inches of whatever’s in your cup.

It’s possible to guess before the five seconds are up, but with that comes rewards and penalties. A wrong guess at four seconds means you drink two fingers’ worth. If you’re right, the DJ drinks two fingers’ worth. A wrong guess at three seconds means you drink three fingers’ worth. If you’re right, the DJ drinks three fingers’ worth. The same thing occurs for a guess at two seconds and one second.

Try to play with a spiked Shirley Temple, which is vodka, sprite and a little grenadine (and some maraschino cherries if you’re feeling fancy), or a Creamy Surprise, which is rum and cream soda.

4. The Sinking Ship

Players: 2+

Materials: Pitcher, one cup

Alcohol: Anything

This quick game is fun if you love to screw over your friends while risking screwing over yourself. Each player starts with their own full cup. Everyone sits in a circle with a semi-full pitcher in the middle. Place the empty glass in the pitcher, so it floats (you made need to put a little liquid in to stabilize it).

Then, each player takes a turn filling the cup with as much of their drink as they want, while trying to keep the glass empty enough so that it still floats. Whoever sinks the cup has to drink it all.

One may recommend that you all use the same drink to pour into the communal glass, but I think it’s a lot more fun to have different drinks because then the loser has to drink something disgusting (or maybe amazing, I don’t know). I think that’s more in line with the spirit of the game.

Happy drinking!