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8 Fun Drinking Games for Beer Lovers

From cornhole to beer pong to flip cup, try these 8 fun drinking games at your next get-together.

8 Fun Drinking Games for Beer Lovers

Drinking games are a chance to celebrate life with old friends and new. Some emphasize socialization and rapport, while others are more competitive, but there’s something for everyone, regardless of age.  Here are 8 Fun Drinking Games for Beer Lovers.

What are the hallmarks of a good drinking game?

Simplicity: You must be able to explain and remember the rules as your ability to explain and remember diminishes.

Exchange: The exchange can be verbal or physical, a la tossing a ping pong ball back and forth, but both foster socialization and rapport.

Pacing: Games should allow for a rhythm of drinking that is relatively sustainable. Some games are fast-paced and require chugging but can be done in “heats” that allow participants to catch their breath and socialize around the water cooler (or beer keg in this case).

Inclusivity: The best games keep everyone engaged, even as spectators, and allow for common ground. After all, we don’t generally go to parties to “win…” unless your idea of winning is having a good time with friends.

drinking games: beer pong

Beer Pong
(4 players)

Setup: The quintessential skill-based drinking game, Beer Pong typically requires a full-length table, 20 plastic cups arranged in a 4-3-2-1 triangle on each side, and 2 ping pong balls. The number of cups can vary, as can the mode of drinking. Some prefer to pour their beers into the cups, while others use water in the cups and drink their beer separately.

If pouring beer directly in cups, you will require 2 more water cups to dip the balls into as a nominal cleaning method. However, years of editorial experience in this realm combined with common sense dictate that the logical, more hygienic and better-tasting method would be to use water in your cups and drink your beer separately. It also makes for easier cleanup.

Rules: Teams of two take turns aiming their ping pong balls for the opposing team’s cups. If a cup is made, the opposing team removes that cup and takes a drink. If two cups are made, the team on offense gets to shoot again. If the same cup is made, three cups are pulled and the offense also gets to shoot again.

Teams take turns volleying back and forth until all cups are made, at which point the losing team may be required to finish their drinks.

Other common rules include:

House Rules – The most common rule of all is that the host of the party has final say for any specific rule. These typically include:

“On Fire” – A player may shoot until they miss if they have made three consecutive cups.

Bouncing – Players may choose to bounce their ball in an opposing team’s cup. These shots can be swatted away, but if made, count as two cups.

Island – If a single cup is marooned, not touching any others, the team on offense may call “Island”, similar to calling your pocket in billiards. If the Island cup is made, a second cup is pulled.

Defense – In the case a ball spins around the rim of a cup, the defending team has a chance to remove the ball through a skills-based maneuver, typically hooking a finger in the cup or blowing it out.

drinking games: beer die

Beer Die
(4 players)

Setup: If you are highly competitive and enjoy hand-eye coordination challenges, Beer Die is the game for you. This game requires just 4 plastic cups, a table and 2 six-sided dice. While its setup is simple, it may be one of the most skill-based drinking games you can play.

Cups are filled with a full beer and arranged at the four corners of the table. Teams of two sit or stand at each side and take turns shooting or playing defense. The team on offense throws a die one at a time above an agreed upon height, ensuring that it lands on the other team’s side of the table. The defending team must catch the die with one hand before it hits the ground, or a point is scored and defending players take a drink. If a die lands in a cup, three points are scored, and that cup must be finished before play resumes.

Common rule variants involve dictating what makes for an invalid die throw or catch, and allotting points for extra feats of skill.

Circle of Death
(4+ players)

Setup: Circle of Death requires only a 52-card deck and a communal beer can. Players take turns drawing cards, each of which has a specific rule assigned to its number/face. Typically, the rules rhyme with the card name. For example, drawing a 2 card is “You” – so you drink. Drawing a 9 card means “Rhyme,” so you choose a word with which every player must take turns rhyming until someone can’t come up with a rhyme, at which point they must drink.

The cards drawn are placed under the tab of the communal can, and eventually amass to a point where their combined pressure pops the top. Whomever has the honor of placing the offending card must drink the full beer.

Rules for Circle of Death are highly adaptable, making it a highly inclusive, social game that helps break the ice.

drinking games: flip cup

Flip Cup
(4+ players)

Setup: Another all-time classic party game, Flip Cup is a team-based game where players race to drink their cup, set it on the edge of the table and flip it until it lands face down.

After each team’s players fill their drinks to an agreed upon level, the signal to start is given, and players go one at a time until everyone has successfully flipped their cup. Like Tug of War, the strongest “anchor” player often goes last to bring their team home.

Never Have I Ever
(2+ players)

Setup: All this game requires is honesty. Players go in a circle naming something they haven’t done after saying “Never have I ever…” If you have done the action named, you drink. If no one has, the player who named the experience drinks. Additional rules often include holding up a number of fingers, which are lowered one by one any time a drink must be taken. If all fingers are lowered, you must finish your drink.

drinking games: cornhole

(4 players)

Perhaps the quintessential outdoor drinking game, Cornhole is similar to Beer Pong, but involves beanbags and “Cornhole boards,” which are inclined planes with a bullseye hole for bean bags to be aimed at. Teammates stand at opposite sides, with boards 27 feet apart, and take turns throwing their bags. Points are assigned depending on where the bags land when both teams have thrown. The opposing team’s beanbags can be knocked off the board, and yours can be knocked into the hole, adding to the strategy. Along with Beer Pong, Cornhole is now considered a professional “sport,” featured on ESPN with big paychecks to boot.

“Take a Drink When…”
(multiple players)

This is about as simple of a game as they come, but it is highly adaptable, engaging and inclusive. A rule is set, requiring participants to drink every time a certain word, behavior, or other action occurs.

For example, if watching a horror movie, you could drink every time there is a jump scare. It’s easy and gives everyone something to focus on and talk about.

These sorts of drinking games are indeed often paired with a television show viewing party or a get-together watching a live sporting event at home.

drinking games: life

(7.9 billion+ players)

This game involves you and around 8 billion fellow players. Everyone creates their own rules and may drink whenever they please, so long as they generally get along.


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