11 Tips To Improve Your Beer Pong Game

With summer approaching, it’s time to consider your beer pong game. The off-season is over, and now it’s time to brush up on these under-appreciated skills. Nobody wants to be the least talented player at the table, and if you use the tips and tricks outlined below, you won’t be. (Well, you “shouldn’t” be.)

1. Discover Your Playing Style

There are two types of people who play beer pong: those who get better with alcohol, and those who get much, much worse. There is no in-between, trust me. First, you should find out which of these players you are before you consider taking the sport seriously. On discovering your own talents (or lack thereof), you should then strategically choose a partner who complements your playing style. I expand on this below.

2. Choose Your Partner Wisely

After recognizing the qualities your own game is lacking, watch others play their matches to find your complementary match. For instance, I’m fucking terrible at hitting the final cup, but proficient at hitting cups in groups — when this is the case, I rarely miss. Knowing this, I tend to choose partners who take the fewest attempts at hitting the last cup, as well as a person who improves as they drink, because I most certainly do not.

3. Understand The Three Types Of Shots You Can Take

In your standard beer pong game, there are three shots one can take. 1) The arc: When you lob the ball into the cup, shooting high. 2) The fastball: An impressive shot that sees the ball going in a straight, direct line into the cup. And finally, 3)The bounce shot: Where the ball is bounced on the table and, from this bounce, lands in a cup. The result of a bounce shot sees two cups removed from your opponent instead of one.

Of these shots, see which work best for you. No one shot is universal, so test out all three to see which works best with your playing style.

4. Look At The Back Of The Cup You’re Aiming For

Instead of looking at the group of cups as a whole, take a look at the back of the red solo cup you want to hit. This is a common tip used in basketball that tends to work. When you start seeing double, however, this strategy becomes far less effective.

5. Clean Your Balls With Water

Since you’re not a mutant and therefore don’t want to drink everything the ball comes in contact with, dunk the damn ball in some water. It won’t desensitize the thing, but it will at least get rid of the pet hair fastened to the ball because your buddy was too lazy to vacuum before the tournament.

Some say by dunking the ball, you reap the benefit of added weight, as a thin film of water coats the ball and gives it some welcome heft that aids in your ball getting in the cup, especially if you’re an arc shooter.

6. Be First To Bounce

When a bounce shot lands in the cup, two cups are removed from your opponent, as opposed to one, making it a bold and effective shot. There are a few reasons you want to bounce the ball early. First, because bouncing the ball is more difficult to aim, meaning you’ll have a better chance at sinking a ball while more cups are on the table.

Second is that by casting the first bounce shot, you may catch opponents off guard, and they won’t be able to block your bounce shot (which opponents are able to do as soon as the ball hits the table). After you do this a few times, your opponents will catch on to the fact that you favor the bounce shot and will be more proficient at blocking.

7. Work Your Angles

The only rule about your positioning is that your elbow can’t cross the edge of the table as you shoot. Since that’s the case, I don’t get why everybody stands directly behind the table. Work those angles and see which work best for you! Head a little left and a little right and see where your shot percentage improves. This can be especially helpful when cups are in a straight line.

8. Practice Your Topspin

This comes with practice, but is a quality found in the best beer pong players. Those who are good at the sport insist that the topspin curves into the cup and is less likely to bounce out. Do I believe this? I mean, sure. I’ve seen it happen, though I don’t personally use the method myself.

To effectively pull of a topspin, hold the ball with your index finger, middle finger and thumb. When attempting this shot, your thumb should be facing you, but as you release the ball, you spin the ball so that when the ball is released, your thumb is now facing your opponents. Got it? (If not, I totally understand, it’s hard to describe using words. A video would be more effective.)

9. Ruin Your Opponent

You heard me, intimidate the crap out of them. When they’re about to throw, say something that will throw them off. Shout obscenities. Hell, flash a testicle if you have to. Whatever you do though, don’t come in contact with the ball (unless it’s a bounce shot) because if you do, your opponent either get another shot, or is able to take a cup away from your side.

The rules concerning this vary from group to group, but the one universal understanding is that it’s never a good idea to do.

10. Rearrange When Your Opponent Is Down To Three Cups

When you’ve eliminated half of your opponents’ cups, ask that they rearrange them into a triangle. Each team is able to ask their opponents to rearrange their cups once per game, and the halfway point is the best way to dunk additional balls as it resembles the original pyramid shape.

11. Practice With Water

If you’re a total sh*t show and can’t shoot for nothing, practice at home with cups of water. You probably shouldn’t use beer, though, because drinking alone is something society frowns upon. You know what? Screw that, use beer if you want to. You’ve earned it.