cup drinking games

It’s another Saturday night, and you’ve invited your friends over for a pre-game. Then, all of a sudden, you remember that you have no equipment for drinking games! Don’t worry. I’m going to give you a list of my top favorite drinking games of all time, and the best part is that all you need to play them are a few cups.

In this post, I’ve created the ultimate list of drinking games that only require cups. Who knew that you could get so creative with just a few red solo cups? So grab your friends and get ready to play some fun drinking games!


BEER PONG drinking games with cups

Of course, I had to include this game in the list. Beer Pong its the one classic game that every person reading this article has probably played or at least heard of. My favorite thing about this game is how every person has their own variations of certain rules.


To play Beer Pong, two teams of one or two players set up a pyramid of ten cups on either side of a long table. Starting from one cup at the top to four cups at the bottom (closest to you). Then, fill all the cups about a third of the way with booze. 

Now, each team tries to throw a ping pong ball into their opponent’s cups. If they sink it in, you must drink that drink and remove the cup. The first team to sink the ball into their opponent’s cups is the winning team!


Chandelier drinking game cup

Chandelier is one of my top choices for drinking games. It doesn’t require too much skill, and it’s super easy to learn. I played this game nonstop when I was traveling around in hostels since there was so little equipment needed.


To set up Chandelier, start by creating a circle around a table and each player takes a cup and fills it a third of the way. Then, place all those cups in a circle in the middle of the table. Then, fill one cup to the top with booze and set it in the center of a table. You want this to be slightly higher than the other cups, so you can set it on top of an upside-down bowl or a stack of books you don’t care about.

Now take two ping pong balls and hand them to two random players. Players will take the balls and bounce them into other player’s cups. If the ball lands in your cup, you must finish the cup, refill it, and keep playing. There are no turns in Chandelier. You just grab the ball when it comes near you. Once someone lands the ball into the center cup, everyone grabs their cup, finishes it, and flips their cup, like in flip cup. The last player to successfully fill their cup must chug the middle cup.


Slap Cup rules

Slap Cup is another really fun drinking game you can play. However, you need to have some towels handy, as this game can get pretty messy!


For the setup, you need to fill around 20 cups up ⅓ of the way with booze and put them all in the center of a table. All the players stand around the table in a large circle. Additionally two players on opposite sides of the table should have an empty cup and a ping pong ball.

The two players now try to bounce the ping pong ball into their empty cup. If they make it on the first try, they can pass the cup to any player in the circle. However, if it takes several tries, then they pass the cup to the payer on their left once they make it.

Now, if there’s a player to your right who makes the ball into their cup before you, they can slap your cup off the table. Now, you must take a cup from the center, finish it, and use that as your new cup. You get a point for every cup you slap, and the winner is the player with the most points. 

Check out our complete guide to playing Slap Cup for an in-depth rule breakdown.


Rage Cage is a game that is very similar to Slap Cup but slightly less messy. I love the fact that the longer this game goes, the more difficult it gets. Not just because you are getting drunker but because the stack of cups is getting higher.


The setup of Rage Cage is almost the same as that of a slap cup. Fill cups up ⅓ of the way, and place them all in the middle of the table. In Rage Cage, however, you fill up one cup all the way and place it in the center of the table. This is the center cup. Finally, hand two players an empty cup and a ping pong ball. 

Each player will try and bounce their ball into their own cup and then pass to the player on their left. If you get it on your first try, then pass it to any player. Now, if you accidentally bounce the ball into one of the cups on the table, you must take that cup and drink it, then stack it on your own cup and continue bouncing. 

Let’s say you are still trying to bounce the ball into your cup, and the player to your right gets theirs in. They now stack their cup into yours and hand you their ping-pong ball. You must pass your ball and the stacked cups to the next player, take a cup from the middle, drink it, and use it as your new cup. The best part is at the end when everyone is trying to avoid drinking the center cup!


cups drinking games

Hungry Hungry Hippos is a game I learned about recently. I was a fan of the original Hungry Hungry Hippos as a child, so I was extremely excited to play this one. The main difference in this game is that you are trying to drink the most rather than making others drink. But then again, isn’t this secretly the real goal with most drinking games?


To set up the game, you need to fill some cups ⅓ of the way with booze and arrange them in a honeycomb pattern on a table. Now give each player a ping pong ball and get ready for the chaos!

There are no turns, so everyone starts at the same time. You are trying to bounce your ball into one of the cups on the table. If you make it, take the cup, drink it, set it aside next to you, and keep playing. This continues till all the cups are gone. The player with the most cups is the winner.


Flip Cup rules

Now, you didn’t think I forgot about this classic, did you? Flip Cup is up there with beer pong as one of the most popular drinking games of all time. My favorite part about flip cup is that if one person on your team is not good, it can ruin your entire game!


Flip cup is super simple; just get an equal number of players and stand across from each other down a long table. Each player gets a cup filled up with booze.

The game will start at one side of the table. Both teams countdown from three, and then the game begins. Finish your cup and try to flip it by flicking the bottom and making it land upside down. Once you flip your cup, the next player on your team can grab their cup, drink it, and flip it as well. This continues down the line until one team finishes successfully. 


batavia downs drinking game cu[

Batavia Downs is a fun game that combines the skill of flip cup and that of Rage Cage. It’s a fun way to get the party started, and if you play at the beginning of the night, everyone’s dexterity won’t be impaired yet.


The setup of this game is super simple: players stand around a table in a circle with a cup filled with booze in front of them. Be sure to have extra booze on standby as well. 

Now, two players on opposite sides start the game by chugging their drinks. Then, they must flip their cups successfully, and the player to their left goes next. Then, they refill their cups and wait for their next turn. This continues until someone gets “lapped.” Getting lapped is when the person on your right flips their cup before you do. If this happens, you are out. The last person in the game is the winner. 


boat race drinking game cup on head

Boat race is a game almost identical to flip cup except without the flipping. This game is so much fun, and you can add lots of rule variations to make it more difficult. The best part of this game is the 5-second penalty a team gets if they spill any beer.


The boat race has the same setup as flip cup. Players stand on opposite sides of a table, facing their opponents. Every player should have a full cup of booze in front of them. You can have a referee as well to make sure there is no cheating.\

The referee will countdown from three, and the game begins. The two players at the same end of the table start by chugging their drinks. Once they do, they must place their cup upside down on their head and balance it. Now, the next player can go. The first team to finish their drinks successfully wins. 


Civil War Beer Pong

Civil War Pong is another drinking game with cups that I learned about pretty recently, but it’s quickly rising on my favorites list. It’s like beer pong but a bit more complex. I played this last summer during my own Beer Olympics.


For this game, you need three long tables pushed together. You set up the pyramids that you would for beer pong on each side of the table, so you should have six pyramids. Each side has three teammates. Now place four ping pong balls in the center of the table and get ready to start. 

Someone yells start, and the game begins. Now, the gameplay is pretty similar to beer pong, except for the fact that there are no turns. You simply shoot the ball whenever you can grab it. The first team to drink and remove all their cups loses. This game gets pretty chaotic and messy, so it’s always good to play outside. 


drinking game cup baseball

Baseball is yet another game that is beloved in hostels around the world. Don’t worry; you don’t need to be athletic to enjoy this game. You just have to enjoy drinking.


To set up baseball, you need to set up four cups in a line on opposite sides of a long table. The first cup (closest to the middle) will be filled a quarter of the way, the second filled halfway, the third ¾, and the final cup should be full. These represent the bases. You also need to set up three cups on either long side of the table used for stealing bases. These should be filled up about halfway.

Now you can start the game. The two teams on opposite sides take turns bouncing a ping pong ball into the cups representing bases. If they make a cup, they are now on that base, and the opposite team drinks that cup. If they miss three times, they are out. Whenever they score a home run, they earn a point.

In order to steal the next base, a player can run to the side of the table, drink one of the side cups, and try to flip it. The defending team must do the same to try and stop them.



Nemesis is definitely high on my list of favorite drinking games. It is almost like a giant beer-pong game, but rather than randomly drinking cups made by your opponents, you have a nemesis on the other team. 


The setup of Nemesis is similar to beer pong, except you use 21 cups. You arrange these in a 6-5-4-3-2-1 pyramid. You play with three players to a side and three ping-pong balls. The fun part about this is that you must choose a nemesis from the other team. You will share a ball with this person.

Every cup that your nemesis makes you have to drink and vice versa. So, while this is a 3v3 game, it is also somewhat of a 1v1 game between you and your nemesis. If your nemesis is doing really well, you could get drunk very quickly.


six cups dice

Six Cups is a drinking game that requires dice and cups, but if you don’t have any, you can just download a dice app on your phone. It’s a fun game you can play to get the night started since there is really no strategy.


Six cups is very easy to set up. Simply get six cups, line them up in a row, and designate a number for each cup. Now, players take turns rolling the dice.

If you roll a number for an empty cup, you fill it with some of your beverage. However, if you roll a cup that’s full, you need to finish the drink inside the cup. You then need to roll again until you roll the number of an empty cup.

Check out my post on the best dice drinking games for some more recommendations!


wheres the water

If you like bluffing games, then where’s the water for you? Not only do you have to keep a straight face from lying, but also from taking a shot! Normally, you use shot glasses for this game, but cups work just as well.


For the setup, fill several shot glasses or cups with water and a few with clear spirits such as vodka or tequila. Then, place them all in the center of a table, and all the players can stand around the table. 

One by one, each player takes one glass and shoots it. Then they have to keep a straight face and say, “Mmm, water.” Any other player can accuse them of lying. If they were lying, they must take another penalty shot. However, if they were telling the truth, the accuser takes a penalty shot.



Titanic is a quick and easy game, but it’s so much fun. This is another game that can get you drunk quite quickly if you’re an unlucky player, so be careful. 


To set up Titanic, everyone stands around a table, places a large cup in the middle of the table, and fills it up ¾ of the way with beer. Then, place a shot glass inside the cup. It should float in the beer.

Players take turns passing a bottle of liquor around and pouring a small amount into the shot glass. This continues until one player accidentally sinks the shot glass. If they do, they must chug the entire mixture.


quarters drinking game

You know I couldn’t leave out a classic like quarters. All you need is booze, some cups, and a coin. You get to make people drink in this one, but be careful because they might get a chance for revenge!


For quarters, simply set up a shot glass in the center of a table, and everyone stands around the table with a cup of booze for themselves. You take turns trying to bounce the quarter into the shot glass. If you make it, you can assign someone to drink. You keep going until you miss. Once you miss, then you pass the quarter to the next player. The game ends when everyone wants it to end. 


medusa drinking game

Last but certainly not least, Medusa is my all-time favorite game. To be honest, you don’t really need cups for this one, but I’ll include it anyway. 


In this game, set up a table with cups or shot glasses filled with liquor. Everyone looks down or closes their eyes. On the count of three, everyone looks up and looks at one other person. If two people are looking at each other’s eyes, they must both take a drink from the table and down it. The game ends when all the drinks have been drunk.

Looking for more fun drinking games? Check out our list of the best drinking card games.

Alan Lemus
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