Guide to Drinking Games


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When it comes to socializing in college, one common way of bonding with friends and meeting new people is through playing drinking games at hangouts or parties. However, the rules to some of these games are often assumed to be innately understood by everyone involved, which is just often not the case. While this article cannot give you the skill to succeed at these games, it can offer you a brief guide for how to play a few of the most popular drinking games around Chapman.

1) Beer pong is a classic, straightforward drinking game. To play, participants will need a few ping-pong balls, 20 cups, and an adequate supply of beer. Arrange ten cups of beer (filled an inch or so high, each) on either side of a table as if you were setting up bowling pins. Divide yourselves in to two teams (typically two-on-two is the best setup). Each team should stand on opposite ends of the table with the ten cups of beer in front of them. As you take your turn, you must toss the ping-pong ball into the opposite team’s cups.

“It’s best to wet the ball before a shot,” sophomore Connor Reed said. “Go for a good arc in your shot. I like to stand with the leg on the side of your shooting hand forward.”

Other students agreed with the point about arcing the ball during their throws, though some people like to go for the “ straight-line, bullet-throw” technique (the author is not one of these people).

“Just take your time and at least make one cup so that you don’t have to sit under the table,” junior Allie Camp said. “That’s a common punishment I’ve seen for not making any cups, and nobody wants that.”

If the ball lands inside a cup, the opposing team must drink the beer immediately. First team to land a ball in all of the opposing team’s cups wins. Punishments for the losing team may vary, but it is common for the losers to have to drink the remainder of the winning team’s beer-filled cups.

2) Flip Cup

Flip cup is another drinking game that doesn’t require a whole lot of resources or setup to play. This game can be played with as many people as you so desire, as it is an every-person-for-themselves game. You can also play on teams, with opposing teams standing on opposite sides of the table. You’ll need one cup filled a quarter-to-halfway high with beer, or however much you all agree upon. Place each cup on the table in front of each competitor. Basically, once one person says “go”, players drink the contents or their cup as quickly as they can, before placing the cup partially over the edge of the table and trying to “flip” the cup so that it lands (and stays) upside down on the table.

“You have to not panic or rush during flip cup,” sophomore Sydney Jacobs said. “Just try to focus on how you hit it based on how your attempts have been going.”

Reed added a touch of wisdom when it comes to techniques to use during flip cup.

“Flick the cup with just your pointer and middle fingers,” he said. “It’s better to not flip the cup far enough than to flip it too far, so don’t put too much power into it.”

3) Rage Cage

A hectic but fun (and potentially hilarious game), rage cage is a game that is best played with a lot of people. Put the cups for drinking in the center of a table or playing surface and gather everyone else around them. Fill each of the cups a quarter of the way full with beer. Designate two players to start; they should be on opposite ends of the circle from each other, each with a ping-pong ball and one of the empty cups in front of them. When the game begins, the players with ping-pong balls will try to successfully bounce the balls once into the empty cup in front of them. Players keep trying and trying until they make the cup.  

“Keep your bounces away from the center cup so if you miss it won’t go in, otherwise you’ll have to drink from whatever nastiness is in that center cup,” sophomore Sophia Nielson said.

Once the ball lands and stays in the cup, the player then passes the cup and ball clockwise to the next player and the same sequence begins again. But, if a player makes it into their cup on their first attempt, they can choose to pass their cup to any player in the circle. This is where rivalries and alliances can form and is part of the main allure behind rage cage.

“We actually hold rage cage tournaments every Saturday at rotating bar venues here in Newport,” bartender Jason Mojica said. “The biggest mistake I see people make is choosing revenge over strategy. If you want to win, you have to treat everyone as an opponent and just put the stack in front of whoever you know is going to struggle the most with it.”

Essentially, you want to pass the cup to the player behind the other cup if you have the choice.  If they make their cup before the other player, they can stack their cup into the other players and force them to take a drink from the center. 

 While these are just a few of the drinking games you’re likely to encounter while in college, may this brief guide serve as your judgment-free source for information if you ever find yourself confused or too intimidated to ask how to play any of these games. And remember, always drink responsibly!

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