Let's face it: No one enjoys beer pong. It's a drinking game where four people are having fun while everyone else is crowded awkwardly around a table afraid that they're going to miss their team being called. It's a game of skill played during a time when most people can't even urinate standing up. When it takes too long, it's boring. When it goes too quickly, it's not fun.
Really, Beer Pong is a shitty drinking game. Luckily, if there's anything that UCI taught me, there's many better ones. These are my five favorites.
5. Drink when…
I have never been as enraptured in a presidential debate as the time I drank everytime someone said "energy independence." Another good one? "My Friend."
Really, what else can make debates, speeches or movies more fun than drinking every time someone is interrupted, looks down at their notes, or says "Fuck." Better yet, these kind of drinking games start of calm, everyone sitting around watching TV, but eventually degrades into a slurry of yelling, groans and cheers.
Just make sure to keep actually drunken political debate out of it.
Thunderstruck is a classic. You give all the players a drink, have them stand in a circle and start listening to AC/DC's Thunderstruck. The first time you hear 'Thunder', the first person starts drinking. The next time you hear 'thunder,' the person drinking stops, and the person to their left begins. Repeat until the end of the song.
What makes it such a good game? Easy. One, it comes with its own soundtrack. Two, everyone drinks. And three, almost everyone gets to laugh at the two people stuck drinking during the non-Norse-inspired verse and the guitar solo.
A pro tip from my days in the engineering fraternity: if you're playing with ten people, you don't want to be the eighth or the tenth person. Or maybe you do, I don't judge.
3. King's Cup
The great thing about King's Cup is that it's so flexible.
Don't have a stein? Use a soup bowl! Or a vessel from a rice cooker. Or maybe a tea kettle. Or a series of smaller cups.
Don't feel like watery American lager light beer? Go ahead and play with a vodka tonic or a poured Jager bomb. Are you driving? Play with coke, or coffee or horchata if you want — that just makes the game better.
Everyone plays with slightly different rules but mine are as follows: Place your vessel in the center of the players and spread a standard deck of cards in a ring around it. Start pulling cards clockwise, revealing them as you go. Two (you), give a drink; three (me), take a drink; four (
whores ladies), girls drink; five (jive), the person who drew the card makes a hand gesture, the person to their left repeats the gesture and adds their own, the first person to screw up drinks; six (dicks), guys drink; eight (date), choose a partner, when you drink, they drink; nine (rhyme), say a word, the person to your left must rhyme with it, the first person who fails drinks; 10 (categories), name a category, the first person to fail to name an item from that category drinks; Jack (rule), make a rule, when someone breaks it drink; Queen (questions) the first person not to speak in a question drinks; King (King's Cup), pour some of your drink into the King's Cup; and Ace (Waterfall), everyone in the circles starts drinking, the person who pulled the card may stop at will, then the person to their left and so on.
Who loses? (Really, they're the winner) The last person to draw a King drinks whatever's in the vessel.
The best drinking game to involve four people and a standard-sized beer pong table, Deathball is a superior game because the winners get to drink. The game might involve some acrobatics, so if they're not athletic you might want to play anyways because nothing limbers muscles like alcohol.
Two teams of two take turns switching between offense and defense. One of the offensive players hurls a Ping-Pong ball as hard as they can at a beer can on the other side of the table, if he hits, his partner begins chugging a full can of beer as quickly as possible. He stops when the defensive team retrieves the ball from wherever it flew, slams it on the table as yells stop. Then the teams rotate and repeat. The first to finish their beer is the winner. Also the winner, the team that manages not to bump any heads or break any furniture.
1. Rage Cage
Also affectionately named "Quarters on Crack," Rage Cage is best played with a large group and a square-ish table. You'll need two ping pong balls, approximately a lot of beer, and exactly 21 plastic cups. Arrange 19 of the cups in hexagon with sides of length three cups. To make it simple, you want a row of three cups, four cups, five cups, four cups, then three cups. Fill the cups on the outer rim of your hexagon a quarter full of beer, increasing the amount of beer until the cup in the center is full. Give the two extra cups and two Ping-Pong balls to two players opposite of each other. They each attempt to bounce their ball into their cup. If they make it in on the first try, they may give the cup to anyone they like. If they make in afterwards, they pass their cup to the player to their left. When one cup catches up with the other, stack them. The stacked cups go to the next player. The person who "got stacked" takes a beer from the Rage Cage, downs it, and starts bouncing the ball into it.
Play the game right, and you should end up with, one leaning tower, one bloated loser (winner), and a few noise complaints.
Charles Lam is the Seattle-based editor of the Northwest Asian Weekly, a former Weekly intern and forever Weekling, and misses Orange County food greatly. He'll be feeding Forkers listicles every week! You can follow him on Twitter at @charlesnlam