by Austin Albert
#7 The last cup: This seems like just another cup, but every experienced player will tell you this is the hardest cup to hit. The last shot is what shows who has true skill, versus who is just lucky. You actually have to aim, and if you miss, there’s no chance that your shot will randomly fall into another cup. This, combined with the sheer pressure to win the game, makes the last cup special. Those who can consistently hit it are proven marksmen, a cut above the rest.
#6 The island: This is similar to the last cup, in that the chances are slim that you’ll sink another cup if you miss. And even if you do, it won’t count. Calling “Island” is usually a desperation tactic, reserved for those who need to get back into a game. This cranks up the pressure, especially since there aren’t any second chances. You have to call your shot and follow through with it. Many call Island already assuming they’ll miss, a select few relish the opportunity as a sure chance to take an extra cup.
#5 The bounce: The bounce is difficult because of the amount of factors that go into it. The size, thickness, length, and even material used to make the table all need to be calculated. On top of this, it must be done when an opponent is not paying attention. It requires finesse and nonchalance. Add to all this the fact that if your ball is swatted away, the shot is a waste and you look like a total idiot. It also means your opponents will be watching you for another bounce. Good players can get away with a bounce once a game, if that. Great players can get away with a bounce twice a game, if not twice in a row.
#4 The behind the back: The behind the back shot is difficult because it is not a normal human motion. No one ever practices it. It feels awkward. For this reason, many behind the back shots go hopelessly wide. The trick is to channel the force of the ball up into an arc, rather than trying to hurl it toward the cups. With more of an arc, you’ll find you have better aim, and there’s less of a chance you’ll lose the ball by throwing it halfway across the party.
#3 The bank shot: Granted, this one requires some stupid opponents. When made, however, it can be the shot that makes a game. When your opponents aren’t paying attention, resist the urge to bounce. Instead, aim for their lower chest, and don’t throw too hard. If done right, they won’t notice your ball till it has bounced off them and landed in a cup. It’s extremely embarrassing, and some people have been know to forfeit the game right then and their. What’s more, it fucking hilarious and it’s something you can rub in their face, even if you do end up losing.
#2: The off the ball bounce: This is an incredibly tough shot because it requires the combined skill of two players, not just one. One player throws a typical bounce shot off the table. At the same time (or slightly after), the other player throws their ball so that it hits the first player’s ball in mid-air. Ideally, this is done before the opposition has time to swat the bounced ball away. If the shot goes just right, both balls land in separate cups, and three cups are removed from the table (two for the bounce, one for the other ball). If the opposition DOES happen to swat the bounced ball, chances are they will simultaneously hit the thrown ball, results in the removal of a penalty cup.
#1. The miracle: This is quite simply the greatest shot you can make in a game of beer pong. Any time it occurs, it results in an automatic victory, AND the maker of the shot is entitled to free booze for the rest of the night. The shot is called “the miracle” for a reason. On the players first shot of the game, the ball is thrown and lands exactly in the small triangular gap between the middle three cups. No bounces. No ricochets. No touches by other people. The ball doesn’t move an inch, it simply sticks. The shot is nearly impossible to make, and it is doubtful anyone has every done it intentionally.