Have you ever played a rousing game of Beirut?
Most people answer “no.”
And most people are wrong.
“Beirut” is just one of many alternative names for beer pong.
It’s one of the names with the most interesting history. But many of the other names have their own unique history that is often tied into the history of the game itself.
Keep reading for some of the most common other names for beer pong and the sometimes fascinating history behind them.
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Other Names For Beer Pong
Before we get into the different names of beer pong, we should look at a bit of the history surrounding it, so that you can understand how these names came about.
The Origin of Beer Pong
College students at Dartmouth are credited with the first game of beer pong. They started playing it back in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
The only difference is that they used paddles, which makes things a bit more competitive (and a lot more crazy). There are variants such as lob pong, where you’re actually playing regulation table tennis.
You had to have acceptable arcs, just like with normal beer pong that we know today, but the paddle made that a really difficult task.
Service and returns were a bit different as well, because games could not be lost on a service error at all. The paddles made service errors fairly common, so it didn’t make sense to lose the game on one.
However, in some instances, if you lost from service, you may have had to drink a sip from your opponent’s cup.
There are actually a few different versions of beer pong like this, but no one ever plays those these days, so there’s no real point in including all of their names on this list.
After all, the inclusion of paddles makes it an entirely different game. That’s why we’ll focus only on other names for beer pong played without a paddle, as is normal today. Believe me, some of those names are bizarre enough.
This is the only true variation of beer pong that deserves its own name.
Beirut was popularized as a name for beer pong because of a tragedy in 1983, where U.S. Marines were killed in Beirut, Lebanon by suicide bombers. 241 Marines, to be exact.
The cups are arranged in a pyramid on the table. The competitors throw the balls the same as in standard beer pong. So what’s the deal?
Well, the United States didn’t retaliate. The world felt as though the United States should have returned with their own bombs, but they refrained.
So instead, people envisioned that the ping pong balls were bombs and the pyramid represented all of Beirut.
The name caught on strictly because of mental retaliation. But the funny thing is, remember we mentioned the first game of beer pong was played in Dartmouth?
Well, that was just called Dartmouth, and nothing more. When Beirut became slang for beer pong, people couldn’t tell if it was different from Dartmouth.
The result is that both have simply been called beer pong since around the 1980s.
Six-cup is set up a bit differently than ten-cup. Basically, each team divides two beers among six cups, and they have to make sure the cups are within six inches from the edge of the table.
Basically, it’s regular beer pong with a few small stipulations. In regulation size, sometimes the table sizes will be different to accommodate the smaller number of cups from your standard ten-cup games. But any of these best portable beer pong tables will work fine for this version.
Most of us play beer pong with ten cups, but the reason this has its own name is… well, there isn’t one. Except to discern it from six-cup.
Seriously, right now you can Google “What is 10 cup” and you’re going to find a cup to quart conversion chart.
In other words, this is just another name for beer pong with no weird history or variants. It’s just used to let someone know they’re not being asked to play six-cup, and that’s that. Some versions, like ring of fire, can only be played with 10 cups.
Fast pong is the “We want to get drunk right now and don’t really care how” version of beer pong.
Much like the Dartmouth variety of lob pong that we mentioned before, this was initially played with paddles, but has been altered since to simply use ping pong balls.
The ball just has to hit the cup in any fashion. Yeah, it’s good if you sink it in, but the same results happen from just tapping the edge or rim of the cup with the ball.
You don’t have to do anything extraordinary to get the other person to drink.
Fast pong is something that you can play if you’re just messing around with a buddy, or you show up at a party and don’t want to put the effort and energy into a full game of beer pong.
There’s nothing wrong with it, just don’t expect people to crowd around you and put the spotlight on you when you play fast pong.
This variant is, well, a bit aggravating, really. You have to hit your opponents’ cup three times. That’s the main goal.
After one hit, that team has to drink half of their beer. When the second his occurs, they drink until the cup is empty.
The third hit just means the team loses. Keep in mind that the ball doesn’t have to even go in the cup at all, which takes some of the skill out of it.
There are some regulations to keep in mind, but they’re not that harsh and can be learned quickly. Overall, it’s rare to hear someone say “Let’s play some Bucknell”, but it’s been known to happen with older crowds.
Other Names For Beer Pong: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, it’s just beer pong.
Most people around the world simply call it beer pong now, and if someone says “You wanna shoot a game of six-cup?”, you have full permission to look at them like an owl and correct them.
Even though most of the names above are superfluous, they are actually just a small part of all the different names for beer pong that are out there. They are the most common ones, but there are many others that exist only in one location, for example.
Are there different names for beer pong where you live? If so, please let us know in the comments below. We’re always curious to hear some new ways to call this fun game.