Guys finger. Girls blow.
Now that we’ve got your attention…we’re talking about beer pong. Get your minds out of the gutter!
In some places, there are house rules about specific actions that players can take when a ball is spinning around the inner rim of a beer pong cup. On these occasions, guys may “finger” the ball out of the cup before it touches the liquid, and girls may blow on the ball to attempt to prevent it from landing in the cup.
These rules are fun at parties, where the potential for innuendo is pretty much unlimited and there’s likely to be a lot of flirting going on. If you’re playing in an actual tournament, though, these moves are actually not all that useful.
Why, you ask?
The biggest problems with the finger/blow rule are that 1) it’s really hard to judge if people are playing fair, and 2) it makes the game a hell of a lot longer.
When you have two teams separated by 8 feet of party pong table, judging whether people are playing fair is almost impossible. Was that ball actually clearly in the cup when the girl blew it out (and blew beer all over the table)? Had that ball already landed when that guy fingered it out? Unless you have a 3rd party present to arbitrate, these kinds of questions can lead to all kinds of frustration and even fights between the two teams. Since the whole point of playing beer pong is to be friendly and sociable, that kind of defeats the point. If you’re playing for fun, by all means, use the finger/blow rule and as many other randomly entertaining house rules you want. But if you’re playing for points, keep it simple so that it’s easy for everyone to both have fun and play fair.
Aside from fairness and keeping things friendly, the blowing/fingering rule adds a lot of time to the game. Again, this is totally fine in a small group playing for fun context, but it can get irritating when you have a larger group and/or are playing for points. When players try to influence the beer pong balls as they’re circling the cups, rather than just letting gravity do its thing, they’re increasing the time of each play, which can make games last approximately forever. Particularly when your team is waiting to play, there’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for a game of beer pong that just won’t end.
What’s your opinion on the blowing/ fingering of beer pong balls? Do you play with this rule? Let us know in the comments!
Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 10:18 am. 2 comments
The brilliant thing about beer pong is that there’s no one way to play it. There are all kinds of regional variations around the US, and pretty much every new group of beer pong players comes up with their own set of “house rules.” We say, celebrate the diversity in the world of Pong! That said, no matter what set of rules you’re playing with, there are a few tips and tricks that can help your game no matter what. In no particular order, here are the things that can improve your technique and help you have a better game.
1. Maintain the optimal level of Intoxication
Everything in life is a bell curve, and the effect of beer on your pong game is no different. For a while, each sip of beer will grant you phenomenal cosmic powers…and then, suddenly, the effect will be completely reversed and your beer pong game will crash. To stay in your happy place at the top of the bell curve, drink strategically! Alternate your cups of beer with cups of water so you can stay buzzed and confident for as long as possible—and avoid the sorry state of affairs where you’re falling over or seeing double and can’t actually throw the ball.
2. Grip your balls well
Your beer pong balls! What did you think we were talking about!?!?!?
Believe it or not, the way you hold your balls does matter. The basic overhand grip is probably the most popular, but you can test out several others if that one isn’t working for you. Try out an underhand grip, or even a “peace grip,” where you hold the ball between your index and middle fingers, like you’re making a peace sign. Feel free to experiment!
3. Get your physics on
Beer pong is really about physics, which means that you should have paid a lot more attention in your high school science and math classes in order to improve your game. Success in beer pong is all about the arc! If the curve on your ball is a good parabola (shaped like our old friend, the bell curve), it’s less likely to bounce back out of the cup. A good arc will also give you more control in your aim. Experiment with your toss to get the perfect curvature so that your balls really go where you’re trying to send them!
4. Cross train
We’ve all heard of cross training for other sports, but few people consider that it’s important for beer pong as well. Play a game of basketball to practice your arc and get a larger ball through a hoop. Play some darts at the bar to increase your hand-eye coordination and your aim.
5. Practice, practice, practice
It’s how you get to Carnegie Hall, and it’s how you achieve the status of beer pong god. (Yes, those two things are completely equivalent). Nobody has to know you practice your beer pong throws by lobbing ping pong balls into cups of water in your kitchen when nobody else is around. It’ll be our little secret. If anyone asks, you’re just naturally blessed by the beer pong gods with a great grip, great aim, and a great arc. Just grin and let the accolades roll in!
Do you have a favorite tip or trick for upping your game? Can you regale us with tales of your epic practice sessions or your favorite grip or your personal secret to getting the best arc? Let us know in the comments!
Posted 3 years, 8 months ago at 12:51 pm. 1 comment