With the restrictions slowly loosening and lifted, as a restaurant owner, you should start thinking about different gimmicks you can provide to encourage good foot traffic. While customers are now being extra-conscious about their health and safety, they are still excited and looking forward to doing outdoor dining and social activities. Utilizing a beer pong table can be your solution to solving this dilemma. It’s an activity that’s both enjoyable and practical for you and your customers.
It’s easy to set up, space-saving, easy to play, and most of all, it’s popular especially with the Millenials and Gen Z. These are the groups that you should start appealing to as they are the more fearless to go out compared to the older generation. Also, they are considered as the population who hold most of the buying authority over the Retail and Hospitality Industry.
But don’t get caught up with these numbers and neglect the needs of the other generation, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers still exercise good spending power with restaurants. With this in mind, you have to check out the best activities and tools that can be friendly to these generations.
This article will talk about how beer pong can be an activity that will be enjoyed by most of all, if not all, of your customers. This is an activity with no boundaries and limitations with age and gender. It can be a good boost for your restaurant or bar if you’re trying to drive foot traffic into your restaurant.
Beer Pong 101
Before checking out the most popular and trending tables for beer pong, you must learn first what are the basics for this game. What makes it so popular with young professionals and university students? What are the materials you need? Read along to know more about beer pong.
First, you should know what is the main goal of this game. The gameplay is easy and simple. To win a round of beer pong, one team must eliminate all cups of the opposing team. It is done by throwing a ping pong ball straight into the cup of the opposing team. A team wins a game when there’s no cup left to the opposing team
The typical setup for a basic beer pong game is that you’ll arrange ten 18oz or 16oz cups, in a pyramid formation. The standard length for a table to be used for this game is 8ft. After setting up, fill the cups with beer (or your chosen drinks, which can be juice to be friendly for younger age).
Typically, this game is set for 1v1 or 2v2. You need to create two teams and place them at both ends of the ping pong table. If you don’t have one yet, then the longest table available will do.
But if you’re taking this activity as part of your restaurant service, you should buy a dedicated table for beer pong. It’s built for this game, and there are different designs and features which can increase the enjoyment of your customers while playing the game.
If you’re holding a tournament the team who won the previous match will be the first one to attack, but if it’s the first game, the first shot is decided by the “Eyes”. It is when a player from each team throws a ping pong ball to the other side of the table while maintaining eye contact with each other. Their partners will do the shoot if both players land the ping pong ball inside the opposing team’s cup or if they both missed it. This process will continue until one player shoots and the other one misses the cup.
When it’s already decided who’ll do the first shot, then it’s now time to start the game. The players of each team will take turns throwing ping pong balls into the cup of the opposing team. If the ping pong ball lands on the cup, the cup will be taken away and the opponent of the team who lands the shot will drink the contents of the cup- which is commonly a beer, hence the name of the game. The winner will be decided once a team has no cups left. The winning team also typically stays on the table while waiting for the next challenger.
The materials you’ll need for a beer pong game will vary depending on what your theme would be, but here’s a list of the basic materials you’ll need to play this game.
- Beverage – Beer is the most commonly used beverage to partner up with this activity. But there’s no actual limit on what type of liquid or beverage you can use.
- Solo cups – Avoid using glass cups as they can be hazardous for the game. Plastic solo cups are the best option to keep everyone safe. The 16oz red solo cups are considered the standard cups to use.
- Table – It won’t matter what type of beer pong table designs you’ll use as long as it’s long enough to make the game possible.
- Ping pong balls – Prepare at least two to give each time their balls, but if you have extra resources, preparing ping pong balls for every player is more hygienic.
- Audience – Make sure that you’ll do the proper marketing campaign for this new social activity of yours. The audience makes the game more fun and exciting.
Beer Pong Terms
Familiarize yourself with these different game terms that you should know. As an organizer of this social activity, you must know the basic terms to keep the game fun, fair, and entertaining for your guests.
- Swatting or Bouncing – This is the term used when the ping pong ball accidentally (or can be done intentionally) hits the table and goes straight into a cup. You will then remove the cup that the ball goes into, and the team who shot the ball can also choose another cup of the defending team to remove. If there are only two cups left, the bounce will only count as one.
- Elbow or Wrist – This is an unspoken rule that’s already established in the Beer Pong community. Players are asked to keep their elbows behind the corner or edge of the table when it’s their turn to shoot. For the wrist rule, players should keep their wrists behind the corner or edge of the table. If a player breaks the rule in effect, the shot will not count. Everyone is required to comply with this rule even if it’s a clear disadvantage for female players. If a shot was already made but unsure if the rule was broken, the player may re-shoot the ball after stepping back.
- Re-Racking – Also known as reforming or racking, it is the term used when a team requests for their cups to be rearranged before the start of their turn. It is only possible when a team has six, four, three, or two remaining cups. A team can also request for the last cup to be re-rack and it will be pulled back and centered.
- Fixing Cups – If you’re still using a normal long table, there nothing that can prevent your solo cups from being knocked off or sliding off the table. If this happens, players can ask for it to be fixed. Don’t confuse it for re-racking as fixing cups is done to maintain the order of the game.
- Blowing or Fingering – Terms like Bitches Blow, Guys Finger are just some of the most commonly used expressions in this game. Fingering is when a player pulls the ball out of the cup if it’s just still spinning inside the cup, and blowing is when a player blows the ball out of the cup when it is still also spinning inside the cup. This type of technique is branded as cheap tricks as it’s hard to distinguish if the ball already made contact with the liquid inside the cup.
- Death Cup – Also known as the Bitch Cup. This is when a player pulls up a cup from the table and before the contents have been consumed, then the opposing player lands a ball to that cup. That cup is called the death cup, and the game will be officially over. But if they are playing with a team member, and both teammates land the ball to the same cup, it’ll be worth three cups. The cup to be consumed will be decided by the team who lands the shot.
- Lonely Cup – Island, Solo, Iso Cup is also the term used when a cup was singled out due to surrounding cups being hit and taken out by another player). If this cup is hit, the opposing team can pull out a cup with an additional cup of their liking.
- On Table Roll Backs – If a player shoots the ball and it rolls back to them without hitting the floor, they can shoot it again behind the back. If a cup is made, it will only count as one cup.
- On Fire Rule – A player can announce that he’s on fire, and he shoots until he misses. This is only possible if that player hits two cups in a row and announces that he’s “heating up”.
- Rebuttal – After the game is over, the losing team is given the chance to hit all the remaining cups. Players can shoot until they miss, but if both players from the team miss, the game will be officially over. But if they manage to hit all the remaining cups, the game goes on with three overtime cups.
- Overtime – Three cups are placed into a triangle shape and the game goes on. The first team to shoot will be the “winners” of the first round.
Most Popular Beer Pong Game Types
Here’s a list of the top three most popular varieties of beer pong to give you a jumpstart on what type you should use for your restaurant.
- Baseball – In this type of beer pong, players are given three shots to miss during their turn. An additional rebuttal shot will be taken away if a team misses three times during their turn. To avoid a death cup, the made cups are to be consumed before the start of the other team.
- Civil War – It requires a 3×3 formation where players can shoot balls towards any number of the opposing team’s cups.
- Chandeliers – This is when the cups are all set up in the middle of the table and the teams take turns tossing the table into the cup.
Game Table Maintenance
In theory, beer and other types of liquid are not good for your tables. Especially if it’s made with materials that react negatively with alcohol, acid, and moisture. If you’re willing to give other types of bar games a try, then you should invest in equipment and tools that can support the setup of the game.
Usually, there’s no harm if a liquid or any type of mess is left on the table within less than five minutes, but there’s no fun in a game that’s being disrupted because the table needs to be cleaned every minute. Also, the mess it makes contributes to the fun the game delivers.
Features to Consider
Here are the table features you should check out in finding the best game table for your restaurant.
- Table length, height, and weight
- Portability and foldability
- Cup holders
Top Beer Pong Tables in 2021
If you’re worried that beer pong is not the right social activity for your restaurant as it doesn’t mix in with your theme and concept, then you might want to reconsider. Beer pong became so popular that they have found ways to accommodate different concepts and needs from different types of people and groups.
GoPong 8 Foot Portable Beer Pong (Tailgate Table Customer Dry-Erase)
This type is considered portable as you can fold and unfold it if needed. It also meets the standard size of the usual table used for beer pong which is 8ft. The highlight of this table is that it allows your customers to draw or write anything on its dry surface with the provided dry erase markers.
It has pre-cut holes to hold the cups and avoid them slipping out, and is incredibly light weighing just 25lbs. It comes with six ping pong balls, markers, and is sturdy enough for the game.
Pong Squad Basketball Pong Tables (With Holes)
It has twenty-two pre-cut holes for the game. If you’re overwhelmed with the number of holes, worry not as it also has hole covers if you don’t want to use a specific cup hole. It is also foldable and has a basketball design.
Easy to clean and is durable enough to sustain games with large numbers.
GoPong PRO 8 Foot Premium Beer Pong Table (Heavy Duty – 36 inches tall)
It improves comfort when playing because of its height. It is a lightweight aluminum powder coated in black to match the sleek design of your restaurant. It is considered heavy duty as the tabletop and its playing surface can withstand spills and tears.
Don’t get intimidated by the term “heavy duty”, as it can still be folded and can come up with a compact size once folded. And since it doesn’t have holes, you can also use it as a serving table for your restaurant if there’s no game.
Floatation iQ HydraPong Regulation Size
Considered one of the best floating tables for beer pong, this design is puncture and tear-resistant that comes with four ping pong balls. It is made of foam so it can float properly without the harm of being punctured. You can easily store it, and while it’s not foldable, it’s still pretty sizable with a size of 6ft.
It also has cup holders to keep the cups in place. It can provide a unique experience, but not the most friendly in a restaurant setting.
Red Cup Pong 8’ Folding Table
This table has a built-in bottle opener and a ball rack to keep the fun going while maintaining order in the game. You can store this in a suitcase as it can be folded up to 2×2. The only downside of this table is that it doesn’t have cup holders to keep the cups in place during the game. Even the basketball design is visually pleasing to customers.
Sharper Image Mini Beer Pong Table Top Table
It comes with twenty-five plastic cups, two wooden balls, spring-loaded catapults, and a storage bag. It creates a unique experience out of the traditional beer pong game. It is budget-friendly and allows your customers to enjoy the game without taking up too much space. It may not be the usual size for a beer pong game, but it definitely won’t affect the experience that it offers.
Red Cup Pong Blank Customizable Pong Table
This is a waterproof table that you can customize according to your restaurant’s theme and concept. If you don’t want to go down that path, you may leave the table blank and allow your customers to contribute their designs to it. It is a great way to engage them not just with the game, but with your restaurant brand as well.
It only weighs twenty-two pounds and is easily foldable as well. No need to worry about the sticky beer or juice spills, because it’s made out of water-proof and scratch-proof materials.
GlowPong Classic Glowing Game Table
If you’re worried about how to capture the eyes and interest of customers, this type of game table could be the answer to your problems. It’s a game table with unique lighting features that make it easier for your customers to play even if you keep your restaurant’s lighting dimmed.
It’s powered by 4AA batteries so there’s no need to worry about your electricity bill. It also comes with three lighting modes namely solid, fast, and slow blinking. It’s made out of aluminum so it’s still pretty light.
Versapong Portable Table Pong
Lightweight, convenient, and portable. These are the main features of this gaming table. It is so portable that you can store it in a backpack. It’s water-proof and can sustain every party ever.
Developed by Buffalo Games, this table takes portability to the next level. Catapults and the tethered ball keeps the game clean from drink spills and falling cups.