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What happens if a cup falls off the table in beer pong?

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Many people who play beer pong have their own set of house rules for the game, but the basic beer pong rules remain intact.

Player’s take their turn by throwing ping pong balls into a cup. The aim is to make the ball enter the cup to be counted as a shot. 

The cup may fall off the table due to body contact, excessive force from the throw, not enough contents inside the cup, or a non-player may accidentally knock over the cup. Each of the above scenarios is treated differently in case they occur.

So, what happens if a cup falls off the table in beer pong? It depends on the house rules the game is played by, which means it may change from place to place. Again, it also depends on how the cup fell off the table. 

If the ball enters the cup, and the cup falls over as the ball leans the cup due to excessive force, the cup is still counted as a hit. Someone should then remove the cup from the table, and the opposing team does not have to drink the contents in that case. 

However, if the cup falls off when a non-player knocks it over, it should be refilled and returned to the cup formation.

A cup is counted once the ball enters it, even if it causes it to fall over the table due to excessive force from the shot. Again, the cup should be appropriately filled with beer because it can fall off the table if knocked by the ball if there is not enough weight inside the cup.

This article addresses what happens when a cup falls off the table in beer pong. Answered below are frequently asked questions about what to do when a cup gets knocked off the table in beer pong, who drinks and when the cup is refilled.

What is the death cup in beer pong?

A death cup is any cup in the game that has already been sunk, yet has not been fully drunk. Note, every time a death cup is pulled, a player has to pour the content of their drink to it. 

The player must do this until the last death cup is pulled. The player who pulls the last death cup must drink the beer in the cup, and the game is over.

If by any means a player sinks the ball into a death cup, the game ends immediately. The rule is applied to incentivize all the players in the game to end their drinks faster to hold other players in the game accountable for every beer.

Can two ball land in the same cup?

Yes, it is possible for a team to shoot two balls in one cup in beer pong. When this happens, the defending team has to drink the cup and the shooting team gets another turn.

Although its not very common, it does happen from time to time. 

Cup Knocked Off Table in Beer Pong 

As discussed earlier, there are multiple circumstances for a cup to fall off the table when playing beer pong. The most common being a forceful shot or body contact from a player or spectator.

Let’s address what happens due to each circumstance.

Forceful shot

If the throw was so powerful that the ping pong ball kicked the cup off the table, then the shot counts, and the cup is removed from the table. In this circumstance, the defender does not have to drink because the beverage was accidentally spilled due to an assertive shot.

This most commonly happens when the cup is not filled with enough beer. Ensure the content is adequate so the cups won’t knock over very easily.


If the player knocks over a cup that they are trying to defend, then the cup remains out of play and is not refilled. This is a penalty against the defender for interfering with the rack, and gets one less cup to play with.

An interference is unfortunate, but you should not be in position to knock over the opponents cups. If you accidentally make a cup fall over, then you should be penalized by having one less cup to defend.


If a spectator accidentally knocks a cup over, then the cup is refilled and replaced without any penalty. The onlooker has no skin in the game, and therefore the tipped over glass was purely an accident that should be resolved with gameplay continuing from where it left off.

This is a simple circumstance of interference. Furthermore, it is common for spectators of beer pong to be quite tipsy, so knocking over a cup during gameplay may not be out of the ordinary.

What happens if cup falls off the table in beer pong

Cup Falls Off Table: Conclusion 

The game should end immediately when an opponent player drops the ball from an unfinished death cup. If a player wants to play with Death cup in the game, they must make sure they can chug their beer fast, and the playing team should not remind the defending team to remove the death cup if they forget. 

The ball can enter a beer pong cup, spin, and then exit the cup. As a result, due to excessive force from the throw, the cup may fall off the table. In the above case, the shot is still counted as a hit, and the cup should be removed from the game.

If the defender accidentally knocks over a cup, then the cup is removed from gameplay and the player is penalized with one less cup to defend.

It is also common for a spectator to accidentally tip over a cup. When this happens, no penalty is initiated and the cup should be refilled and replaced back in the game.

The beer pong game is played with different house rules across the globe. Therefore, beer pong rules vary from place to place depending on the rules of the house the game is played at.

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