Posted by: robinsonwarner | July 17, 2008

The Unwritten Rules of Beirut (or Beer Pong)

I’m not entirely sure if anyone is really reading this blog and if there are in fact humans reading my musings, I have no clue what their age range is.  But if I could bank on one thing, I would imagine that many of you, if you exist, have played drinking games in your time.  Whether this is after college, in college, high school, or a pre-K rager, the most popular is usually the famed “beirut” or “beer pong”.  There is a set of unwritten rules to this game that are not usually explained by the person paying rent so one is not necessarily able to ascertain this particular set of rules.  I suppose that is why they are unwritten.  These rules are often not discussed by the mass of party goers, but if you follow these simple rules, everyone’s beirut/beer pong experience will be much more delightful.

  1. Don’t argue about the name – Nobody gives a shit that you alone know the true reason of why the game should be called beirut and not beer pong.  Yes, the game was invented at Dartmouth in the 1980’s during the United States’ conflict with Lebanon, but nobody gives a shit.  People are on a quest for glory while getting really wasted on the way; not preparing for “Who Wants to be Not Get Laid-and-be-a-Douchebag-aire” You’re going to turn a lot of heads for the wrong reasons and you will not be given any free Natural Ice by the nice people throwing the party.
  2. Don’t celebrate excessively – We understand that there is tremendous dexterity involved in launching a tiny sphere eight feet into a cup while moderately buzzed, and that there is a lot on the line, such as whether or not men will revere you and whether Veronica will sleep with you or Archie the douche bag, but cut the shit when it comes to celebrating.  This includes chest bumps, high fives, fake head butts, real head butts, hand jobs, special handshakes with you and your roommate, or screaming “Yeah baby! Woo!”  People will hate you and root for you to lose.  If Gladiator and 8 Mile have taught us anything, it’s that the crowd is the most important part of any contest…  and that having sex in automobile factories is actually fairly hot.
  3. Always follow house rules – This is not your house.  This is someone else’s house.  If they pay the rent and heating bills, then they are always right when it comes to the game.  One should never say, “Well… what if we play (insert rules you like)”, or “(insert your rules) is better”.  This is not your prerogative.  You are a prick otherwise.  It is, however, acceptable to ask what the house rules are and to clarify if there are any special rules such as NBA Jam rules, pull cup vs. leave cup, or the house policy on bouncing.  Speaking of bouncing; don’t be that guy when it comes to bouncing.  Everything in moderation.
  4. Beer is for drinking – It boggles my mind that this rule actually needs to be fleshed out but, as they say, here goes nothing.  Whether you are playing at a friends house who has been kind enough to supply booze, at a random party of which you do not know the hosts and have paid an absurdly cheap cover charge to essentially drink free all night, or are hosting a party yourself and are charging the cover and making out like a bandit, the fact remains that the beer is there to drink, not be left out.  Too many times after an all night banger someone has to clean up everyone’s wounded soldiers.  The only clean up that should be done is of empty cups and whatever dignity there is lift from the respective parties involved.  The very bottom line of this rule is that: regardless of how many cups are on your side, if you lose the game, you must finish drinking every last one of those cups.  Some rules state that the loser must finish all un-drank cups on the table – both sides – however this stipulation falls under the house rules clause.
  5. Never underestimate girls – This is more of a personal survival tool than a rule.  Some of the most terrible upsets have taken place at the hands of a femme fatale(s) .  As men we often forget the competitive fortitude of women because they used to spend most of the day in front of a hot stove making us food, but after Title IX, shit got real.  Let’s put it this way, do you really think you could beat Lisa Leslie in basketball solely based on the fact that she is a chick and you are a dude.  If the girl’s got skills, then the girl’s got skills.  Even though most of them lean when they shoot, but that is neither here nor there.
  6. No covert douchebaggery – With the amount of cups on the table and the mere fact that there are four people playing the game, it becomes inevitable that when a shot is taken it will pass through an area that was previously occupied by a cup.  Enter the Covert Douchebag.  At this juncture, there’s a brief but palpable silence at the table as everyone waits for the covert douchebag to make his appearance.  He will disguise his first comment, as with subsequent comments, as good-hearted ribbing done between comrades.  In most cases it comes out as, “Oh man, you already hit that cup.”  Did I? Did I really?  Do you not think I already fucking noticed? I don’t suffer from hysterical blindness and need your pop collared, Abercrombie wearing, sweatband around your forearm sporting ass to fill me in on which cups are still available as a viable option for targeting.  I hope you fall and shatter your clavicle. 


Another comment that falls under the category of Covert Douchebaggery is, “Man, I’m so thirsty, I could use one of these cups.”  We understand that you have to mask your semi-derogatory insults as indirect comments because you’re too miserable at the game to prove your worth with results; but for the sake of sportsmanship, keep your shit to yourself.  We also understand that you want to get drunk.  This is in fact a drinking game. The only way this would not be the case is if you were not drinking and your friend is “drinking for both of you” because beer has too many “calories” or you were “driving”.  There is no scientific proof that calories or driving exist.  They are like global warming, evolution, and the female orgasm.


What one can take away from this is that these rules are indeed universal.  People will come and go into parties, but douchebags are eternal.  There will always be those that may break the Unwritten Rules of Beirut, but if you take this guide to heart, begin practicing it at any party, event, regalia, etc., we can help rid the world of obnoxious people that are SO fuckin thirsty that they have to explain it to us every five minutes.  God speed and good luck.


Much thanks to my dear friend Tom Kennedy for his substantial contributions and inspiration for this post. Wayme.



  1. Love this. And your right. As far as I can tell, evidence regarding “driving” and “calories” is entirely circumstantial.
    Can I print this for the halloween party? I promise to credit you with it.

    How’s life?

  2. of course you can. you can credit as much as you like. i’m glad you like the blog. i’ve been slacking lately, but this job has been absolutely killer and i’m applying to graduate school as well. i promise i’ll start doing some more writing soon.

  3. […] without the presence of women they will do foolish things:  eat a bouquet of taquitos from 711, throw ping pong balls into plastic cups, fight, soil themselves, etc.  It is with excessive alcohol consumption we see the last vestiges […]

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