Flip Cup Is 100% Better Than Beer Pong in Almost Every Way

Flip Cup!
Anthony Humphries/Thrillist
Anthony Humphries/Thrillist

One day many, many, years from now, I'll tell my grandkids, Zap, Pop, and Chrome (in the future, names will be extremely futuristic), "Back in my day, I had to walk 1km up a hill covered in white, condensed water" (in the future, snow will not exist due to global warming and lack of bees, and we will have switched to the metric system) "just to play flip cup with my best buddies during my college years."

After explaining what college was (all education will be served in viral baby elephant videos via VR implants) their wide eyes will gaze up at me in my hover chair, and ask, "Why grandperson, why?"(gender does not exist in the future). I'll tell them:

"Kids, flip cup is the best drinking game to ever exist in the former USA, now legally referred to as Disney's American Experience™."

Flip cup is certainly the greatest drinking game of all time -- preferable to the self-appointed reigning champ, beer pong. I'll damn well believe it 70 years from now when food is in pill form and our president is a sentient refurbished Furby. And I damn well believe it today. Here's why.

Beer pong is overcomplicated and boring. Flip cup is decidedly not.

In the time it takes to complete four riveting, high-octane games of flip cup, your beer-pong counterparts will have just figured out if they will play with or without paddles, if they should adhere to traditional Cornell-style, and how the mercy rules should play out in the event of a simultaneously made double-shot on a behind-the-shoulder put-back.

There are more arbitrary rules, complications, and iterations in beer pong than a game of Risk in a room full of obsessive-compulsive assistant principals with actual sticks up their asses. It's a game of encyclopedic particularities. And it's annoying as fuck. In flip cup, there's only one set of universally agreed-upon rules. And people love it. 

Flip cup is an engaging, inclusive game built for the masses

The visceral feel of flipping your cup into mathematically perfect orbit, to have it swoosh rim-first, flush on a slick backyard patio table or dimly lit kitchen counter, is like draining a three at the buzzer, or hitting the sweet spot on a Louisville Slugger. It's a moment of competitive perfection you just feel resonating through your bones. I'm fairly sure the rotation of a plastic cup during a game of flip cup matches up with da Vinci's golden ratio, but don't quote me on that.

Flip cup is a game for the masses -- in the best possible way. It's the democratization of a drinking game; this is the simplest conceit of a booze-infused competition (drink, then do this before someone else does). And it captures fun in its purest form -- without pretension, constraints, or heavy-handed semantics. It's poetry in motion. Beer pong is a slog through a trough of stale beer-flavored exclusivity. 

Flip cup

Anyone and everyone can play, and games aren't the length of an epic Russian novel

Flip cup -- though aesthetically riveting (the chugs! The spins! The one guy who just can't seem to flip that cup!) is not a spectator sport. The drinkers on the sidelines aren't forced to watch frat bros go back and forth for hours before their turn is up. 

The game is infinitely scalable. In theory, there is no physical limit to how many flip-cup players can be involved in a game, save our own laws of space and time.

Can you imagine if all of life's problems were solved with a swig of light beer and the toss of a Solo cup? Quickly. Objectively. Beer-er-ly. It's the optimal conflict resolution. 

It's easier to cheat during flip cup

Despite what people tell you, cheating is the secretly fraudulent but cheap-as-hell material that paves the way to ultimate victory and success. See: baseball record books, or every politician ever.

Flipping a lil' early, pouring half the beer down the inside of your sensible unisex turtleneck, filling your glass up less, distracting players with your electric sexuality -- all fair (well, kind of) game in the world of flip cup. Like in Monopoly and international soccer, cheating is an integral part of the game. It's all in good fun. More importantly, it requires zero skill.

You can play flip cup almost anywhere

All you need to play flip cup is a surface and a few cups. No woozy trips to 18 different stores on a quest for ping-pong balls, or a trip to the garage to pull out a table covered in spider eggs. That's how people break their backs!

It's more hygienic

You don't have to be Howard Hughes to think flipping a cup atop a (probably) dingy table is kind of gross. But then again, how many pong balls have slid underneath a frat dude's nasty couch, only to be "cleansed" with a water cup, and sent back into play without a second thought? And that ball's probably been used in multiple games. It's basically a bouncing sphere of disease. And if you're one of those people who plays beer pong with water in the cups and drinks from a fresh beer, well, you don't really deserve to play in the first place.

There's never that one "douchey flip-cup guy"

At any given party out there in America, there's always the douchebag in flip-flops and a purposefully distressed hat "running the beer-pong table," pumping his fist, and draining all the potential fun from what is designed to be a fun game.

No one takes flip cup this seriously. I mean, it has the word "flip" in the name.

In the end, it's exactly what a drinking game should be

Easy, free-flowing, accessible, just the right amount of dirty, and -- best of all -- that annoying douchey beer-pong guy wont be there. 

And if you disagree with the reasoning spelled out in this article, that guy is probably you. Even if you are a girl. But that doesn't matter, in the future, gender will be obsolete, remember? Unlike flip cup. Which will hopefully make its way into Olympic competition by the time we hit Tokyo 2020.

Fingers crossed, and cups tossed.

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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. He actually blames Gwyneth Paltrow for most of the world's problems. Follow him @wilfulton.