Civil War Drinking Game: Unleash Historic Fun

Interested in a fast-paced drinking game to play with your friends while drinking? Civil War should top your list of options! 

This game presents the most competitive environment, putting you and your pals against each other as you party and fight to victory.

This guide provides all the essential information you need in your arsenal to get the most out of the Civil War drinking game. Let’s get the ball rolling, shall we? 

What Is the Civil War Drinking Game

The Civil War drinking game is similar to beer pong but played with teams of three instead of two. The game’s objective is for each team to try and throw ping pong balls into their opponent’s cups to ‘beat’ them.

Unlike traditional beer pong, this version involves faster action and larger teams, making it more intense. There are many variations on how the game can be played; different sources may have slightly different sets of rules that make up the Civil War Drinking Game, depending on which ones you decide to follow.

The origins of this drinking game go back at least 100 years after Beer Pong’s invention, although it has recently become trendy after being brought over from Europe. 

It incorporates elements from beers bee and traditional Polish ring toss games, creating an all-new way of playing “beer pong” with larger groups or teams.

How To Play the Civil War Drinking Game

With rapid-fire shooting and fast-paced gameplay, the Civil War drinking game puts an exciting twist on the classic Beer Pong. Here’s what you need to enjoy all the historical fun this game offers: 

  • Two teams of three players each
  • 36 red Solo cups
  • Four ping-pong balls
  • A 12-pack of 12 oz beers
  • Two long tables
  • Six cup lifelines (placed in each corner of the continuous table)
  • Three cups per player on each team’s side (a total of six cups per team)
  • Beer to fill up all the cups except the 6 “lifeline cups.”
  • Two empty water cups for special rules variants
  • A coin or a way to determine which team goes first (e.g., taking turns shooting at one cup from each side)

Rules of the Civil War Drinking Game

Specific rules must be followed to ensure a fair and enjoyable Civil War drinking game for all players. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Both teams must have three players (no solo players).
  • Each player on a team must fill two cups on the side of the table with beer that they will be responsible for drinking.
  • Players may bounce the ball off the table and into an opposing team’s cup to double their score, which counts as two cups instead of one that must be removed from play.
  • The first team to have no cups wins the game and is declared victorious.
  • If a ball comes to rest outside the triangle area or is shot into an empty cup, no point will be scored, and another chance will be given to fire again before the current shooter’s side has used up both balls during their turn!
  • If a player shoots both balls into opposing cups simultaneously, they must remove three cups from play. 
  • No playing with hands or reaching across the table to grab balls results in penalty drink/s taken by the offending side.
  • Intentionally distracting behavior, like knocking over the opposing team’s cups or disrupting shooting angles, can result in 1-3 penalty drinks taken, depending on severity.
  • Shooting out of turn is prohibited; if done so during gameplay, the offending side will take 1 – 2 penalty drinks.
  • All other commonly accepted beer pong rules apply (e.g., no leaning over the table when shooting, re-racking) unless otherwise specified above, taking precedence over original rules laid out in beer pong ruleset(s).

Setting Up the Civil War Drinking Game

Follow these steps to set up and enjoy the Civil War drinking game: 

  • Ensure each player has two cups on the respective end of a beer pong table. The traditional “6 cup lifeline” or “racks,” which are triangular-shaped racks of six solo cups, can also be used, but these are not necessary for play. 
  • Players must fill every cup with their desired beverage, beer, water, or alcohol. Then toss two ping pong balls to determine which team will shoot first! The team that lands more balls in the opposing team’s cups earns the right to go first in playing the Civil War Drinking Game. 
  • After this step is complete, both teams will remove their “lifeline” cups from the table and then begin shooting their balls into their opponent’s cups until all of either team’s cups are gone! The first team to lose all their cups is considered the losing team and must drink what remains in the winning team’s cups as punishment.

Tips for Playing the Civil War Drinking Game

  • Set up the game correctly by ensuring you have all the materials ready. This includes three or six cups (depending on the number of players), two teams, two ping pong balls, and a long rectangular table. Leave a few feet between each group to allow for easy ball-shooting.
  • Ensure both teams understand the rules of the game before starting. Each team should begin with their cups in front of them in a 3-2-1 triangle formation – three cups on the bottom row, two cups in the middle, and one cup on top of the triangle.
  • Have one player from each team shoot their balls at two opponent’s cups simultaneously. If they can land both successfully, both opposing cups are removed and replaced with water.
  • Grab every opportunity to shoot your balls. When it is your turn, try not to let an opposing team member have more than one shot in rapid succession.
  • Work together as a team and always help your teammate whenever possible. Distract or prevent opposing players from shooting by blocking your cup if necessary!
  • Aim carefully when shooting. Try hitting more than one cup at a time or alternate between your opponent’s and teammate’s cups to eliminate multiple cups simultaneously.
  • Know when to switch up tactics. If you think slow and steady is not working, opt for faster action, like bouncing off yourself or other participants’ names back into their cups. 
  • Always watch your remaining six-cup lifeline. It could be beneficial or detrimental depending on how often your opponent has missed their shots. If they miss consistently, use this as an opportunity to eliminate some of their remaining cups quickly.
  •  When playing beer pong, there are always two types of defeat—losing all your cups or chugging down all your beer too soon.  So make sure you save some beer for the final stretch!

Alternatives to the Civil War Drinking Game

If you’re looking for similarly themed drinking games besides Civil War, consider these exciting alternatives:

Beer Pong 

Beer Pong is a popular drinking game that involves shooting beer pong balls into cups of beer. This traditional game is similar to the Civil War drinking game, as teams of two or three stand on opposite sides of a beer pong table.

The goal is for players to shoot their ping pong balls into an opponent’s cup, and the first team to eliminate all their opponent’s cups is the winner. 

Notably, it has more traditional rules than the Civil War drinking game. For example, when a ball lands in a cup, players from that team have to drink it and can then pick up the ball if they wish.

Flip Cup

Flip cup is an easy drinking game with no equipment required. Each team must line up behind their side of the table with one cup filled with liquid at each player’s place. 

Players take turns attempting to flip over a single cup and pass it off to the next teammate. The first team to have all cups flipped over wins!

3-2-1 Triangle Format

This variation is a competitive but fun way of playing beer pong. To play it, players must arrange three solo cups and two solo cups (in a triangle format) in front of each player, separated by 4 feet apart – six total cups on either side. 

Whenever a player shoots two balls into an opposing player’s cup simultaneously (3-2-1 shot), they can remove it from the table – or “rebound” it back onto their side if there are still two or more unshot cups on that side. 

The first team to successfully remove both opposing teams ‘cups is declared the winner!

FAQs on the Civil War Drinking Game

How many players are required to play the Civil War drinking game?

The game is typically played with two teams, each with at least three players.

What equipment do I need to play the Civil War drinking game?

You will need two long tables, 36 red Solo cups, four ping pong balls, and a 12-pack of 12 oz beers to play the Civil War Drinking Game. Optionally, you can use the traditional “6 cup lifeline” or racks.

How do you determine which team shoots first in the Civil War drinking game? 

To determine the shooting order, toss two ping pong balls. The team that lands more balls in the opposing team’s cups earns the right to go first.

How do you win the Civil War drinking game?

The game’s objective is to eliminate all of the opposing team’s cups before they get rid of yours. The team that loses all their cups first becomes the loser. 

What happens when a team loses all their cups?

As a punishment, the losing team must drink what remains in the winning team’s cups.

Can I play the Civil War drinking game with beverages other than beer?

Yes, you can fill the cups with your desired beverage, whether beer, water, or any other type of alcohol.

Is the “6 cup lifeline” necessary for play?

The “6 cup lifeline” or racks are optional and not necessary for playing the Civil War drinking game.

Can I modify the rules or create variations in the Civil War drinking game?

Yes, you can introduce rules or variations to the game if all players agree to the changes.

Is the Civil War drinking game suitable for all ages?

No, the game involves drinking alcohol and is intended for players of legal drinking age in their respective countries.

What’s the origin of the Civil War drinking game?

The game originated in North America during the 19th century and was commonly played by soldiers during the Civil War to relax and pass the time.

Final Take On the Civil War Drinking Game

The Civil War drinking game is an enjoyable and exciting way to learn about history in a fast-paced, fun manner. Combining elements of beer pong with simple yet captivating rules allows participants to engage in healthy competition while learning about significant historical events.

The game also encourages responsible drinking by offering water cups as lifelines when players lose one of their cups during the game.  With the proper teamwork and strategy, two teams of three or four players can come together to face off against each other in this fast-paced battle of wits and accuracy.

Dan Smullen Beer is my life profile

Hi, I'm Dan, founder of BeerIsMyLife. I've been an avid homebrewer for over ten years, and beer is my true passion. I've traveled all over the world, visiting breweries, tasting beer, as well as making my own batches. I set up this blog to share that experience with you.