Ping pong, also known as table tennis to those who play more competitively, is an international favorite. People play in garages, bars, homes and community centers worldwide. The rules, while varying slightly, are pretty uniform wherever the game is played. But, many don’t know that many other entertaining games using the ping pong table have emerged over the years. Here are five that you may want to give a try.

1. Round robin (sometimes called ‘run around the table’)

If you have more than two people, rather than make people wait to play the winner, you can play this fast-paced game. The game starts with two players in the opposing ends of the table holding paddles. In addition to these players, there are also at least one, but usually more, players standing along the other two sides of the table, waiting. Once the person with the ball serves to the other side, he/she drops the paddle and the next person to their left jumps in and grabs the paddle. The person on the other side returns the serve to the new player. If the new player returns it, then they drop their paddle and rotate. Every player continues to hit once and rotate until someone isn’t able to return the hit ball over the net. That person loses a point. All start with five points (or sometimes three) and move down to zero before being eliminated. The last person standing wins.

2. Table squash

Squash is played against a wall, where one player hits the ball against the wall and the other returns it, and back and forth until someone cannot return the ball into play. Table squash is played like a combination of this and ping pong. The table should be put against a wall, and then the players play a normal game of table tennis, but instead of serving over the net, they serve against the wall, bouncing it into the opponent’s side of the table. Scoring is done the same way as with ping pong.

3. Ping pong basketball

There are a number of ways to play this game, but they all begin with two cups taped down on opposing sides of the table. The players stand on each side of the table behind their “goal” and try to score on their opponent’s cup by either throwing with their hands or serving with the paddles. In some variations, they can play defense and block the other player’s shots, but this may make scoring too difficult. Scoring can be tallied using basketball rules or ping pong rules.

4. Ball around the table

This game is a little similar to round robin, but instead of people running around the table, each player stays in a spot around the table and hits the ball to the player next to them. Each player will need a paddle in this game. Scoring is done similarly to round robin. Those failing to return the ball to the next player in the circle will lose a point, or maybe gain a letter if using scoring like the basketball game ‘horse.’

5. Beer pong

It may not be family friendly, but this is probably the most popular game played on a ping pong table that is not regulation table tennis. Beer pong, sometimes called Beirut, involves a triangle of red solo cups filled partially with a choice beverage (usually beer, but non-drinkers and those not old enough to imbibe can use a non-alcoholic option). The game is often played in pairs, each team shooting from opposite sides of the pool table. They take turns lofting a ping pong ball towards their opponents’ cup triangle, trying to land inside one. Any cup that is scored on is eliminated from play, and someone from the team must drink the contents of that cup. Once all the cups are eliminated, the team with remaining cups wins.

Triangle Home Gamerooms has a wide selection of ping pong tables

Those living in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Morrisville and the surrounding areas of the Triangle who are interested in purchasing a ping pong table should see our options. We don’t care which of these games you use the table for, as long as you’re having fun and being responsible. Come by our location or give us a call at (919) 661-2738 for more information.