Drinking game of the week: innies and outies

    After a long (long) hiatus, I bring you an all-new, completely original drinking game for your enjoyment.

    A product of drinking in our New Jersey basement circa 4 a.m. in late December, “Innies and Outies” could have been brushed off as a drunken, confusing fluke. But after several rounds between myself, my brother and our friends Aron, Gina, and Zuz, the game became more than just a fluke. It became a straight-up battle.

    Game: Innies and Outies

    Similar to: Beer Pong


      4 people – 2 per team (plus one optional “Backboard Kid”)
      1 table
      1 chair (or other table. or the ground.)
      19 Solo cups
      2 ping pong balls
    The setup. Illustration by North by Northwestern.

    1. Each team sets up their seven cups in a honeycomb formation – one cup in the middle (the innie) and six cups surrounding it (the outies).
    2. Two cups go in the center of the table, about two cups’ width apart in a line – these are your bonus cups.
    3. Another two cups serve as standard water cups.
    4. Finally, one cup goes on a chair far from the table. This is your Endgame Cup. Fill all the cups halfway with beer, besides the water cups, obvs.

    Like beer pong, each team takes turns shooting at the cup formation opposite them. However, in this game, you only want to get the ball in the center cup. If you hit the innie, your opponent must take one of your outies out of play and drink the beer. If you hit any of the outies, you must drink down that cup, put the cup back into formation and then fill it with beer again. Thus, if you continuously sink the innie, you’ll get all of your outies taken out of play and win the game. If you continuously sink the outies, you will keep drinking and drinking until somehow, you start hitting the innie.

    Now, for the bonus cups. Every time you miss the table without your ball even touching the cups (referred to as “rimming” or “teasing”), you must drink one of the bonus cups in the center of the table. Play continues if there is one bonus cup in the center, but when a team misses and has to drink the second bonus cup, the other team gets 4 shots on their next turn as opposed to 2. After taking the bonus shots, both bonus cups come back into play and the game continues. Having those extra shots comes in handy though, if you want to…go for the Endgame Cup.

    The Endgame Cup is extremely hard to make and you shouldn’t bother wasting a regular turn trying to hit it as you will most likely miss completely and end up drinking a bonus cup. However, if you have an extra shot, you can take a no-penalty try for the Endgame Cup.

    As the name implies, if either team sinks the Endgame cup, the game ends and the other team drinks all of the remaining beer on the table. If you’d like to shoot for the Endgame, you must turn to your Backboard Kid and say, “Zuz, I’d like to end the game, please.” The Backboard Kid then completes his sole function – to retrieve the ball should the Endgame shot go haywire (note: The Backboard Kid is only necessary when playing in a space with lots of crevices, like a basement).

    After one team clears all their cups, the other team has one chance to hit the Endgame Cup. If they are able to, the game starts over. If not, the game ends and they drink everything left in their cups.

    It’s slightly confusing, but I think you will find it superior to beer pong. You can’t leave this to pure luck — if you’re not a sureshot, you’ll be drinking twice as much as planned. The game is best suited for smaller parties because it can keep going for a long time.

    “Innies and Outies” in a nutshell: Hit the innies, eliminate the outies, don’t whiff the table and take a chance on the Endgame cup.

    You’ll get used to it.


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