Tailgate Party Games: Chandeliers

There is no more iconic Tailgate Party Game than Chandeliers, that ice-breaking combo of beer pong, flip cup and chugging.

Chandeliers can be played with any glasses or containers as long as they are all the same in the outer circle and a large one in the center. However, the Red Solo cup is King.

OK, so for those of you who have been walled up in a convent for the last few years and are out of touch with the rules of Chandeliers, here’s how you play.

What you need:

1 small red cup per person (a cup set in front of each player).  I like the shot sized ones because the game can continue longer but any size is fine, even the 12 oz but don’t fill it. Leave room for the ball or quarter.

Lil' Reds Mini Solo Cup Shot Glasses

Lil’ Reds Mini Solo Cup Shot Glasses

1 x 18 oz Center Cup filled to the brim for chugging.

1 ping pong ball (plus a few spares).  Wash’em if you don’t believe that beer cures all ills.  Some people use quarters but you never quite know where they’ve been.  If you decide to use quarters, then soak them in bourbon to kill the germs.

Stiga 3-Star Orange Table Tennis Balls, 6-Pack

Stiga Orange Table Tennis Balls

Table – a round one is best.   In any case, sit or stand in a circle around it.  OK – realistically, you will start off standing, slip into a chair after a few rounds and end the game on the ground.

 NFL Rally Towel

NFL Rally Towel

A bar towel or two to soak up spills.

Fill a cup with a drink of the party’s choice (say, the signature beer, cocktail, shot or wine) to the brim and place it in the middle of a table.

Players sit/stand (or lean) in a circle.

Each player has a filled cup (for a Solo cup pour to the top line, not the brim – leave room for the ball) in front of him/her.  Player cups surround the center cup in a circle.   Note that this works best with beer as many drinks go down the hatch in the course of the game.

Players take turn bouncing a ping pong ball into the cups from the edge of the table, and whichever cup it lands in the person who owns the cup must drink the contents and then refill it.  If using a quarter, just throw it.

If the ball lands in the bouncer’s cup, then the bouncer has to drink everything in his/her cup as well as the center cup.

If the ball lands in the center cup, then everyone has to drink everything in his/her cup, flip it on the table edge and the last person to set his or her cup down has to chug the center cup as well.

If the bouncer misses all cups, he/she passes the ball to the person on the left.

Whenever a cup is emptied in the course of the game, it is to be refilled.

The game continues till everyone is too wasted to continue.  A curve ball can be thrown into the mix by targeting a specific person’s cup.

VARIATION: While it’s really not fair to mix containers sizes and shapes, you may draw for cups and then each player has an advantage depending on what they choose for their cup.  And also, that system will allow for individual tastes.  So if you are a beer drinker and the missus is a tequila drinker, you can choose your red cups or glasses accordingly putting your signature cocktail in the center or a massive beer.  Trawl through our reviews of glasses and Solo cups for some inspiration here.