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How to play the game Cup Stack Off

How to play the game Cup Stack Off

This deceptively-easy game is always a hit at our St. Patrick's Party. The minute-to-win-it vibe of this cup challenge gets the whole group out of the chairs and up on their feet.


  • 1 jumbo pack of paper/plastic cups (at least 10 for each player)
  • 1 die for each player
  • 3 tokens/chips per player


  • To be the player/team with the tallest cup tower at the end of a 8 min round (or until all the cups are in use).


  • Player can only use one hand to place cups. The table surface cannot be touched/bumped by any player.
  • Once cups are placed, they cannot be moved. Cups can be stacked in any arrangement (pyramid, column, etc).
  • If a tower partially falls, all cups must be removed.
  • If a player causes an opponents tower to topple, they lose their next turn. The opponents tower can be reconstructed.


Place all the cups in the center of the table. If your table is small, you may want players to build on different surfaces (like chairs or the floor) to avoid crowding each other. Working in teams or separately, players take turns shaking their dice in their closed hands. The number showing is the number of cups they can add to their tower. If the cups stay stacked, play moves to the next player. If they fall, all their cups must be removed and play moves on to the next player.

On any turn, a player may choose to play a token. A token offers three options, a re-roll (roll the die again), a hold (they choose one player/team to skip their next turn), or a double (doubling the value of the die). Each token type can only be played once per player per 8-min game round.

At the end of the set time (we do 8-min), or when the center cups have all been used, measure the cups to determine which tower is the tallest.

The Fun Part: 

The gamble is always in the building. Do you create a solid foundation and risk not getting high enough or go for a shaky skyscraper. Either way, this game is full of suspense and fun.

To find the full party instructions, invitations and decorations in my shop, click here.

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