While the college student fed establishments have always endorsed the drinking game staples such as beer pong and flip cup, more mainstream bars are starting to embrace the allowing of patrons to compete in those, and other, drinking games at any given time these days. From the drinking classics to the less intense pace-setters, here are a few bars in the Tampa Bay area that provide an alternate way to consume and enjoy your adult beverage.

(photo credit: peabodysbilliards.com)

15333 Amberly Drive
Tampa, FL 33647
(813) 972-1725

Peabody’s may look like a giant sports emporium on the outside, and during the day, it is, but at night it’s a college kid haven. Featured on Sunday nights is a buy-in beer pong tournament that requests all to sign up by 11 p.m. for a $10 entry fee.  If you are one of the top three teams who can sink enough ping pong balls into beer-filled cups, you will collect a cash prize at the end of the night.  Now if you don’t want to pay-to-play, Peabody’s Tuesday Wing Night allows you to get in on pick-up games in the back area lounge, free of charge.  Well, aside from buying the beer to play, of course.

(photo credit: whiskeyjoestampa.com)

Whiskey Joe’s
7720 West Courtney Campbell Causeway
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 281-0770

Outside Whiskey Joe’s on the famous Barefoot Bar, one will be able to jump in on the many corn hole boards set-up on the beach just off the water. It’s pretty much first come first serve, but most patrons usually share the toys so everyone can get in on the beanbag tossing game. Day or night, this trendy two-to-four player game is always on-tap. And this would definitely be considered one of the more chilled drinking games on the circuit.

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(photo credit: macdintons.com)

405 South Howard Ave.
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 251-8999

Flip Cup can happen at this joint similar to how a flash mob can randomly appear in a major metropolitan city. One minute, it’s just your typical bar scene outing and the next, two rows of teams form on each side of a table and the relay drink and flip race begins. The endless amount of players makes MacDinton’s one of the more popular––and intense––drinking games out there. Weeknights are your best bet to join in on a game at night, but if you can create room at one of the patio table tops, it’s always game on. And this game is the equivalent to a magnet, as people will instantly want to jump in and take on the winners.

(photo credit: yardofalesoho.com)

Yard of Ale
406 South Howard Ave.
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 251-4433

Armed with the most drinking games that will remind one of their childhood, this spot reminds its thirsty visitors that drinking doesn’t have to be a race. With life-size versions of Jenga and Connect Four, the steady flow of alcohol turns the simplest of games into a challenging pastime event. Most of the fun happens on Sunday, when Yard of Ale will also set-up the corn hole boards. If it gets crowded, sometimes the games will be put away, but there’s always a chance that on an off night, these three games, along with the occasional pick-up flip cup game, will be on-hand and ready to go.

(photo credit: gasparsgrotto.com)

Gaspar’s Grotto
1805 E. 7th Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 200-7731

If while rummaging through Ybor City the urge to add some entertaining atmosphere to your drinking agenda strikes, Gaspar’s Grotto is your ideal destination. Four beer pong tables are housed in the rear of the main room of the pirate-themed watering hole. The encasing environment tries to embody the feel of the month long Gasparilla pirate parade celebration that takes place in Tampa Bay every year. And lively beer pong matches are always part of that equation.

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Joe Belcastro is an established journalist based in Tampa, Florida. His vast coverage of the local, national, & international scene has led his work to appear all over the world in respected print and online publications. After making a name for himself in the realm of film criticism, his candid approach & style to reporting has enabled him to cover such beats as music and nightlife, all while conducting interviews with people who have way more money than him. His work can be found at Examiner.com.