My brother and I learned of the cup game at a Yankees-Indians match in 1996. The Yankees, they of loaded roster and eventual World Series title, began Brian Boehringer that afternoon and got slaughtered. Beyond just being in Yankee Stadium for the first time and Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez homering, the drunks in the front of us were the key source of amusement. That is mainly because over the duration of the three-hour cup match, they had been responsible for a section’s value of swear words, which at ages 11 and 9 we believed was the funniest thing we’d ever seen.
The cup game (swearing really optional) is the easiest option for how to bet on baseball and keeps you going through any blowout. It’s a perfect option for people attending a match with lots of extraneous dollar bills without a forethought.
The basics: 3-6ish players, one cup, ideally rinsed. Plenty of $1 bills. Strangers in your row welcome if you keep your eye on their sneaky hands when they are in possession of the cup. Put in money and collect cash from the cup dependent on the game’s events.
The rules: These can vary, but they need to be written down in pen before the game begins. The cup begins with the very first person in the row and is passed one batter at a time, changing hands when a new batter enters the box. Players need to pay or collect based on what happens when they are holding the cup. For beginners at this, try out a $1 ante, cover $2 for an outside, $3 for a strikeout, $5 for a double play, $20 for a triple play. Do not make a lot of collections, since you would like to keep the pot large. Maybe collect $1 for every base on a hit and $3 for every run. What you’re playing is that the whole pot goes into the holder on a house run (with a re-ante) and if the match ends.
Variants: Oh, a lot of things. Throw at $20 if a person gets ejected while you are holding the cup. Maybe decide on some trigger event before the game such as a 1-2-3 double play which pays just like a home run. From the time you’re experts at this, the balance sheet of plus-plays and minus-plays need to be more than a page long.
Just a little math: No matter how many players are playing, try to take a seat in the next seat from the beginning of the game. (Your battle over the third seat in the row must look something like this.) Eighty-five of this home runs in the top of the very first last year came in the No. 3 hitter compared to 59 from the leadoff man and 38 from the No. 2 hitter.
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