Cornhole

Cornhole

How to Play Cornhole with Your Friends and Family

Cornhole is one of those games that seems to have sprung up simultaneously all over the nation. Somewhat mysterious in origin, one thing is for certain: Cornhole had already developed a cult following among gamers in the American midwest by the late 1970s (even though, back then, it was still largely called the “bag toss” game). Since then, it’s exploded in popularity and become a favorite activity at backyard barbecues and other outdoor gatherings ever since.

Unsure how to play? Don’t know Cornhole’s rules? There’s no reason to worry because we’re going to lay it all out for you in this quick-and-easy guide:

What Do You Need to Play the Cornhole Game?

Cornhole can be played by two or four players at a time, and you need two platforms, boards that are 2’ wide by 4’ long with a six-inch hole in the middle at one end. These serve as your targets.

You also need four or eight Cornhole bean bags (depending on the number of players) divided into two different colors to make scoring easier. Each bag needs to be 6” by 6” and filled with one pound of seed corn.

Finally, you need a flat surface with a little bit of space. Proper Cornhole distance requires the two game boards to be facing each other with a 27-foot gap between their fronts. (Cornhole spacing can be adjusted for family games, if the players consent.)

How Do You Play Cornhole?

Players stand next to the board opposite the one used as their target. The pitching box that players can use to make their toss is that 2’ space along either side of the board. If a player steps past the front edge of the board or steps behind it, that’s a foul and the toss doesn’t count.

Here are basic Cornhole rules:

  • Decide who goes first (whether you toss a coin or declare “age before beauty” is up to you). That player makes the first toss. Then it’s the opposing player’s or team’s turn.
  • When all the bags have been thrown for that round, the points for the round are totaled and the players switch sides. Whoever won the last round gets the first throw in the next. If there was no winner, the team that went first last time goes first again.

The game continues, round by round, with each team adding up points and increasing their score until one side wins.

How Do You Win Points in Cornhole?

You aim the bags for the hole in the game boards and your score is determined by where your bag lands relative to the target. You get:

  • Three points if you get the bag through the hole
  • One point if the bag lands on the box
  • Zero points for any bags that land on the ground

If a bag lands on the board but is hanging over the side, it’s one point if it isn’t touching the ground and zero points if it does. Is a bag hanging over the side but not touching the ground because it’s supported by another bag that’s already there? It’s still zero points.

How Does Cornhole Scoring Work?

You total the points after each round and it works as follows:

  • If the players or teams have the same number of points, nobody scores in that round.
  • If one player or team scores more than the other, they get the difference between their points in that round and the other player’s points.

For example, if Player One gets four points in a round and Player Two gets one, Player One adds three points to their total score. The first player or team to hit a score of 21 wins.

The beauty of this game, like many other American favorites, is that you don’t have to have any special athletic prowess to play — or win. It’s a great, inexpensive way to spend some quality time outdoors with your family and friends.

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