Find a nice flat surface on your lawn, in a parking lot, the beach, etc. Set up your boards directly facing each other with 27 feet between the front edge of each board. Cornhole can be played with 2 or 4 players. Pick which side of the board you’ll throw from. In a 4-player game, your partner’s pitching box will be directly across from you. In a 2-player game, if you start throwing from the left side of the board, you’ll walk directly across to the other board, and throw back from the right side. Lastly, pick your bags (4 for each team) and get ready to play!
Decide who goes first (usually the ugliest person) then take turns throwing bags with your opponent. You throw one bag, then your opponent, then you, then your opponent, etc. Your feet may not go past the front edge of the board. If they do, a foul is called and you get pelted with cornhole bags. Also, a tossed bag may not touch the ground. If it hits the ground and bounces up on the board, remove it before any other bags are thrown. If its hanging off the board and touching the ground, remove that as well. When all 8 bags have been tossed to the other side, add up the score (see scoring below). If you earned the most points in that single round, your team will throw first in the next round.
SCORING AND WINNING:
Scoring is simple. After all bags have been thrown, a bag remaining on the board is worth 1 point. A bag that went in the hole is worth 3 points. Add up how many points you earned and compare them to your opponents. Equal points cancel each other out so that only one team can score per round. For example, if you scored 5 points and your opponent scored 3, you will add 2 points to your overall score and your team will throw first in the next round. If you scored 6 points and your opponent scored 6 as well, there will be no points awarded and whoever threw first in the last round will throw first again. A game is won when a team reaches 21 points with a lead of 2 or more points. The first team to win 2 games wins the match.
Of course, you can play with your own rules. For example, some play with the rule that you must reach 21 exactly. If you go over in points, your score is automatically reduced to 11 and play continues. Another variation is to count every point (no negation of equal points) and see who has the most points at the end of 13 rounds.
1. Clear the area of any debris that might ruin your bags, particularly dog poop!
2. You can pace out the 27 feet, but if you’re a real fanatic you’ll keep a small measuring tape or pre-measured string attached to the undersurface of one of your boards. Fancy!!
3. Make sure your boards are in a very solid position. There is nothing worse than a moving cornhole board. Nothing!
4. Keep in mind that if you’re right handed your throwing arm will be more in line with the opposing board when you’re on the left side of the board and vice-versa if you’re left-handed.
5. Cornhole is no place for children! The little stinkers love to get in the way, steal your bags, and climb on the boards. However, studies show that a bag to the head is an excellent method for teaching children to stay away. There is one exception to the no-children rule – see #6.
6. Balance yourself by holding the other bags, a beverage, or any other random object in your non-throwing hand. This really helps! Furthermore, when your spouse tries to stop the game by insisting you hold the baby, you can thwart their evil plans by holding the baby AND playing cornhole. Its a beautiful thing.
7. Learn to toss the bag in different ways. A low, fast pitch will knock an opponents bag off the board. A high, lofty toss with some back spin will help you clear a barricade of bags without pushing your opponents into the hole. Spin your bag like a pancake and it will land gracefully on the board and slide right into the hole. The list goes on and on.
ESSENTIAL CORNHOLE TERMS:
Woody, Boarder: A bag that ends up on the board.
Cornhole, Holer, Corn in the Hole: A bag that ends up in the hole.
Dos Cornhole’ : Throwing two bags in the hole.
Holy Moly Triple Cornholy: Throwing 3 bags in the hole.
The Great Cornholio: A person that throws 4 bags in the hole. All present are required to bow down in reverence to this cornholer.
Get that corn outta my face!: A term used whenever you successfully counteract your opponent’s attempt to score. For example, when you put a bag in the hole immediately after your opponent does or when you successfully knock your opponent’s bag off the board.
Corn On The Cob: When a player puts every bag on the board.
Nothin’ But Corn: When a bag is tossed right through the hole without touching the board.
The Cornhole Song: Cornhole’s unofficial anthem – place your hand over your heart and watch the video below.
Don’t know what cornhole is?