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Cornhole Boards

Playing Cornhole 101: A Beginner's Guide On How To Play The Game Of Cornhole

I wanted to write this article because never in my ten-plus years in the cornhole biz have I ever seen so many custom cornhole boards being ordered.

 

I mean, it’s absolutely crazy. People are getting custom cornhole boards with their company logo on them and some with their local sports team. Some folks have been getting monogrammed boards with their first or last initials.

Honestly, the creativity is at an all time high. I recently saw someone get their hot rod on a set. The image was split between the boards, so when you put the two together it created a single image… very cool. And of course, the custom wedding cornhole boards. With wedding season in full swing, there have been a plethora of these flying off the shelves.

 

With all these custom cornhole boards making their way out of the factory and into the hands of so many people from so many walks of life, it made me wonder… how many people actually know how to play cornhole? I never thought that hard about it because, being from Canton, Ohio– home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and one of the bedrock areas of the sport–everyone knows how to play.

The questions I normally get are more complex like, “How should I grip the bag?” And, “How should I shift my weight when pitching?”

Then I thought an article about the basics on how to play cornhole is way overdue. So settle in for a few minutes. Get yourself in that backyard cornhole mindset. If you need an ice cold bevey to get you there, grab one, as I’m about to bring you up to speed on how to play cornhole.

 

What Kind Of Equipment Do You Need

The Cornhole Boards Are Key

I’m guessing you already have a set of boards because of the title of this article, but if not, you can check out one of my favorite cornhole board sets right over here. I wanted to touch on this first because it is the most basic and fundamental part of the game, right? Without a good quality set, you might as well start thinking about another game.

 

Cornhole boards are important, and it’s also important to know what kind of boards are out there. There are so many different sizes and styles available it’s easy for you to get lost trying to figure out which one is right for you. My recommendation is a good sturdy set that is 2’x4’ and made from a good hard wood.


I prefer a set that doesn’t have a clear coat on the surface because I enjoy having a consistent slide when I play. That lacquer coating can get sticky in the sun and slippery when it’s cold. I like to stay away from that.

 

Choosing Cornhole Bags

If you get a decent set of cornhole boards from a reputable company, they should come with a full set of cornhole bags. Sometimes there are sets that are sold a la carte so the buyer can control the cost, just like this Do-It-Yourself Set. By the way, I always think it’s important for the buyer to be in control, words I live by.

 

Believe it or not, cornhole bags come in a few different variations, and it’s important to understand what each style provides, and if it’s important to you or not. I love the new pro style bags that are all the rave but not everyone wants to pay the premium price tag for them. They are generally twice the cost of a set of corn-filled bags but I’ll tell you what, you will have to replace the corn filled bags 2 or 3 times before you replace your pro bags. The old saying applies… you get what you pay for.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bearish on corn-filled bags either. I’ve played more games in my life with these classic bags than any other type of bag. Once again, if you purchase from a good company, your classic bags will be worth every penny.

cornhole bags cta
cornhole bags cta

 

How To Keep Score?

brawlThis particular item isn’t exactly a must, but it sure does help. Most of us, yeah I said most, can do simple addition in our head and keep score to 21. It sounds super easy, or at least it should be. Now enter cocktail of choice. Ahhh, that simple addition just got a bit tougher didn’t it? Because this game is so social, it definitely helps to have a scoring tower or score card to eliminate any scuffles or beatdowns that may occur when people don’t agree on the score.  Just something to think about.

 

Now that you know what the basics are for setting up the game including cornhole boards, cornhole bags, and scoring towers let’s move on to the basics of gameplay so you can get outside and start practicing.

 

rules of cornhole button
rules of cornhole button

 

 

Now It’s Time To Learn How To Play Cornhole!

Court Setup

First things first. We have to set up the court. This is done by placing a board on a flat surface. Then measure off 27’ and place the other board directly across from the first one. This measurement should be from front end to front end. That’s it for the cornhole boards.

 

Teams or Singles

You can play this game with teams (2 vs. 2) or singles. If you’re playing teams then you stand at one end of the court next to the boards, and your teammate stands directly across from you on the other end of the court so you are looking straight at your teammate. The other team is on the opposite sides of the boards. If you are playing singles, then you will walk from one end of the court to the other after each inning.

 

Tossing Cornhole Bags

Here’s where the competition begins. When playing teams, each team gets four bags. All bags start on one side of the court. You will alternate tossing the bags against your opponent. You can decide who will throw first by flipping a coin. Now it’s time to get started. You throw, then your opponent throws until all bags have made it to the other end of the court. Then the other side will pitch them back in the same alternating fashion. If you’re playing singles, you will walk from end to end after each inning.

 

How To Score

Scoring is pretty simple. You will use a cancellation scoring system. You get 1 point for landing the bag on the board (called a woody) and 3 points for getting it in the hole (a cornhole). After all bags have been thrown you take the net score to see who actually get points. First team to 21 wins.

A Glossary of Cornhole Terms: Learn Your Vocabulary 

For example… if you land all 4 bags on the board and your opponent does the same then no points are awarded to either team. If you make one in the hole and all your other bags miss the board, and your opponent lands 1 on the board and misses all their other bags, then you would net 2 points.

 

It’s That Simple, That’s What Makes It Great

And that my friends is the basics on how to play cornhole.

This game can be played by anyone. It doesn’t matter your age or skill level. You just have to get your competitive juices going. You have to bust out your custom cornhole boards and set them up 27’ apart, choose teams and sides and start tossing until someone gets to 21. Hopefully this helps you get started. If you need more tips and insights on how to play the best backyard game of all time subscribe to our blog and check out our YouTube channel. Until next time, just keep tossing.

Slick Woodys Cornhole Company exclusive access blog
Slick Woody's Cornhole Company exclusive access (mobile CTA)

 

 


Danny Evans

Danny Evans

First I'm a husband to my beautiful wife and a father of 3 amazing children. Nothing in my life comes before my family. As long as everyone is good at home I'm a driven marketing and sales person who absolutely loves my profession and is passionate about everything I do. I've been in this industry as a professional for over 5 years and I've been a professional tailgater ever since I can remember :)


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