How to Play Cornhole

Cornhole, also known as Bag Toss, is currently one of the most popular backyard or tailgating games. It’s appeal is wide-ranging. Almost anyone can play and the necessary pieces are easy to make. All that’s required are two platforms, four feet long by two feet wide with a six-inch hole cut near the top. The platforms are inclined with the rear of the platform 12 inches off the ground. Six six-inch square beanbags are also required.

The platforms are placed about 10 yards apart and teams of two take turns throwing the bags underhanded back and forth, attempting to score. Teammates stand on opposite ends of the course, like Horseshoes. One teammate will toss his three beanbags and then the opponent on the same side of the course will throw his three bean bags. Players are not allowed to step past the front of the platform when tossing the bean bags. 

Scoring in Cornhole is also similar to that of Horseshoes. A bean bag that lands on the platform and stays is worth one point and bean bags that are thrown through the hole on the platform are worth three. A bean bag must not hit the ground before striking the platform. If it does, it’s worth no points. The game continues until one team scores or exceeds 21 points.

Cancellation scoring is typically used, meaning that one player may cancel out an opposing player’s score in a particular round. If Player A lands one bean bag on the platform and one bean bag through the hole, then his opponent gets two through the hole, the opponent’s six points cancel out the four Player A got, resulting in two points for the round. 

The team that scored the most points in the last round is the first to toss in the next round. If no one scores, the game continues on in the same rotation. A player may knock his opponents bean bags off the platform during his turn, preventing the opponent from scoring. This adds significantly to the strategy of the game. Obviously, the best way to win the game is to toss the bean bag through the hole on the opposing platform. The only recourse for the opposing team in this situation is to match the score. 

The official sanctioning body for Cornhole is the American Cornhole Association. They hold several tournaments throughout the year and establish the official rules for Cornhole. If you feel like you’re good enough, visit their website and sign up for a tournament with your team!