Introduction: How to Play Cornhole
Cornhole is a simple game played by all ages. The goal of cornhole is to score more points than your opponents, which is accomplished by throwing bags onto a nearby cornhole board. This Instructable will go through the required materials, explain how to set up a game, show you how the scoring works, and teach you how to play.
Step 1: Get the Materials
To play a game of cornhole, you will need:
- 2 cornhole boards
- 2 sets of 4 cornhole bags (separate colors or designs)
- 2 or 4 players
- an open space
- a measuring device (such as a tape measure).
Step 2: Set Up the Game
- Start by placing one cornhole board on a flat, unobstructed area.
- Measure 27 feet from the lower end of the first board using the tape measure or other measuring device.
Note: The official standard is 27 feet, but the distance can be adjusted for different skill levels.
- Place the second board at the end of the 27 feet so that the board mirrors the first and both boards are facing each other. (See image)
Note: The image above is not 27 feet, but shows the correct orientation of the boards.
- Place each set of bags on one of the boards.
- Pick a side next to the board to throw from. Your opponent will stand on the other side of the board as you. If you are playing with 4 people, your teammate will be the person across from you at the other board.
Step 3: Understand the Scoring
- Bags that are on the board at the end of the round are worth 1 point.
- Bags that made it through the hole are worth 3 points.
- Bags that are not on the board at the end of the round are worth no points.
- Points from that round cancel out at the end of the round.
- The game ends when a team gets exactly 21 points.
Team Red lands 1 bag in the hole and 1 on the board, which sums to 4 points. (1 * 3 + 1 * 1 = 4)
Team Green lands 2 bags on the board, which sums to 2 points. (0 * 3 + 2* 1 = 2)
However, only Team Red adds 2 points to their total score. (4 - 2 = 2)
Step 4: Begin the Game
- Start by placing either foot next to the front edge of the cornhole board.
- Throw one of your bags to the other side. Aim to land the bag on the board (and to stay on the board) or into the hole in the board.
- Alternate step 2 between you and your opponent next to you.
- End each round when both you and your opponent run out of bags.
- Add the total points for each team and find the difference between them. The team with the most points that round will add the difference to their score.
Example: if Team Red scores 4 points and Team Green scores 2 points, Team Red adds 2 points to their total score (4 - 2 = 2)
- If a team’s total reaches 21 exactly, that team wins.
If a team scores over 21 points, their score is ‘reset’ to 15 and the game continues.
Optional rule: if one team reaches 11 points and the other team has yet to score a single point, the team with 11 points wins automatically and 'skunks' the other team.
- If you are playing a game with four people, your partners will throw the bags back to your side.
If you are playing a game with two people, walk directly across to the other side and throw the bags back to the original boards.
Step 5: Tips and Tricks
- If your bags slide on or off the board, try to throw your bags so that when they hit the board, one whole side of the bag makes contact with the board.
- If your bags tend to hit the board and slide off the end, try to give the bag more arc on your throw so that the bag lands flat on the board.
- Try different feet configurations if your stance doesn’t feel right. Make sure not to step past the front of the board, though.
- If your team would win the game with what the board holds at the moment, but there are still bags to be thrown, you should throw your bags to the side instead of risking the chance of busting your score.
- If your bags are all close to falling into the hole, try to throw a remaining bag directly at the bags on the board so that the thrown bag will knock the bags into hole.
- If one of your opponent’s bags is hanging off of the edge or close to the edge, try to knock theirs off while landing your bag on the board.
Step 6: Final Thoughts
Now that you know how to set up and play a game of cornhole, keep practicing! Once you get the hang of throwing the bags, cornhole is a game of strategy. If you encounter anyone that doesn’t know how to play cornhole, teach them how to play or refer them to this Instructable!
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