How To Play Cornhole

If you are new to cornhole, this set has everything you need to get started.

How to Play Cornhole

The (Mostly) Official Rules for Cornhole

If you are one of “those” people that has to follow all of the rules, here is where you can view the official cornhole game rules provided by the “American Cornhole Organization” (ACO).

Setting up the board

  1. Place boards on a flat surface 27 feet apart (measured from the front of one board to the front of the other).  You may need to block up the legs of the boards in order to get as close to level setup.
  2. Junior player may throw from a distance of 21 feet…closer for the really young cornholers.

27 feet apart, foul line

Cornhole Boards

  1. The cornhole board surface is 2ft x 4ft.
  2. There is a 6” diameter hole which is centered 9” from the back and 12” from the sides.

Don’t have your own boards yet?  Take our word for it, cornhole is a lot more fun when you have boards to play on.  Go and check out the wide variety of  cornhole board options in Boards.

Have your own board, but they are getting kind of tired and boring?  Check out the sweet board wraps and decals to spice up those old board in Wraps & Decals.

Cornhole Bags

  1. You are going to need a total of 8 bags –  4 bags of each color.
  2. Each bag should be 6 inches by 6 inches and have 1 pound of corn inserted into each bag.  Beware that after a while, the corn breaks down and the bags lose weight.  (When your bag hits the board and a puff of dust can be seen  Look into upgrading your bags to ones with plastic pellets.

Corn stalk

TIP: Don’t leave corn filled bags out in the rain.  They end up smelling nasty and most likely cannot be saved.  I guess you could plant them in the garden and see what happens?

Point System

  • 3 points for a bag in the hole.   Doesn’t matter how it gets there, as long as it goes all the way through the hole.
  • 1 point for a bag that is on the board surface, hanging in the hole / off the edge of the board.
  • 0 points for a cornhole bag that is not on the playing surface

Keeping Score

  • The team with the highest round score, adds the difference of the two scores to their overall game score.
  • The team that won the previous round is given “honors” to throw first in the next round.
  • When both teams have the same score in a round, then overall game score stays the same and honors stay with the team that won the previous round.  It’s not always easy to keep track of scoring and your drink.  Luckily there are some drink holding – score keeping options available out there.

Cornhole Fouls

  • If a player’s foot goes past the foot foul line. (See diagram above)
  • If a player throws a cornhole bag when it isn’t their turn.
  • The throw the foul occurs on is voided and the bag should be removed from the board.  (This really stinks if you fouled on a cornhole!  You might want to remove this bag as well so it doesn’t “accidentally” get counted at the end of the round!)

Game Play

  1. When playing doubles, partners should stand at opposite cornhole boards and on the same side. In singles play,  players pick a side and then they will throw from the same board.
  2. Each team has 4 bags of one color and all 8 cornhole bags begin at one end.
  3. A coin flip, dual, arm wrestling or rock/paper/scissors can be used to determine the team with honors in round one.
  4. The team with honors will begin play by throwing a cornhole bag at the opposite cornhole board.
  5. A player may throw from anywhere behind the front of the cornhole board they are throwing from.
  6. The players will alternate throws until all 8 cornhole bags have been thrown.
  7. If a bag hits the ground then bounces up onto the board it must be removed before any more throws.  It does not count for any points…that bag is null and void!
  8. Add up the points scored during the round. If no team has reached 21 points, then the next round is started….so on and so on until a team reaches 21. The team that scores the highest amount of points on the previous round will have honors.  Don’t get Skunked!

We hope you enjoyed this inforgraphic and instructions on how to play cornhole.  If you have any additions, or special rules you and your friends use, please share them with us!

2 thoughts on “How To Play Cornhole

  1. Hi there
    Great game The cornhole I am from Danmark and I first saw this game online last month and I will try to play this game next week, Me and my friends are going for a camping so this will be great to try and you have explained the game very good here.
    But du you think it is OK to put some small ironballs instead of corn in the Cornhole Bags?
    Thank you very much for this great explanation of the cornhole game.
    Best regards

    1. Hey there Salomon!  Thanks for stopping by The Cornhole.

      We always love to hear when the game of cornhole / bean bag toss spreads outside of the USA!

      Cornhole is a great game to take camping.  The boards take up a little space, but we’ve been able to fit out in the trunk of our car.  If you are going camping, you might need a truck or SUV with enough room for all of your gear and the boards.  But trust me, it is worth the effort.  Cornhole while out camping is the best!

      I think if you put iron balls into your bags (instead of corn or plastic pellets) you’d run into a couple of problems.

      The biggest problem would be the accelerated wear and tear on your bags and boards.  The second issue is that the weight is all wrong.  These bags will be a lot heavier and won’t slide like official cornhole bags.  

      Of course this is totally fine if that is what you want to try.  Maybe you will end up creating a new variation of the game!  Or, fill some bags with iron pellets and play a prank on someone.  Make them feel weak for not being able to toss their bags as far as you. 😉

      Have fun out there.  Enjoying camping and cornhole!

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