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How to Play Cornhole on Professional Cornhole Boards

Playing cornhole is becoming increasingly popular these days. It’s a fun and relatively relaxed game that gathers teammates with a bit of good, old-fashioned rivalry. You can play seriously in tournaments or just enjoy time with friends and family.

Following the cornhole rules isn’t too hard. There are some special rules, but most of them are general and easy to remember. This gives you a great opportunity to play and have some fun but also to make sure you’re playing right.

Check out this guide packed with all of the rules and some tips and tricks for playing.

Prepare Your Game

The first step to playing is to set your cornhole boards up properly. In professional cornhole or league rules, there are specific distances for the boards to be placed during the game.

The rules for preparation include setting up your boards and determining where each player stands throughout the game.

Let’s start with the cornhole boards. If you’re playing at home, some people just try to walk out an estimated difference. However, the official rules are that the ends of the cornhole boards should be spaced 27 feet apart.

The boards face each other and are set at an angle with the hole facing the opposing team.

Now for the stance. When you pitch in games like softball you stand in a box. This is a similar concept. While there is not really a box, you can imagine one right next to the cornhole board. This is where you stand. Anywhere in that box is fine, and you stand still when you toss.

The Basics

Now let’s talk about the game itself. If you’re here, you’re probably familiar with the basics of cornhole. This game places two large boards facing each other at a distance.

Each team gets a set of beanbags and at the appropriate times, they will toss their bags towards the opposing cornhole board. The goal is to make it through the hole in the board, but you also gain points by landing on the board.

Matches can be played with teams or as singles. The concept and the point system stay the same either way. All bags are tossed and then scores recorded before any bags are retrieved.

If you’re playing by the official rules of the game, be aware that:

  • Taking a step when you toss is considered a foul
  • The bean bag should always be thrown in an underhand toss

Keeping Score

There are times when your plays need to be strategic to score the most points. The first team that reaches 21 points wins the game. However, there is a catch. You don’t want your team to go over 21 points. That’s where strategy comes in.

In the official rules, if your team goes over 21, you actually have to go back to 11 points. You certainly don’t want that to happen, as it might just be what the other team needs to take the lead.

Here’s the scoring system:

  • Each bag that goes through the hole is worth 3 points
  • Each bag that lands on the board is worth 1 point
  • A bag that lands on or slides to the ground is worth 0 points

Overall, it’s a pretty simple concept.

One other side rule that isn’t official but could add some challenge and excitement to a game is to make the winning team win by at least 2 points.

If you can remember the points per bag and that you need 21 points, you’ve got the knowledge to win the game!

There is a twist to keeping score. It’s the hardest part of the scoring process. Rather than just adding up your total number of points, it’s actually an aggregate of both team’s points.

Say that you score 4 points in a round and the other team scores 3. You scored the highest so you get the points for that round. But it’s not actually 4 points. Your ending score for the round will be your points minus the opposing team’s points.

So, it looks like this. 4 – 3 = 1 and you end the round with 1 point as the score. The other team adds no points.

Because of this, the goal is to not only reach 21 but to try to score more than your opponents each round to actually tally up points.

Bonus Tips

Now that you’ve got the basic rules and game details in front of you, let’s look at some additional details. These are your bonus tips. We make no promises, but they might just help you win the game!

  • Always aim for the board rather than the hole. You’re more likely to at least hit the board and possibly slide into the hole this way.
  • If you can master a toss that adds just a touch of spin, you can strategize your throws even more.
  • Try to relax and have fun. You play better that way!
  • Get a cornhole set for home to practice and improve your skills. Then you can play tournaments if that is your goal.

Custom Professional Cornhole Boards

If you’re ready to get your cornhole game on, you need some high-quality custom cornhole boards. That’s where we come in! Skip’s Garage makes a ton of different options from sports teams to personalized and everything in between.

You can select an existing design or create something of your own. It’s totally up to you. We’re happy to help get you set up. Our boards are all handmade for you to enjoy for many years to come.

How can we help you with your cornhole needs?

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