Cornhole rules

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Cornhole Player's Rules | Basic Cornhole Rules

Playing Area

-- Two Cornhole Boards should be placed on a flat surface, with the front edges 27 feet apart. -- The pitching areas are located on either side of the box, with the foul line being the line parallel to the front edge of the platform. -- A player may toss from anywhere behind the front of the platform from which they are throwing, but all turns should be taken from the same side of the platform as the first toss.

Playing Equipment

-- The Cornhole Board's playing surface is 24" x 48". -- The front end should be 4” off of the ground. The rear of the platform should be 12” high. -- The hole in the cornhole platform should be a 6” hole, centered 9” from the back and 12” from either side. -- The bags should be made from duck canvas, and may be any color that is easy to see during Cornhole play. Each bag is filled with approximately 2 cups of feed corn. Finished bags should be a minimum of 6" X 6" square and weigh between 14 and 16 ounces. -- The game should be played with 8 bags. Each team will have 4 bags, all of the same color, usually a color easily distiguishible from the other team’s bags.


3 points - a bag that goes through the hole completely.

1 point - a bag remains on the playing surface, a bag that is hanging into the hole, but does not fall completely through, a bag that is hanging off the edge of the platform, but does not touch the ground.

0 points – a bag that hits the ground before coming to rest on the platform, a bag that is on the playing surface, but is also touching the ground or another bag that lies on the ground, a bag that is hanging off the front edge and is resting on a cornhole bag that is on the ground.

  • A bag that bounces on to the board should be removed before the next player tosses.
  • Scoring is done by cancellation. The difference of both teams scores is the score given to the highest scoring team. If both teams score the same amount, no team will receive any points.

Game Play

  • In Cornhole doubles play partners shall stand at opposite cornhole boards on the same side. In singles play both players will throw from the same board.
  • Each team will have 4 bags of one color, all 8 cornhole bags begin at one end.
  • If an agreement can not be made as to which team shall take the first turn of the game, a coin flip will suffice.
  • The first team will then begin by throwing a cornhole bag at the opposite platform.
  • Teams take alternate throws until all 8 cornhole bags have been thrown. Teams then count the points scored during the round.
  • After scoring, the teams on the opposite end will then take their turns in the same manner. The team scoring the most points in the previous round will throw first to start the turn.
  • Play continues until either team reaches the 21 points.

Variation to scoring

  • Since 2001 there has been a scoring variation to the game in areas around the Midwestern United States.

The variation is as follows: 1st team to 21 WITHOUT GOING OVER wins. If you "bust" you go back down to 15. If your team has achieved 21 you simply continue in turn as you normally would, except you throw your bag short or to the side. Your opponent will continue to get on the board to negate any bags you have already placed on the board.

This makes the last few rounds of the game more interesting because opponents are often trying to put bags on without going in the hole.

  • Advantages - Adds a level of challenge to the end of the game
  • Disadvantages - It often results in a game lasting 3-5 minutes longer then usual. This is why you will not see this variation played at ACA tournaments. They need the games to keep moving along.
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