Who Else Wants SIMPLE Cornhole Rules?

These Cornhole rules are meant to be easy to understand. There are some rules out there that are pages and pages that basically say the same thing you see below. Cornhole is a pretty simple game. These rules are both simple and complete. They are also the most common “official” rules of the game. We figure there’s no reason to complicate things. Enjoy!

Getting Started

  • For casual play, boxes are generally set up 24ft apart from front of box to box. (For tournament play, boxes are set up 27ft apart from front of box to box)
  • To play the game you will need two teams.
  • Teams can be made up of either one or two people each.
  • For singles play (1 per team), opponents start and play from the same end.
  • For doubles play (2 per team), teammates should line up next to opposite boxes and on opposite sides.
  • Start with all bags (8) at one end.

How to Play

  • Previous game winner or coin toss should determine which team throws the first bag.
  • Alternate throws between teams until all bags are thrown.
  • The foul line is made by the front of the boxes and all throws must be made from behind the foul line.
  • If a player breaks the foul line or throws out of turn, the player will lose a turn.
  • The team that scores the most points in a round, starts the throwing for the next round.
  • If the round is tied the last team to win a round throws first.
  • Any bag that touches the ground during a throw should be removed from the board and not counted.

Points

  • 1 point for any bag thrown that is on the board but not touching the ground.
  • 3 points for any bag in the hole
  • Any bag that touches the ground during the throw or while hanging from the board does not count.

Tallying the Score

  • For each throwing round, the team with the most points wins the round and subtracts the other team’s points from theirs.
  • The difference is added to the team’s score that won the round.
  • The first team to 21 wins.

56 Responses to Who Else Wants SIMPLE Cornhole Rules?

  1. Daniel June 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    Ok so forget the bust rules right now….the majority of ppl I play with state if I make one in the hole and they make one on the board I get 2 points….ACA says that only holes in can cancel holes in and on boards can only cancel on boards….so if I made a hole and dude makes on board I get 1 he gets 3…..why do ppl insist on everything cancels everything?? Why should your on board decrease my hole in which was a better shot?? Is there anyone else that agrees that boards should only cancel boards and holes only cancel holes???

  2. Daniel June 13, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    I meant I get 3 he gets 1

  3. RollTide October 27, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    @Daniel – Yes, there are others (myself included) who agree that hole only cancels hole & board (in-the-count) only cancels board (in-the-count) but you’ll be hard pressed to find them as the majority of the amateur cornholing population seem to be misinformed about the proper way to score the game.
    Per the ACA Official Rules for Cornhole – “In cancellation scoring, corn bags in-the-hole and corn bags in-the-count pitched by opponents during an inning or half of an inning in doubles play cancel each other out. Only non cancelled corn bags are counted in the score for the inning.”
    Aside from this being the correct – and official – way to keep score, it also allows for a more fair & balanced game, especially between players/teams of unequal skill. Both sides have the opportunity to score points in each inning/frame therefore reducing the likelihood of the better team scoring all of the points in every inning & basically, running away with the game.
    But, as I have learned, it’s impossible to replace “convenient” with “correct” – at least it is with my people & they insist on using the “redneck scoring system” as I call it, where everything cancels everything & a beautiful cornholed shot can be cheapened by a mediocre board bag! :)

  4. Charzar July 25, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    When you play to 21 exactly and your team goes over (go back to 11,13 or 15 depending on what rules you play with), who leads the next round? The team who scored the most points, but got bumped back to 15?

  5. Ben July 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Charzar,

    The team that goes over 21 (and therefore will have the most points) will throw first during the next round after being bumped down to 11, 13 or 15.

  6. Vapor September 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    Well I’m fairly new to Cornhole, been playing for just a few months, I guess I’m just naturally good at it, as everyone wants me on their team, and we rarely lose. I live in Texas, and there is a big dispute over a “local”” bust rule”. Playing the way they play here, we had 20 points, and it took us 45 min to get the win, that’s without dropping our score to 11, 15, or anything. I’ll try to explain what they do here locally, and would love your feedback.

    When a team gets to 21 or more, the other team gets to throw all their bags, and their opponnents bags, in an effort to cancel out the other teams score.

    For example: The game we played the other day, my team had 20 points, to the other team’s 14 points. I threw my 1st bag and got a cornhole which is 3 points. The other team threw and got a woody, so 1 point. So at this point the score would be essentially 22 – 14 with their woody cancelling 1 of the 3 points from my cornhole, and 3 bags each left to complete the round.

    Here is the crazy twist—- I do not throw my next bag, instead they say my opponent throws another bag, and gets to keep throwing until they cancel my score back down to below 21. Here is how it went on the next few tosses.

    Opponent throws, bag lands off board (2 bags left, I have 3)

    Opponnent throws, bag lands off the board (1 bag left, I have 3)

    Opponent throws their “last bag” and gets a woody (1 point) so now the score is essentially 21 – 14 with them cancelling out 1 more of my points.

    Opponent has no more bags, I have 2bags, I have 21, they have 14. I think the game is over, or if anything I need to throw my 3 bags short, and I win, or on the board, and go higher if not playing “bust” for going over 21.

    Instead I have to give my opponent 1 of my bags, they throw it, get a cornhole (3 points) and now the score is basically 20-16, and I have 2 bags left.

    Since I have 2 more bags, and have not yet “hit 21″ I throw a bag, and I get a woody, (1 point) my score goes back up to 21, with them at 15 (I think I figured theirs right) I have 1 bag left.

    Since I have 21, they again get to throw my bag (my last bag) and they throw a cornhole, (3 points)

    So in that round, I threw 2 bags, for a total of 4 points, opponent threw all 4 of their bags, plus 2 of mine for a total of 8 points. 4 of mine cancel out 4 of theirs, they end up with 4 points positive, with a final score after the round of my team still at 20 the opposing team is now at 18.

    I think this is insanity, unless the goal is to prolong the game, and piss people off in the process. What do y’all think.?

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