December 23, 2019

11 Cornhole Techniques That Will help You Win Every Time

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Cornhole is a super fun backyard game where you throw a set of bags at a hole in a board for points. How hard can that be? Well if you have ever played at regulation, you know it takes a bit more than the ability to just throw a bag at something.

It takes timing, patience, aim, and most importantly, a bit of skill! If you want to get good at cornhole then you will want to develop some techniques that will improve your game exponentially, and luckily for you, I have them all right here.

Check out this video from some of the pros that goes over some basic techniques. Trust me when I say, these guys know what they are talking about.

If you are anything like me, you probably think you are the best Cornhole player you know...until you aren’t. I have been practicing some cornhole techniques recently and they have upped my game tremendously and helped me sink more bags, more often. If you want a high quality cornhole set that will serve you well any time of year then check out this cornhole board set on Amazon and you can start playing as soon as possible.

Stay Consistent

Throughout these techniques I am going to harp on consistency. Once you find what works for you, do the same thing every time so you can develop the muscle memory needed to sink the bags. Consistency is one of the most important factors when trying to get better at Cornhole. Make sure you stay as consistent as possible and your game will improve.

Get Your Stance Down

Just like in major sports such as baseball, stance is crucial as it builds the foundation for everything you do in cornhole. Every person is different so you need to find the stance, or footwork, that works best for you.

There are 2 major stances that people use and they are the “standing still” stance and the “step forward” stance. Let's take a quick look at each stance to see how they differ.

Standing Still Stance: 

This is exactly what it sounds like. You stand still with your legs slightly apart. They can be in any position such as slightly in front of each other or side by side, but the point of this stance is that you don’t move your feet during your throw. This method means that you are throwing with all arm. Some say this is a more controllable method, but again this depends on what feels best to you.

Step Forward Stance: 

This method involves the player stepping forward with one foot as they throw to increase momentum to heave the bag far enough to make it to the other side. This has alleged drawbacks because your steps will be different and not as consistent and you can get a foul for crossing the board line. This is the style I personally use because I find it the most comfortable.

Aim Is Essential

Without aim, you will just be throwing bags willy nilly at the board and will be so inconsistent that you will never get a grasp on what you truly need to work on. The best place to aim is actually not right at the hole, unless you have tons of practice and know you can make it every time. The best place to aim is the center of the board horizontally and about 8 inches up from the bottom.

Depending on the slickness of your boards, you may have to adjust this by a few inches. The reason for this is that you can aim for the board just before the hole and the momentum from your throw should slide the bags into the hole.

If they don’t slide in the hole they will at least be on the board for possible points and possible blockers for your opponents to have to throw over and try to get it directly into the hole, which I will discuss a little further down.

How Do You Hold Your Bean Bag?

Holding your bag the right way is another thing you want to make sure you get right because it can negatively affect your game play as well. You don’t want to grab the corners or throw the bag unevenly because your bags will tumble through the air and most likely land in an odd position on the board.

This can cause your bags to tumble off the board or slide at all and come to a dead stop. This reduces the effectiveness of the throws and is overall a less efficient way to throw.

There are many styles to gripping your bag but most people use the grip method shown in the video above where you grip about half the beans with your thumb on the top side and your other four fingers underneath and then spin the bag during your throw. Another popular method is to grip the same way but to throw the bag flat so it lands evenly on the board.

Add A Bit Of Spin

I talked a bit about this in the last technique of grip, but one of the most popular ways to throw is to add spin to your bag. This has the distinct advantage of evening out the beans in the bag and allowing the bag to slide better once it hits the board. The best way to spin the bag is to have it spin horizontally. This takes a lot of practice to get right but trust me, when you get it, it will be a game changer.

Avoid Throwing Line Drives

Cornhole is a game of finesse mostly and things you want to avoid are throwing line drives. Line drives are basically straight shots aimed right at the board. These shots have little to no arc and have a lot of extra momentum that is used to get the bag to the board. This will cause the bag to slide or tumble off the board. 

How To Throw Your Bean Bag: Give It Some Arc

Line drives are not a good way to throw your bag, so how should you throw? Well the secret is, give your bag some arc. The more arc you give, the less the bag will slide on the board. Throwing at an arc will also allow you to make shots over opponents bags directly into the hole. These shots are called airmail and are covered a bit more later on.

Using arc in your throws is a key technique that every cornholer should make sure they have down. Figure out the amount of arc that is right for you and try to use that same arc everytime you throw. This consistency will develop muscle memory and have you sinking bags before you know it.

Slide It On The Cornhole Board

I mentioned sliding the bags on the board a bit before but now let's talk a bit more. For beginners, sliding the bag on the board is a great technique that will allow you to make shots without having to be able to make it directly into the hole.

Using your aim, arcing your throws, and hitting the right spot on the board can slide your bag right into the hole, or just before the hole, blocking your opponents next shot.

Develop Your Throwing Style

I have been harping on consistency throughout all these techniques and figuring out your style of toss is no exception. Find the tossing style that suits you best and stick to it.

Frisbee Toss

The frisbee toss is the most popular and involves spinning the bag just before you release allowing the bag to flatten out and spin.

Sling Toss

This is a method that a lot of beginners use where you grip the corner of the bag and throw the bag from that corner. This is an inferior throw and makes the bag flip around on its edges and will tumble once it hits the board.

Overhand

Overhand is a throw that is not typically seen and is illegal in tournaments. Overhand throwing is just like you see in baseball where you grab the bag and throw it over your shoulder.

Fold Toss

I have seen a few people fold up their bag to “reduce the drag” while flying through the air. I personally don’t like this method because it is not consistent.

bean bags tossed onto a target board - Cornhole Techniques
Red and white cornhole game board with blue and yellow beanbags on green grass.

Learn The 4 Essential Cornhole Throws

There are four throws that are essential when playing cornhole and they each have their place.

Slider

I have already talked about the slider but it involves throwing the bag so that it lands on the front of the board and then slides into the hole.

Airmail

Airmail is a shot that you throw and the bag goes right into the hole

Blocker

A blocker is when you land your bag close to the hole so that your bag is in the way and  your opponent has a hard time using the slider. They will have to take an airmail shot in order to try to get a score.

Push

A push is when you knock your opponents blocker bag out of the way or nudge it out of the way so your bag so it goes into the hole. 

Remember To Practice

Just like anything else you want to get better at, you need to take plenty of time to practice. If you want to truly get better, I would recommend at least an hour a day of practicing using all these techniques and your game will be stepped up to a new level. 

Article written by Matt Powell
Hi, I am Matt and I have been playing outdoor games as long as I can remember. Today I have several games that I play on the regular and got together with Josh here on Outdoor Diversions so we could share our passion for the outdoors, gaming, and sports with you.