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Winning Cornhole Strategies to Improve Your Game

5 min read
winning cornhole strategies for to improve your game

You want to learn winning cornhole strategies that will help you both in the backyard as well as competing against some of the best in the country? Cornhole is not all about getting the bag in the hole, there is strategy involved and knowing it can give you the edge you need to beat some of the best.

You mastered the flat bag, you hit the board all the time and just got done beating your Uncle Phil 21-0 at your family cookout and now you decide it’s time to sign up for your first tournament. Maybe you have played in a few tourneys already and can’t understand why you went 0-2 against players you know you are better than. Well, now its time to learn some Winning Cornhole Strategies so you can start winning.

Now, I know what you are thinking, Cornhole Strategy??? I don’t need that. I will just throw all my bags in the hole! The simple fact is that you won’t. Not even the most elite players in the world does. Ask any elite player and they will tell you that strategy is one of the most important aspects of the game at the next level.

Winning Cornhole Strategies for Beginners

 The most important strategy for beginner players is, and you aren’t going to like this, if the thought “I should airmail this!” comes into your mind, you made the wrong choice 99.8% of the time. I know that putting the bag on the board for a point or a wash, isn’t as sexy as an airmail drag for 6 points. But unless you can go outside, set up your boards and throw 70 airmails out of 100 bags then the airmail is the wrong shot for you. Cornhole is a game to 21 and most of the time, just putting the bag on the board is the right choice. It is better to throw for the wash, than it is to miss the airmail and give up 3 points. 

Strategy Examples


 Lets get in to some examples and what I believe to be the right strategies to employ for beginner players in order to start winning at cornhole. These winning cornhole strategies could be exactly what you need to elevate your game to the next level.
Strategy example 1
Example 1) Red threw first and laid up the perfect block. As a beginner player your number one option is to double block ( throwing your bag right in front of the red one). It causes the player you are throwing against to make a decision. Is he/she content throwing for a wash or does he/she want to start throwing airmails? The risks are low for the double block. If you miss left or right, it is still 1-1. If the other player goes for an airmail and misses, you gave yourself a point. The best airmailers in the world are around 70% accurate. So even if you are playing elite talent, you still have a 30% chance of making a point. Most average players are under 50%.

Strategy example 2
Example 2) Red has one bag on and one off and you have one right in front of the hole. Your best option here would be a push shot, where you try to push both of your bags in the hole with a hard line drive type throw.  Again, this is a low risk shot. If you make it, you gave yourself +5 on the shot. If you miss it off the board, its even. An added bonus to the push shot is the replacement bag, where one bag goes in and leaves one bag in front of the hole. This forces your opponent to go for the airmail or giving up points on the round. 

Strategy example 3
 Example 3) Red has four bags around the hole and you have three. The best strategy here would be to just put your bag on the board and take the wash. The risks here are the lowest. You either wash or, if you miss the board completely, you only give up 1 point to your opponent and live for another round. What I see most beginner players do here is go for the airmail. This is the type of set up where even if you hit an almost perfect shot, things can go very wrong. You can hit the pile and your bag can bounce of the back of the board. 3 red bags could drop and none of yours. Trust me an airmail here is the wrong shot. I’ve made that mistake more times than I would like to admit.

Strategy example 4
 Example 4) You are winning this game 19-5. Red has 4 bags on the board you have 3. Your strategy here , in my opinion, should be the 0.2% and you get to throw the airmail and win the game! The risks are low and if you make it, you are the hero. If you miss off the back, you only give up 1 point which is not a huge deal since you are already up by 13. This is only the right strategy here if you have a big lead, and can afford to give up a point and possibly momentum of the game. If the game is close, the right decision would be to throw for the wash.

Use these winning strategies at your next tourney

 We laid out 4 examples above of good winning cornhole strategies for players to use. Look them over and learn them. Get it out of your head that you need to score points every round and the airmail is the best shot to do that. Sometimes throwing for a wash or even giving up a point is the best strategy for exiting around. Cornhole is a lot like blackjack when it comes to strategy. If you learn the correct strategy you can improve your odds of winning.

Often times in cornhole I see beginner players struggle with this aspect of the game. By using the wrong shot selection, the other team did not beat them but instead, they beat themselves by giving up points that they didn’t have too. As your game evolves so should your strategy. Keep in mind, not everyone has and uses the same strategy. Like the strategy that Jimmie McGuffin uses is totally different than Cody Henderson’s.

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