game Theory Lane Block

Pro Level Game Theory: In Your Lane Block

Part 3 of 4 is here! So your opponent goes first and drops their bag right in that 7 o’clock spot creating a lane block. If you’re a lefty, that thing is definitely all up in your lane. Now what do you do? We asked four ACL Pro players what they would do. Let’s analyze their answers and see if we can figure out what the best answer is: A, B, C, D, none of the above, or all of the above!

When playing at the competitive level and below, the blocker seems to get most people rattled. They just can’t figure out what the best thing to do is or how they will play out the round finishing with points or not giving up a bunch. The lane block bag becomes one of the biggest mental hurdles especially if your opponent doesn’t have much of an airmail or any roll, flop or cut shot. Which, let’s face it, not too many competitive/intermediate players have those in their arsenal. Lets check out how the Pro players handle the lane block and maybe you can get some tips on what you should do or at least what you should work on doing next.

How the Pros Handle the Lane Block

Bret’s first inclination would be to shoot it straight up the gut and hopefully knock that blocker out to the left with his bag going in. But if that darn blocker is doing its job and in the way of his slide, Bret is staying true to his aggressive style (as mentioned in PART 1: The Standard Block) and you won’t be catching him trying to counter block or block behind–nope! He’s sending it. Airmail every time, baby! 

Game Theory: In Your Lane Block

Kenzie Beach gives himself a couple un-Bret-like options. Option number one is the more traditional route of a counter lane block, or placing a response bag right in that 5 o’clock spot–which is also what Steven Bernacet would do. Typically, a slide up the middle at a slowed down block speed will get the job done, as the block already in place will nudge it to sit right next door. Now, with neither party able to push their bags in (for 95% of the cornhole world anyway), it’s an airmail or roll party. Steven would confidently go bag for bag with anyone in an airmail show. Kenzie would feel just as confident going roll against airmail. So they both welcome these scenarios. 

And that’s just option number one for Kenzie. Number two involves what is known as a cut shot in which the bag is thrown at such an angle that once it lands slightly to the right of that lane block, it will take a turn or cut back towards the hole. The curve ball of cornhole, if you will. 

Isabella Suprenant, wants to take the lethal cut shot a step further and not only does she want to get around that lane block, she wants to shoot a cut blocker to stop short of going in and sit to the right and in front of the opponent’s bag, gaining a hole advantage. As a top level player comfortable with her roll bag, she loves a bag hanging over the hole that welcomes all sorts of mistakes from her opponent. And, if all goes well, her final bag could very well be a super gangster cut push for a four bagger! 

So what’s the right answer? For now, the shot that works best with your current skill set! Is it worth developing a cut/roll/flop?? Well that’s an entirely different blog coming soon, isn’t it? Next entry is the final one! What to do against a V BLOCK!

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