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Cornhole Basics: Strategy

 

 

Do you (still) suck at cornhole?

This post continues a series about the basics of cornhole, providing brilliant observation and priceless advice to improve your play. Cornhole, the sport of kings, is difficult to master, but some knowledge and practice will improve your game significantly. In the Cornhole Basics: Technique post, I discussed different ways to throw your bags. This post will explain how and when you should use those different throws to their greatest impact.

Strategy 1: The Slide

Throw the bag at the center of the board, around 30-40% of the way to the hole. Land the bag and let it slide up and in for 3. Simple as that. Even a miss is likely to result in one point by staying on the board. Depending on your technique, the bag will slide differently, and you will need to adjust how high on the board you land the bag. This strategy works best on cornhole boards that are clean (not blocked by other bags). Other bags blocking the hole make sliding very difficult.

Pros:   Simple, easy to control, Increased likelihood of one point on a miss

Cons:   Doesn’t work great with other bags in the way, Inferior bags/boards make the bags slide inconsistently

Ideal Scenario: With a clear path to the hole, use the slide to consistently and reliably score points

Strategy 2: The Mutombo

For this strategy, you use a similar throw to the slide, but instead of trying to score a 3, you instead want to leave your bag blocking the hole from your opponent. Ideally your bag stops just barely over the edge of the hole, so your opponent will either be stopped by your bag, or will knock your bag into the hole with his throw. Successfully using this strategy can slow down scoring and is a good way to reset if your opponent is starting to pull away.

Pros:   Makes it difficult for your opponent to score, Successful blocks usually get at least 1 point

Cons:   You are less likely to get the maximum score on the turn, You can block yourself too

Ideal Scenario: If your opponent is scoring quickly and starting to pull away, use the block to slow down scoring and chip away at his lead.

Strategy 3: The Air Raid

This one is straightforward but the most difficult to execute. This strategy calls for your best Steph Curry impersonation as you try to drain the bag on the fly into the hole. The throw is a high risk/high reward tactic. If you miss long, the bag is unlikely to stay on the board. On the other hand, if you hit it just right you will psyche out your opponent, and you will instantly become more popular and attractive.

Pros:   Avoids other bags on the board, Not impacted by bag/board surface, Looks really, really cool

Cons:   Small miss will likely take you off the board entirely, Very difficult to aim with that precision, May emotionally scar opponents

Ideal scenario: If your opponent has bags blocking the hole or your old high school crush is watching you, go for the air raid.

These are just a few of the many strategies involved in cornhole, but mastering basic strategies and bag toss techniques will give you a leg up against most opponents.

Win your tailgate!