The history of cornhole is unclear, though it is said to have originated in Germany in the 14th century, and rediscovered in Ohio later. There are rumors that a local Iowa farmer by the name of Jebidiah McGullicutty discovered it in the 19th century. Historians agree that several Native American tribes played similar games for entertainment. Since then, the game has rapidly spread throughout America, and has become very popular.
The wooden board is a slanting platform, with its one side higher than the other. A circular hole, which is the main target, is nearer to the higher end. The cloth bag used for tossing contains corn feed. The other names for this game are Tailgate, Bean Bag, Bean Toss, Corn Toss, and even Bag-O.
Kids playing cornhole
☞ The game can be played in two teams of one or two players each.
☞ The cornhole boards must be separated by a distance of 24 feet for casual games and 27 feet for official competitions.
☞ The game begins with a coin toss to decide which team will begin. Alternately, the winning team of the previous game can start.
☞ The front edge of the cornhole board will be regarded as the foul line, behind which the player must stand while throwing.
☞ Teammates have to stand opposite to one another, beside each board and have to toss bags at the board opposite to them. The player must pitch the corn bag with an under-hand throw.
➔ The board must be 24″ by 48″ in dimensions. A 6″ circular hole needs to be made, the center of which is at a distance of 9″ from the top of the board and 12″ from the sides. The back of the board must be raised at a height of 12″ from the ground to the playing surface. The front of the board should be raised at a height of 3 – 4″ from the ground to the playing surface.
➔ Each corn bag should be made from a 6″ by 6″ square fabric with a double-stitched seam at each of the four edges. The filling should be about 1 pound in weight.
☞ The area beside each cornhole board is called the pitcher’s lane. Players have to stand in this lane and throw their corn bags at the board on the opposite side. They must stay in this lane for the entire game.
☞ The bags have to be thrown alternately by players of the same team. After all four bags have been pitched, the players of the opposite team start tossing their bags in the same manner. This concludes one round of the game.
How are points scored?
♐ A bag that lies on the board, even if it hangs on the hole or the sides, will get you 1 point (called a ‘Woody’).
♐ A bag that passes through the cornhole will get you 3 points (called a ‘Cornhole’).
♐ A bag that touches the ground in any way will not bring in any point (called a ‘Dirty’ bag).
♐ If a bag hits another bag and knocks it off the board, the fallen bag will be placed back in its old place and the thrown bag will not be considered for any point.
☞ The points are counted depending on the position of the bags at the end of each round. The total of the losing team will be deducted from the total of the winning team, and the difference will be added to the score of the winning team. For example,
Team A has 2 bags on the board (2 points) and 1 bag in the hole (3 points). Their total is 5 points. Team B has 2 bags on the board. They get a total of 2 points. The difference (3 points) will be the score of Team A after the first round. In subsequent rounds, this will be added to anything they score .
☞ The winner of one round will start play in the next round. In case of a tie, the winner of the previous round starts.
☞ The game will continue until either team reaches or exceeds 21 points.
What is considered a foul?
✘ When a player’s foot crosses the foul line while pitching.
✘ A bag thrown out of turn.
Any point the player gets on fouling does not get counted.
☀ Tossing the bag at a higher arc may net you a cornhole.
☀ If a couple of bags are lying on the board in front of the hole, tossing at a lower height will knock them into the hole.
☀ While tossing, stand with the knees bent, leaning slightly forward.
☀ Try to aim farther than the hole, taking into consideration that the bags slide back down due to the slope.
☀ Take your first step with the leg opposite to your pitching arm.
☀ Try to toss the bag in a pendulum-like motion, rather than throwing it with brute force.
Before you rush to label it a ‘kiddie’ game, let me inform you that throwing a 1-pound bag into a 6-inch hole that is almost 30 feet away is not a piece of cake. But still, cornhole is fun and can be enjoyed by people of all ages, including kids. It’s great for family outings, and can basically be played anywhere.
Those who are familiar with the game can scroll down for some tips.
While those who are not familiar, the prime objective of this game is to build the tallest tower using only 54 pieces or blocks stacked one above the other. Each player/s receives a chance to remove one and only one block from any level of the tower (except the last and penultimate level) and place it on the top, thereby, increasing the height of the tower. A couple of things to remember here is each player/s is allowed to use only one hand while removing a block, and his/her turn is complete only when one block is removed from the bottom and placed on top.
So much so for the playing essentials. If the tower collapses during or after a move, the player causing the collapse is declared as the loser.
Now, you may have played the game at a friend’s house party, and you couldn’t get enough of it. So, you finally buy it for yourself, and now, you wish to become a pro at it. Keep the following tips in mind that are sure to give you an edge over your opponent, the next time you play Jenga.
1. Push the blocks, don’t pull
When you pull a block out, the motion of lifting the block disturbs the balance of the tower, and causes it to topple over. Whereas, pushing or gently tapping a block out, distributes the load of the tower gradually, thereby, maintaining the stability of the tower.
2. Eliminate blocks at the center first
Removing blocks from the sides of the tower is riskier than eliminating blocks from the center. The reason behind this involves some technical stuff (cantilevers, balancing beams, etc.) which is rather beside the point. What you need to remember is, remove blocks from the center, thereby, compelling your opponent to eliminate blocks on the sides, which is a potentially risky move.
3. When you run out of center blocks, shift side blocks to the center
Gently tap both the blocks on the side to move them towards the center. Once one of them is exactly at the center, get rid of the other tactfully. The key is to maintain the center of gravity with that one block, to hold the tower in place. Ensure that the block is exactly at the center, as the stability of the remaining blocks above depend on it.
4. Out from the left, in from the right
If you eliminate a block from the right side, place it at the top of the tower on the left side. Likewise, a block from the bottom left should go to the top right. At times, where you eliminate blocks from the center, check which side needs to be balanced more, and accordingly, place the block on the appropriate side. For example, if you feel the tower is about to topple towards the right, place the block that you just removed from the center, on the top-left side of the tower.
5. Size (and thickness) matters!
The blocks slightly vary in thickness. Naturally, the thinner ones are less likely to bear the load of the tower than thicker ones. Shift the thinner ones to the top to ensure a stable tower. As the game progresses, the blocks that were tightly stuck at the beginning, would loosen up. Look out for those blocks, and eliminate them first.
6. Focus on individual moves
If there is any strategy and plan to win at Jenga, then it is to focus on one single block and move at a time. In your quest to build the tallest Jenga tower, you may plan a couple of moves ahead and chart a course for your game. But your plan is sure to get altered because of the moves your opponent makes.
7. Use your non-dominant hand too
Simultaneous use of both hands to remove a block from the Jenga tower is not allowed. However, skillful movement and alternative use of both the hands, when required, not only improves dexterity of the hands, but also helps to balance the tower more effectively.
8. Take your time
The best thing about this game is that there is no time constraint. (You could, however, devise a variation in which each participant gets only a limited amount of time to complete his turn of taking out a block from the Jenga tower; it would speed up the game and make it more interesting and exciting). Since there is no time limit, relax, breathe, and make your move. Don’t take too long though; you might ruin the moment and excitement for the other players.
9. Avoid strategy
When we say ‘avoid strategy’, what we are really trying to say is don’t plan multiple moves at one time. Between your current move and the next move you have planned in your head, the game will change drastically, as your opponent shifts and eliminates blocks from the tower. Every Jenga tower (every single Jenga tower!) is built differently. No two Jenga towers are the same, and for that matter, no two Jenga blocks are the same. It is not guaranteed that the strategy you applied during your last Jenga win, will ensure a victory again.
10. Psychological warfare
Concentrate on the game, and don’t get distracted; not only during your turn, but also during your opponent’s turn. Keep an eye out for blocks that loosen up when your opponent is eliminating blocks. Also, I asked you not to get distracted, I didn’t ask you to not distract! Everything is fair in love, war, and Jenga. Make your opponents laugh when they are trying hard to take out an extremely difficult block, talk to them, distract them, just so that they fumble and you win. You are in it to win it, right?
Your aim should be to prevent the tower from collapsing, and not building the highest Jenga tower. Maintaining stability of the tower by ensuring proper removal and placement of singular blocks would automatically lead to the creation of a taller and more stable tower. At every turn, before you decide which block you want to eliminate, test the tower first. Do this by gently tapping blocks with your fingers and look for blocks which are not perfectly stuck and can be easily removed. As the game progresses, the blocks which were earlier perfect-fits in the tower, would become loose blocks and vice versa. The trick is to continuously keep checking for loose blocks that can be easily moved, and get rid of them first, before your opponent does.
These tips might help you improve your Jenga tactics and the way you play it, but a steady hand, sheer concentration, extreme patience, and lots of practice are the keys to being a winner at Jenga. That, or a sober you and drunk and intoxicated opponents!
This game is played by tossing an object in the air, and picking up ‘jacks’ before the object touches the ground. Many variations of this game have developed over the years. For example:- “Tropa”, where the object of the game was to throw the knuckle bones in such a way that they landed in a hole, dug up for the purpose of the game. Another variant of this game included the throwing of astragaloi onto a flat surface, and then counting the values of the sides on which the bones fell. The different faces of the bones, fetched different points. The convex side scored 1 for the narrow part, and 3 for the broad part. Similarly, the concave side scored 6 for the narrow side, and 4 for the broad side. Later, more variations for the throwing of bones were developed, and given specific names such as Midas, Alexander, Venus, King, Vulture, etc.
It is played using a rubber ball and 6-12 small six-pronged, metal or plastic jacks. Alternatively, seeds and small stones can also be used.
Ideally, it should be played on a uniformly flat and smooth, hard surface like a table top. Alternatively, a hardwood or linoleum covered floor may also be used.
Number of players is not defined. The game can be played solo, as well as in small or large groups.
Jacks: Rules and How to play
Step 1: To decide who starts the game, all players take equal number of jacks in their hand and toss them in the air, with the objective of catching as many as possible on the back of their hand. The player with the maximum jacks on his hand is the first to begin the game. Thereafter the game proceeds clockwise. This can also be decided by a coin toss or by playing a round of rock-paper-scissors.
Step 2: The first player scatters the jacks uniformly on the playing surface, takes the rubber ball in his hands, and lightly throws it upwards. This action is called a “jockey”. As soon as the player does this, he must pick up one jack and while managing to catch the ball before it bounces back.
Step 3: The jacks must be in hand while catching the ball. After the ball has been caught, the player transfers the picked up jacks to the other hand, leaving his hand free for playing the next turn.
Step 4: If the player is successful in the first turn, he throws the ball again, but this time he must pick up two jacks before the ball bounces. For each turn the number of jacks to be picked up, increases by one, till the turn is reached where the number of jacks being picked up totals 10.
Step 5: Each turn has its own term depending on the number of jacks being picked up. The first round, where you pick up 1, is called “onesies”. When 2 jacks are picked up, that round is called “twosies”. In this manner the rounds that follow are “threesies”,”foursies”, and so on till the last round of “tensies”.
Step 6: A player commits a foul, if he fails to catch the ball before it bounces, or if he is unable to collect the exact required number of jacks before the ball hits the surface.
Step 7: It is also considered a foul when the player collects more jacks than required, drops one that he has picked up, or if he accidentally moves any jack from its original place.
Step 8: The occurrence of a foul causes that players turn to end, and passes the turn on to the next player. When the turn comes back to a player, he must resume playing from the same level that his previous turn ended on.
Step 9: The player who reaches the highest round, wins the game. Alternatively, each jack may carry points and at the end of the game, the player with the most points, wins.
Step 10: The game can also be played using small stones or seeds.
Bouncies – Letting the ball bounce once before grabbing it.
Double Bouncies – Allowing the ball to bounce twice, before it is caught.
Black Widow – Player goes from “onesies” to “tensies” in one turn. If the player fouls and ends his turn, he must start from “onesies” again, when his turn arrives.
Around The World – The player makes a circle in the air around the ball, after it is thrown, and then picks up the jacks.
Dump – Player puts 5 jacks in a heap, and picks one up without disturbing the other four. He tosses it in the air, scoops up the other four, and then catches the tossed jack in the same hand.
Clicks – This is an addition to the other variations, where, while collecting the jacks, they must make a clicking sound.
No Clicks – No noise should be made when collecting and catching the jacks.
Punishments – These can be any actions such as clapping, that have to be performed while the ball is still in the air, before collecting the jacks. The players collectively decide the action before the game begins.
❥ The people of Cork, Ireland play a version of this game, called “gobs”, using the small quartz pebbles, that are easily found on the beach.
❥ Native Africans play a version of this game, using pebbles and without the use of a ball.
❥ “Kugelach” or “Hamesh Avanim” is played by Israeli children. They play using 5 metal, dice-shaped cubes.
❥ This game is called “chucks” in England, and in Korea, it is called “gonggi”.
The materials that are used to play this game can be changed according to the players preference. Also, the rules and variations can be molded according to the player’s imagination. Its versatile nature makes it an easy game to play, whenever, wherever.
Only the first meld or the ‘initial meld’, as it is called, is determined beforehand, wherein a player is required to form a sequence summing up to a minimum of 30 points. The point value of each tile is equal to its face value; if jokers are used, their value is equal to the tile they substitute. The initial meld is necessarily supposed to be a fresh sequence; a player cannot lay off tiles to an existing sequence on his/her first turn.
Given below are the instructions to play Rummikub. Check them out!
How to Play Rummikub
✦ To play Rummikub, it is essential that you understand the type of acceptable sequences or sets. A player can place tiles on the table (play area) only by forming ‘groups’ or ‘runs’.
✦ A group typically includes three or more tiles of the same number, and each with a different color.
✦ Runs comprise a sequence of three or more consecutive numbers, all belonging to the same color.
(Note: In a run, number 1 is considered to be of the lowest rank, and can’t follow 13 in any case. For instance, 1-2-3-4 is a correct run, whereas 11-12-13-1 is not.)
✦ Rummikub requires a minimum of two to a maximum of four players to play. The objective of the game is to place all the tiles on the table in appropriate sequences, and the first player to do so wins the game.
✦ To begin playing, place all tiles face down on the table. Each player would then select 14 tiles at random from the pool.
✦ Once all the players are done with picking the tiles, they should form the initial meld, summing up to a minimum of 30 points (as mentioned above).
✦ After a player has formed the initial meld, he/she on his/her subsequent turns can do any of the following:
– Form new melds.
– Build up the existing melds.
– Manipulate the existing melds to open up avenues for creating new melds.
✦ In case, a player doesn’t wish to play on his/her respective turn, he/she must pick a tile from the pool before passing his/her turn.
✦ If all the tiles in the pool get exhausted, and nobody stands a winner, all players get one last chance to get rid of the maximum tiles possible. After this, all the players compute their points, and the player with the least points wins. In this case, the value of a joker is 30 points.
Types of Manipulation
When manipulating the existing sequences, the following possibilities can be considered.
✦ Building an existing set by adding tiles.
✦ Taking the fourth out of a set and building a new set.
✦ Splitting one run of five tiles into two by adding one or more tile(s). For instance, 1-2-3-4-5 would split as 1-2-3, and 3-4-5; here we added an extra ‘3’ tile.
✦ Splitting two or more sets into multiple sets.
✦ On a turn, it’s always beneficial to think about manipulation first, and then about building new sets.
✦ If you have a set of four tiles, which you wish to place on the table, it’s better to place three, and keep the fourth for the next turn. This is anytime better than not having any set to play, and picking up a tile instead.
Try to look for even the slightest manipulations possible; they are sure to help you further in the game. Also, try to pick as less tiles as possible from the pool. Using the right strategy is surely going to help you win the game. You could visit the Rummikub game website and play it for free.
They are especially ideal during the hot summer, chilling winter or boring rainy days, when it is not possible to entertain your guests with outdoor games. Games, whether indoor or outdoor are an indispensable part of parties along with food and decoration.
Indoor party games help guests open up to each other and the best part is that they can be enjoyed in all seasons. So, let’s take a look at some fun indoor games that can help brighten up your party.
There is a huge list of indoor games which can make your party the most memorable one. Following are some of these games, which can be enjoyed by all. Have a look!
Apart from the games mentioned above, you can also incorporate the classic party games, like Pass the Parcel, Treasure Hunt, and Balloon Stomp.
Treasure Hunt is especially ideal for children, as they will simply love hunting out treasures, like chocolates and toys. You can also include Blow the Ball game and to make it more exciting, you can blindfold the participants, and ask them to turn around, then take a few steps forward and again turn around, before blowing the ball placed on a table. When you ask the blindfolded person to turn around, he loses the direction, and they might be blowing somewhere else, whereas the ball is placed at another place.
Another interesting game is Dancing with a Ball or a Balloon. This game is played by pairs, with a ball or balloon placed between their foreheads and then dancing without dropping it. If the ball drops, then that particular couple or pair is out of the game.
‘Guess What’ is the game for people who love music, where you can play the music of some famous songs for a few seconds, and let your guests guess the names of these songs. Also encourage them to sing a few lines of the song, which would make it more enjoyable.
~ Taboo is a fun-packed game that makes you stay on your toes, think real fast, and tests your mental ability.
~ There are two teams that play against each other. Each member of the team picks a card with a word on it, which he has to convey to his teammates by explaining the concept behind it.
~ While doing so, he cannot use the 4 words that are taboo (can’t use them for describing the main word).
~ These words are the most obvious options that you would use to describe the main word.
~ For example, the main word that you need to convey is ‘basketball’ and the taboo words are ‘sports’, ‘Michael Jordan’, ‘net’, and ‘dunk’.
~ These four words, as you can see, are some of the most obvious words that you would use to describe ‘basketball’. If you use any of the taboo words, you get negative markings.
~ You need to get as many words as you can in a minute.
~ This is a crowd pleaser through and through.
~ The group is divided into teams. A member from each team comes forth and is given a chit with a word on it, say, ‘chocolate cake’.
~ The member has to draw out the word on the board that has been provided. The teammates have to guess the word correctly.
~ The team that guesses the most right, wins.
~ Dumb charades is another interesting game you could play. Here, clues have to be acted out.
~ There can be more variations to the clues given in charades ranging from movie and song names to book names as well. Both these games require one to be quick thinkers.
List Them Out
~ This game is quite simple and can be played by any age group.
~ Make a list of 5 actors and 5 actresses.
~ Give each guest a pen and paper.
~ When all of them have seated, pick a chit and announce the actor or actress.
~ The guests have to make a list of all the movies they can think of, in which the actor/actress had starred, within a time frame.
~ At the end of the game, the person who has the maximum names, wins.
Out of the Hat
~ Make chits of a whole lot of activities. These could be anything from mimicking someone or singing a song to any of the ‘forfeits’ you can think of.
~ You’ll find that this one will be a pleasant surprise and make for some of the most fun games.
~ Murder mysteries can get so intense. With everyone getting involved in solving the mystery and learning to work on the cues, then finding out who the murderer is.
~ Such interactive murder mystery games serve as great ice breaker games for adults.
~ Bring them a casino, and your guests will love this fun indoor game like nothing else.
~ You can even get all the board games for adults, say, Poker, Black Jack, Russian roulette, and more.
~ This is always a hit party game.
~ You hide your final treasure and put in clues all around the house, one clue leads to the next and so on.
Who’s Line is it Anyway?
~ This has some of the most innovative and fun games that you can think of.
~ Try ‘Scenes from a hat’ – put in some really atrocious situations that people have to act out in pairs. For example, you walk in on a friend who is picking his nose.
~ Try the ABC story – you give a group a situation that they need to enact.
~ The twist is that every new sentence has to start with the next alphabet. Like, if the first sentence starts with ‘A’, the next one has to continue with ‘B’, until the whole alphabet line is done. The team that uses the maximum alphabets, wins.