Baggo for Beginners

So, you want to learn how to play Baggo. It’s an entertaining game being played all over the country, and it is for people of all ages. The Baggo game has two boards with a hole in each and eight bean bags. The object of the game is to throw bean bags into the hole on the board to score points. It is easy to take with you to an event or a party because it folds just as a suitcase and can fit right in your trunk. Moreover, the boards are weather proof. The bags fit into a compartment in the boards and are usually made with whole corn.

Set Up

Setting the game up is easy. All you have to do is unfold the boards and snap or lock the legs into place.

Set the boards 18 feet apart (social play) on a flat surface facing each other. Baggo comes with a distance regulator rope making the setup a breeze. Make sure the boards are level. If they are not, the bags will slide too much. There are eight bags, four for each team.

Players

Baggo can be played with two people or in teams.

When playing in teams, there are two teams of two for each set of boards.

How to Play

To begin, toss a coin to see which team throws first.

  • Team partners should face each other at opposite boards.
  • For each round, players from opposite teams alternate throwing the bags until all eight are thrown. Once all the bags have been thrown, that round is scored (see how to score below).
  • Then the bags are retrieved, and the player’s partners take their turn.
  • When tossing the bag, do not step past the front of your board (the foul line). If you do, that throw and any points it may have scored will not count toward your score.
  • The last team to score on the previous round throws first in the next round.

Scoring

To win, your team has to score 21 points.

  • Each bag thrown through the hole is worth three points.
  • Each bag that lands on the board is worth one point.
  • Bags landing on the ground get no points.
  • The points scored by each team cancel the other team’s score at the end of that round. For example: team A gets two bags through the hole (three points each), one bag lands on the board (one point), and one bag hits the ground (zero points), for a total of seven. Team B gets one bag through the hole and three bags hit the ground for a total of three. Because team B got one bag through the hole, that bag cancels out one of the bags that team A got through the hole. Team A gets four points for that round, and team B gets zero points.

To make it easier to keep score for beginners:

  • Remove the canceling or offsetting bags from the board
  • Get the bags that went through the hole and discard any canceling bags
  • The team’s round score is calculated by subtracting or adding the points from the board bags and the hole bags.

Tips for Playing

People from all walks of life are having fun playing Baggo. Some are serious about winning, and others play just for the fun of it. If you are a serious player, here are some tips on how to play your best:

  • Hold the bag with four fingers under the bag and your thumb on the top in the center.
  • Stand with your feet together. The bag should be in your dominant hand.
  • Step forward toward the foul line with the foot opposite of your throwing arm. As you step forward, your arm should swing backward. As your weight transfers to your forward foot, your arm will swing past your hip. Release the bag above your waistline and follow through.
  • Having a slight spin on your bag increases your chance of it landing on the board or getting the bag through the hole.
  • As you throw the bag, it should have an arc of 5–10 feet. Don’t go higher, because you will lose accuracy and your bag could bounce off the board, resulting in no points for that throw. If you throw without an arc, your bag can slide off the end of the board.

Once you have mastered how to throw the bag, you should change your focus to getting the bag in the hole and not on how the bag flies through the air.

There are four shots that every player should practice and master if you want to win — the slider, the blocker, the push, and the swish:

  • the slider is landing the bag on the front of the board and sliding it in the hole
  • the blocker is dropping your bag near the hole to try to prevent the opposite player from using the slider
  • the push is nudging your bag into the hole or knocking a blocker out of the way
  • the swish is throwing the bag right into the hole (just like in basketball)

Terms

Following are some terms if you want people to think you are knowledgeable about Baggo:

  • Ace — a bag that lands on the board
  • Baggo — a bag that goes in the hole
  • Back Door — a Baggo thrown over a Blocker bag
  • Blocker — a bag thrown that lands just in front of the hole to block the opponent’s throw
  • Hanger — an Ace on the lip of the hole ready to drop
  • Foot Foul — stepping past the front edge of the board while tossing
  • Grounder — a bag on or touching the ground (Zero points)
  • No Blood — a scoreless round
  • Shooter — the person who is throwing the bag
  • Slam — a player makes four Baggos in one round
  • Push — a Blocker pushed in the hole for a Baggo
  • Slider — a Baggo that hits the board and slides into the hole
  • Swish — a Baggo that goes straight into the hole

Where and When to Play

Play anywhere there is a relatively flat surface on grass, sand, or asphalt. You can play at sporting event tailgate parties, in your own backyard, at neighborhood block parties, family picnics, school reunions, carnival themed weddings, or on your college campus. You can even customize your Baggo game with a theme or your favorite team logo. If you want to have a competitive experience, set up three or four sets of boards and have a tournament.

If you are looking to have some fun, then Baggo is for you. Learn more on how you can get in on the Baggo craze.

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