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This is a classic game that ranks right up there with horseshoes, toss across, and cornhole. It is a lot of fun but can be difficult to find already made in stores. There are lots of options to special order these games, but they can be pricey and expensive to ship due to weight and size.
If you are looking for a more cost effective option: no worries! All you need to do is grab your drill and some wood and I’ll show you how to make your own Washers Game DIY using this step-by- step tutorial.
Tools needed for 3 Hole Washers Game:
If you have any questions about these tools or other supplies, click the links to find them on Amazon.com.
Materials needed for Three Hole Washers Game:
- 3 – 2x4x8
- 1 – Sheet of Plywood (I recommend a minimum thickness of 1/2″)
- 3-inch Wood Screws
- 2 Eye Bolts
- 11 Feet of Clothes Line Rope
- 8 3-inch Metal Washers (not 8 sets of washers, just 8 washers)
Official 3 Hole Washer Board Dimensions:
Regulation board size is 12 inches wide by 48 inches long. However, there are variations available out there that range in size from 12″ wide by 32″ long to 16″ wide by 48″ long. Our preference is for 16″x48″, which is what these directions are based on. Feel free to adjust to your preference as we did. This game is the perfect addition to your backyard.
How to Build 3 Hole Washer Boards:
The two game board boxes that you’re cutting will look very similar to a cornhole board. Make sure to take a peek at the finished product before starting.
- Cut wood for the frame
Cut your 2×4’s for the frame – You’ll need 4 that are 48 inches long and 4 that are 13 inches long. I like to use a miter saw (on a very flat surface) for these cuts.
- Cut the rest of the wood
Cut your sheet of plywood for the surface. You’ll need 2 pieces that are 16 inches by 48 inches. Plywood comes in 4′ by 8′ sheets. Most hardware stores will also sell half-sheets, or can custom cut for a small fee. I use either a table saw or skill saw for this cut. However if you’re not comfortable with power saws or limited on transportation space, take advantage of the the cut services from your local hardware store.
Next, lay two of your longer pieces of 2x4s and two of the shorter pieces on top of one of your plywood pieces to form a box shape. The plywood will act as a guide to keep your frame square.
- Add the wood screws
Use your 3-inch wood screws to attach the the 2×4’s to form the frame. When screwing near the edges of a 2×4’s your chance of splitting increase. To prevent this, I recommend drilling pilot holes before screwing together.
- Screw the top frame
Slide your plywood out from under the frame and place on top. Align the edges to the frame and screw the top to the frame with screws. 3″ screws are a bit of an overkill. You can use shorter ones if you have them. I recommend a minimum length of 1.5 inches and placing 2 screws on each of the shorter sides and 4 on the longer sides.
- Make your 2nd box
Repeat steps 3-5 to make the second box.
- Mark for your holes
Take your boxes and find the center (8 inches from the side) and draw a line down the middle. We used a scrap piece of wood as a straight edge. Next, measure where the holes will go – Along the center line, make a mark at 8 inches, 24 inches, and 40 inches.
- Cut your holes
At each mark, use your drill and hole saw to cut a hole (you should have three total holes on each box in a straight line).
- Optional: Add rope
Adding the rope is optional, but does help keep the throwing distance consistent and saves time in setting up the game. You’ll need 2 eye bolts and the rope. The eye bolts attach to the bottom of the board (the short end 2×4). Drill a pilot hole into the center of the 2×4 frame and thread in the eye bolt.
- Tie the optional rope
Set the the boards 10′ apart, with the eye bolts facing each other. Tie the rope to the eye bolts of both boards.
- Optional: Finish the boards
Finish the surface by sanding down the edges to remove splinters and rough spots. You can also paint or stain your boxes to customize to your liking–making each side into a colorful board is a fun way to get the kids involved! Another option is to cover in indoor/outdoor carpet, this helps to reduce the washer bounce on the playing surface.
How to Play 3 Hole Washers
- Place your boards 10 feet apart on level ground (this is the official distance, but can be changes for your game if you’d like). This is your game field.
- Each individual or team throws 4 washers (one at a time), and the object of the game is to score 21 points first.
Playing with one person teams:
- Each player throws their washers from the same side over to the opposite board (facing longways).
- The player who throws first will throw all four washers, then the second player throws their washers. The goal is that the washer lands
- in the large holes Ton the board. The player that scores the most in each round gets to throw first on the following round.
- After the scores are written down (or remembered), each player moves to the opposite board to continue the game until one player scores 21.
Playing with two or more on a team:
- Just like in the singles version, team members throw from opposite boards. First player throws four washers, then the first player from the opposite team throws their four washers.
- Opposing team members now pick up the team’s washers and throw them back in the same fashion.
- The team that scores the most in each round gets to throw first on the following round.
- The game ends when the first team scores 21 points.
Official Rules for 3 Hole Washers Game
- In order for a throw to count, the washer must completely fall into the hole.
- If a washer is knocked into the hole (by a member of either team), the point goes to the player who originally threw the washer.
- You can cancel out the opposing team’s score in the same round by out-scoring them. For example Team A scores 6 points, then Team B scores 10. Team B records their score for the round of 4 points.
How to keep score in the 3 Hole Washer Game:
The holes on the board are considered different point zones:
- One point is earned for the hole closes to the front of the box
- Three points are earned for the middle hole
- Five points are earned for the last/farthest hole on the board.
- Play to 21 game points exactly–not over or under (team members must hit exactly 21 points to win the game). If the team scores over 21 points, they go back to 16!
What are the other names for 3 Hole Washers?
This game goes by many names:
- Holy Boards
- Holy Board Game
- Washer Toss
- Texas Horseshoes or Hillbilly Horseshoes
- Washer Game
- Washer Board Game
- Three Hole Washer Toss Game
- 3-Hole Bean Bag Toss
Whatever you call it, the whole family will love this backyard family game! A game of Washer Toss is perfect for any celebration, family gathering, or even a simple interactive after dinner game that the entire family can play. I love that kids can play this simple tossing game.
Looking for more classic outdoor lawn games?
- Outdoor Giant Jenga A life-sized version of the original, this DIY Giant Jenga is easy to make and so fun to play!
- Plinko Take turns dropping chips and aiming for the higher valued points along the bottom.
- Ladder Golf A classic outdoor game that kids love!
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Can you tell me how big the holes on the board needs to be?
4 inches :)
What size washers?
3″ washers :)
How do you get washers out. Seems like would be difficult to reach in holes to get them but don’t see any other way.
Hey Mary! We just pick up the boards :)
Easy to reach in the hole to get them, usually, but just flip up one long side of the board to reach them.
We put a piece of 4 inch PVC pipe with a cap on the bottom and glue it to the wood. Makes it easy to reach in and grab them
What if you make a 5 and they make a 5 to cancel. Then they make another 5 and it knocks your five out of the hole and on the board?
I cannot locate 3” washers – can you provide more info on the items you used?
We call this game “washoes,” by the way.
Oh really? That is so interesting – there are so many names for it!
I have a link to Amazon in the post and there are some there. If you start searching, you can even find some fun ones!