Tailgate Party Games: Washer Toss

The great thing about washer toss is that you can play it anywhere–you don’t need stakes or a sand pit: just 10 feet of space. Anyone can learn how to play as there really isn’t much to the rules. It just takes some time to develop the technique which is half the fun.

Washer Toss Rules:

Basically, in washer toss, players must toss metal washers toward a hole in a box. There are 3 ways you can play the game which allows for different skill levels: Tub, Flat or Slanted. Increasing or reducing the distance between the boxes controls the level of challenge but the official distance between boxes is 30 feet (which has usually been pre-measured using a string attached to the front of the box).

Pitching is normally done underhand from behind or next to one of the boxes with the aim to toss the washer at the opposite box. The second team to throw can rebut any points (or ‘wash out’) from the first team and add to their total. 3-points for a washer in the cup (a ‘non-rebutted ringer’); 1-point for a non-rebutted washer inside the box. First to 21 wins.

It’s very easy to build your own set but considering you can buy a good quality, lightweight unit for less than $50 it’s probably not worth the hassle, especially since many are made from molded plastic (which I’m assuming most people don’t have the industrial tools to do at home).
Standard Box size for one-hole washers is 16 X 16 X 4 inches. Standard cup is 4.5 inches in diameter & 5 inches high.

aka Washer Pitch, Holeyboard, Portuguese Horshoes, Washers

For: Singles, Doubles, Triples etc.

Equipment Required: 2 x Washer Boxes; Carpet; Pipe; 4 x Washes; scoreboard; drink holder

Look For:

  • High quality, weather-proof game boards (like polypropylene) that resist sun-damage and is water-proof.
  • Quality landing surface which provides grip for the washers and reduces impact noise (like rubber or felt).
  • Stable, well built design that prevents movement during play.
  • Versatility – can it be played Tub (easier, for beginners as you aren’t trying to land it on the surface), Slanted (a fun variation that requires a different technique), Flat (traditional)?
  • Storage, portability (does it fold up and come with a carry-bag?)

 The Best Washer Toss Sets

Washer Toss Premium GoSports

Washer Toss Set – GoSports

GoSports make a bunch of different Washer Toss Games which are all perfect for Tailgate Parties, and most sell  for under $50. They are hand-made with quality materials (like Birchwood) and built for durability and come fully assembled. All the joints are screwed and counter-sunk with trim head screws and they are built for use outdoors. They are regulation 16-inch x 16-inches and include painted washers.  The boxes are hand stained with a clear stain, leaving the grain of the wood visible and meaning that you can custom the washer boxes with your team’s logo. The inside bases are carpeted for friction. The retractable rope handles make it portable and storage is easy with the built in clips. Washer Toss Games include instructions as well. The washers that come with the set are power-coated for durability.

  • Pros: Durable, quality set. Portable. Affordable.
  • Cons: No customized.
Octagon Washer Pitching Washer Toss Horseshoes Game

Octagon Washer Pitching Washer Toss Horseshoes Game

Ohio Games Washer Toss A beautiful Octagonal set from Ohio games with strong build construction and light-weight materials as well as gate-hooks for safe storage and durable rope handles for portability. The wood is sourced from kiln-dried 2x4s and clear stained for weather-proofing. All joints are strengthened with indoor/outdoors glue glue for added durability. The idea behind the octagonal construction is to increase the challenge with you are playing at regulation 30feet. The washer boxes are 15-inch x 15-inches, meaning they are slightly smaller than regulation and require a high amount of skill to use. The washers are not powder-coated: they are yellow and silver zinc which means paint won’t chip and won’t need repainting though they won’t be as durable as other quality powder-coated washers.

  • Pros: Well Built.
  • Cons: Not true regulation 16×16.
Hole Slant Washer Pitching Washer Toss Horseshoes Game

Hole Slant Washer Pitching Washer Toss Horseshoes Game

Ohio Games Slant Washer Toss Another interesting innovation in Washer Toss from Ohio games, the slant-version is fully carpeted measuring 12″x18″ with a 4-inch incline and 4-inch PVC hole. The frame is plywood and parts are glued, nailed as well as stapled for added strength. The wood elements are stained for weather-proofing and the carpet is out-door proof. Slant Washer Toss is more difficult since the washers must land on the playing space which isn’t bordered by walls that will help keep the washers in play. For some this is only possible at 20 feet but more die-hard players can opt for 30 feet playing space.

  • Pros: Well built. More challenge.
  • Cons: Not so portable.
River City Washer Toss

River City Washer Toss

RiverCity Washers Molded Plastic A virtually indestructible Washer Toss set from River City since it’s made out of molded plastic. This means it truly is a weather-proof board but is also light-weight and stackable. The washers that come with the set (4 red and 4 white) are rubber-coated and have added texture for grip. The boards are slant-style and non-regulation 21.5 x 18.5 inches.

  • Pros: Truly weather proof and almost unbreakable. Will last forever.
  • Cons: Not regulation. Expensive.
  • RRP = $94.95
Back Door Sports Ultimate Washer Game

Back Door Sports Ultimate Washer Game

Back Door Sports Ultimate Washer Game A super cool looking Washer Toss set with a great design that enables you to play all three different versions of the game: slant, tub or flat. It’s a nice looking grey & black and made from thick, molded polypropylene so it is truly weather-proof and durable. The landing surface is industrial felt which means good grip for the washers and less clanging as they hit the surface. The legs are made from quality steel and are rubber coated so the set is sturdy and won’t move around during play. The washers are, however, not as durable and long lasting. Lucky these are easily replaced!

  • Pros: Quality materials. Durable and weather-proof. Versatile. Great price.
  • Cons: Washers imperfect.
3 Hole Washer Toss Boards Game

3 Hole Washer Toss Boards Game

Ohio Washer Games 3 Hole Washer Toss Boards This great set has three holes for added difficulty and gameplay. It’s the same quality construction as the other Ohio Washer Games sets with glued, nailed and stapled joints and carpet. This box is also extra-supported with cross-braces. It’s regulation 12-inch x 32-inches and includes rope handles for easy transport though it doesn’t include the string on the front which allows quick measuring of the regulation distance required between the boards.

  • Pros: Well built. Hand made in the USA.
  • Cons: Relatively Expensive (but it’s handmade!)
  • RRP = $69.99
Triumph Sports 2-in-1 3 Hole Bags and Washer Toss Combo

Triumph Sports 2-in-1 3 Hole Bags and Washer Toss Combo

Triumph 2-in-1, 3 Hole Bag Toss & Washer Toss Great little set from Triumph that combines a 3 Hole Washer Toss with a 3 Hole Cornhole. It’s easily converted simply by using a different pitching weapon: bag or washer. The nice thing about the set is the color coded holes which you can use for different point systems. Another great feature is the netting in the holes to catch the washers which many sets seem to be missing for some reason! It’s a very light, portable and packable set and has a really great price as well.

  • Pros: Versatile. Well made.
  • Cons: Not regulation.

2-Hole Washer Toss

2-Hole Rectangle Washer Game is the more challenging version of the single-hole version of washer toss. The 2-hole requires you to pitch the washer into the smaller, 3-inch tube in the rear. The rectangle shape and larger size means that it is easier to play on this set than a regulation set. So it’s great for beginners or younger folk. At the same time, there is more challenge attempting to get the washer into the 2nd hole. Same great construction as all Washer Toss Games sets.

  • Pros: Great construction. Different gameplay.
  • Cons: Not regulation.

2 Hole Octagon Washer Game is an upgraded version of the original washer toss game, with the added challenge of a 3-inch pipe which sits behind the standard 4-inch essentially giving you a smaller space to aim the washers into. The materials and build quality are the same as the standard washer toss game from the same company. Washer Toss Games also have a Single Hole Octagonal version of the set which is cheaper.

  • Pros:Durable, quality set. Portable. Added challenge.
  • Cons: More expensive than the standard set.

The Best Washers For Washer Toss

When you’re playing washer toss it’s perfectly natural for the washers to get chipped and scratched. The best ones should last quite a few games before you have to replace them though and these tend to be powder-coated. Cheaper washers will simply be painted. Always make sure your washers have a consistent weight. It’s when they start to bend that you need to look for some replacements! Or get some in great colors so you can have more players!

River City Pitching Washers For Washer Toss

River City Pitching Washers For Washer Toss

RiverCity Pitching Replacement Washers River City makes some of the best Washer Toss washers around. They’re grade-5 hardened rolled steel with a consistent weight and are powdercoated. They are always regulation 2.5 inches in diameter and come in all sorts of colors: yellow, orange, blue, white, pink, purple. As a bonus they are shipped to you in a collectible storage tin which also includes instructions.
RRP = $18.95 for 8 (in 2 colors)

Washer Toss Tips:

  • Learn how to hold the washer correctly. The right grip is your first step to a good toss.
  • To achieve correct grip, wrap your pointer finger and thumb around the washer’s edge. Rest your middle finger underneath to hold it in place during the toss.
  • When you toss the washer, the best technique produces a steady flight where the washer doesn’t wobble.
  • Correct pitching/tossing is achieved by keeping the movement of your arm on a straight plane toward the washer box.
  • When you release the washer, do so from the hip area and make keeping a straight arm movement and following through toward the target. The pointer finger should be the last digit to touch the washer as you release.
  • The angle of the washer during your toss affects how the washer lands on the washer toss box. Pitching it from a more horizontal plane will cause the washer to move more on landing than if you were holding it on a more vertical plane. A steeper, vertical angle will cause the washer to stop dead, or ‘sit’, when it hits the washer box.

I hope these washer toss tips help you! Leave a comment below if you have any tips for washer toss gameplay of your own or if you have any great tailgate party experiences playing the game that you’d like to share!


  1. […] It is designated for bocce but you could easily use it for cornhole or washer toss or any other tailgate party […]