The two washer boards should be placed on a flat surface 10 feet apart from the front of the board. The included distance rope is exactly 10 feet long for easy distance measuring. When two individuals are competing the first player will toss at a selected board while the second person follows from the same spot. After tallying scores, players will then pick up the washers thrown and throw to the other board. During pair competitions, teammates will stay at the opposite board.
Washers is a team game, each team will have a player stationed at the opposing washer game board. Each player must throw their washers with both feet on the washer board. The foul line is the front of the board.
The closest hole is worth one (1) point, the middle hole is worth three (3) points, and the furthest hole is worth five (5) points. Washers must drop into the hole completely to score. A thrown washer from either player can knock washers on the board in a hole. It is important to remember whose washers are on the board in case of a knock-in throw. The owner of the knocked-in washer receives the applicable score for the hole into which it has entered.
Each player has a turn to throw three washers in each round. During one-on-one games, players will tally the score from that round and proceed to throw back at the other board. During two-on-two games, after a round is thrown and the score is tallied, then the other set of people will pick up the washers and proceed to throw back and so on
After a player has thrown three washers for their turn, the other player has the opportunity to cancel out the opponent's score. For example, if the first player throws a washer in the first hole for 1 point, the middle hole for 3 points, and then misses the third shot, the score would be 4 points for that player. However, the opponent, has a chance to cancel points from the first player total during this round. If the second person throws a washer in the first hole for 1 point and the last hole for 5 points, and then misses the third shot, the score of the first round would be 5 to 3 in favor of the second player because the washers that landed in the first hole for one point cancelled each other out.
The cancel rule is counted only for turns in the same round. Both players must throw all their washers for a complete round. The player or team to score last (no matter if the throw is cancelled or not) throws first in the next round. A round consists of a player throwing three washers in a row as one turn, and then an opposing player doing the same thing as the second turn. A round consists of two turns.
The skunk rule is in effect unless otherwise agreed upon by both teams before a game begins. If a team outscores another team 11+to 0, then the team with zero is SKUNKED (they lose). The team that outscores the other team 11+ to 0, wins the game.
The first player or team to reach exactly twenty-one (21) points wins the game. NOTE: the round has to be complete and a player or team must reach exactly 21 points to win the game. Breaking the 21-point level creates a penalty situation.
Exceeding the winning point total of 21 results in a reduction of your starting score by the total number of points you made to break 21. For example, if Player A has 18 points and throws a washer in the last hole for 5 points, then misses two shots, they or their team will go back to 13 points because the total number of points thrown during that turn exceeded 21 points and the points scored (5) is subtracted from the starting score (18) for that round.
During each round, if opponents make a washer in the same hole, it's just as if that washer was never thrown for both players. Scores are tallied at the end of each player's turn, and then adjusted for cancels at the end of the opponents turn. For example, if both players threw a five in the previous example, the score for Player A or his team would remain at 18 points.
"Washer Pitching" and washer games have been around for over 100 years. The cowboys would take the wheel off the wagon and pitch the washer into the hub of the wheel for entertainment.
In 1986, as the word of "Let's Pitch Washers" began to spread into the community, non-profit organizations began to approach people about Washer Pitching Tournaments to help raise money for their charities. (Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, American Cancer Society, San Jacinto Day Foundation, and area charities, to name a few). Through this type of exposure, "Let's Pitch Washers" soon reached the retail market place and is being sold in sporting good stores in the Houston area and parts of South Texas.
This eventually lead to the invention of games like “The Washer Toss” and “Hillbilly Horseshoes” (also known as Texas Horseshoes).