How to Build A Washers Game

At the last tailgate party we threw, a friend of mine introduced me to the game of washers. I have always played horseshoes, but washers is something else. Horseshoes is not a very portable game, while a person can spend around 20 bucks to build a washers game and play virtually anywhere. A description of how to build a washer game, and the instructions for the game are described below.

Building The Washers Game

To Build the Washers Boards:

Washers Game Diagram


1. 1/2 sheet of 3/4 plywood. Birch is my recommendation.
2. 3 really straight 8 foot 1"x4"x3/4" pine boards.
3. Wood Glue
4. Screws
5. 3M Spray Adhesive. It comes in a can and can be found at Home Depot in the glue section.
6. 6 3.5" Diameter Washers. You can find them at a Fastenal or possible Lowes or Home Depot.
7. 2 - 10 Foot Ropes.
8. 2 eye lag screws to attach the rope.

1. Cut the 3/4 plywood into two pieces measuring 18 inches wide by 48 inches long. These will will be the tops of the washer boxes. The bottom of the box should be open so you basically have 4 sides and a top. I like to use 3/4 inch plywood. It is durable and can be finished or painted.
2. Cut 3 holes in each box top that are 3.5 inches in diameter, spaced out as the diagram shows above. Cut the middle hole in the center, and cut the other two holes half way between the center of the box and the end of the box on each side. The holes in the washer game are 12 inches apart, measuring from the center of each hole.
3. Cut the sides from the 1x4s. You will need 4 boards cut to 46.5" and 4 boards cut to 18". The end boards will overlap the long side boards. So for each box you will need to use 2 18" boards and 2 46.5" boards. Fasten the boards to the plywood using 1.5" screws. I advise to pre-drill the holes using a countersink. Apply glue before fastening them. Be sure to put screws in the end of the 18" board where it overlaps the 46.5" board to hold the ends together. You can also use a nail gun to do this if you use 1.5 inch nails. Be sure to use glue. The sides will raise the board off of the ground to let the washers fall in.
4. Use Astro Turf, or basically really thin outdoor carpet to cover each washer box. The carpet can be applied with 3M Spray Adhesive. This will keep the washers from sliding and bouncing as much.
5. You will need two sets of washers to play the game, totaling 6.(three for each team), The washer diameter is 3.25 inches.
6. To space the washer boards apart, attach a 10 foot rope, cable, or chain between the two boxes. Attach the eye lag screws to the center of the box on the 18" side. Measure the middle from the top to the bottom and left and right.

Stretch the two boxes apart, and play. When you build a washers game, you need rules. I included them below.

Washers Game Rules:

1. The three holes are worth 1pt, 2 points and 3 points (the inside hole is 1 point, the next is 3, and the outside hole is worth 5 points.
2. The object of the game is to toss the washers so that they go into the holes on the board opposite of the board you are standing by. If you throw first, you throw all 3 washers.
3. Leave the washers where they fall, and your opponent, standing next to you will then throw his or her 3 washers.
4. If your opponent covers you, it will cancel the points you made.
5. First one to 21 wins. If you go over 21 your score is now 11, and you work your way up from there. If you reach 21 but still have washers left to throw, you must throw them, they must hit the board, but they can not go in a hole.
6. Example: If you are at 20 and you need 1 point to score 21, and you throw into the whole worth 2 points, you have gone over, and your score is now 11. A score of 21 must be reached exactly.

This game can also be played in teams. Your partner would stand by the board opposite of you next to one of your opponents. You stand next to an opponent on the other team.