What Is Texas Horseshoes?

by Michele M. Howard
Texas horseshoe washers have a 1-inch hole in the center.

Texas horseshoe washers have a 1-inch hole in the center.

The more common way to play horseshoes is to toss a horseshoe-shaped iron and try to wrap it around a stake centered in the middle of the sandy pit. But this isn’t the only version of the game. You can also play popular variations of Texas horseshoes, also called hillbilly or redneck horseshoes. Players toss 2.5-inch circular washers toward a three-holed washer board or a hole in the ground.

Washer Board Horseshoes

Two wooden boards are spaced 10 feet apart. Each board measures about 4 feet long by 16 inches wide, is slightly elevated and has three holes from top to bottom. The object is to be the first to accumulate exactly 21 points. You score one point when your washer lands in the closest hole, three points in the middle hole and five points in furthest hole. Points cancel out if your opponent tosses a washer in the same hole your washer fell through.

Hole-in-the-Ground Version

Two 4.5-inch sections of 4-inch diameter PVC are embedded flush in the ground 25 feet apart. The size of the pit, the area around the pipe, can vary -- 5 feet by 3 feet or 4 feet square. The pit has compacted soil around the pipe and can be framed, but this is not required. You toss two washers toward the hole. You earn five points if your washer goes in the hole and one point if your washer is the closest to the hole. The first player to score 21 or more points wins. If your washer lands in the hole and your opponent's washer also lands in the hole, the points cancel out.

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