7 Best Axe Throwing Games to Test Your Skills

If you’ve been looking for a way to channel your inner lumberjack or just want a fun and unusual way to blow off some steam, then axe throwing is for you. Once a way to show off warrior prowess and demonstrate hatchet-wielding precision, today’s axe throwing adventures are a way to engage in a fun-filled family activity or create unforgettable memories with colleagues and friends. 

One of the best ways to improve your skills and show off is to train your arm and practice with axe throwing games. Some axe games are designed to test your accuracy, others to improve your strength, and some will increase your endurance. If you’re up to the challenge, there are quite a number of hatchet games that will test all three at once! This article will cover seven of our favorite axe throwing games that can be played either one-on-one or in a group setting. 

At Axe Master, we always put safety first, which is why we remind you that you shouldn’t be trying any of these games at home. Instead, visit a safe and supervised axe throwing location where both novice and expert axe throwers can learn new techniques, hone existing skills, and enjoy the exciting sport of axe throwing.

7 Fun and Challenging Axe Throwing Games

You’re probably familiar with the original sport of axe throwing, where you aim your axe at a target consisting of three or more concentric circles. But let’s break down the rules of a throwing axe game a little bit more. 

The center circle is called a bullseye and is worth five points in most axe throwing contests. If your axe lands outside the bullseye but within the next circle, you get three points, and outside that circle but inside the next will earn you one point. The target also contains two dots to the top of the circles, called “clutch” and are worth seven points each. If your axe lands outside these circles and dots, you get zero points. And if your axe doesn’t stick to the board at all, it’s referred to as a drop. 

While you can certainly find hours of enjoyment keeping score or just engaging in hatchet game target practice, there are a lot of different axe throwing games. Here are seven of our top picks, as well as how to play. It’s up to you which hatchet game suits you best, so give them all a try till you find your fit!

  1. HORSE Hatchet Games (2 Players or 2 Teams)
    You probably remember the two-person basketball game called HORSE. The following are a couple of axe throwing game variations of this popular schoolyard game.
    • 2 Player Horse: Instead of moving around a court throwing shots from different vantage points like you do in basketball HORSE, in the two-player hatchet throwing game HORSE, Player 1 stands 12 feet from the target and calls out the points and location they aim to hit before each throw, such as “3 on the bottom right.” If Player 1 hits the target as called, then the opposing axe-thrower (Player 2) tries for the same outcome. If Play 2 fails to hit the target as called by Player 1, they get the letter “H” and Player 1 will lead again, throwing their axe and calling the location. If Player 2 misses again, they get the letter “O.” If Player 2 makes the throw, however, no letters are assigned and Player 2 gets to throw the next axe and call the points and location and Player 1 follows. If Player 1 misses, they will be assigned a letter. The two players take turns until one spells out the word HORSE, losing the match.
    • Team Horse: Players divide into two teams. Players from competing teams throw head to head with the team with the lower cumulative score receiving a letter. The first team to have HORSE spelled out loses. In the event of a tie, one player from each team will throw head-to-head to determine the winner.
  2. Around the World (2 Players or 2 Teams)
    This one’s pretty straightforward, which is probably why it’s one of the most popular options out there. It’s a great way to hone your aim and get control over your throwing arm. Around the World is considered one of the best axe games that can be played one-on-one or in teams. The idea is to throw the axe to hit each area of the board first from the outside in and then from the inside out. The first team to hit the board in this order — 0,1,3,5,3,1,0 — wins.
  3. Landmines (2 Players or Teams)

    Landmines can also be played either between just two players or in two or more teams. Players accumulate points as they throw, adding to their team’s overall score. The first team to get 51 or more points wins. The “landmine” occurs when a team’s score is equal to a multiple of 10, such as 20, 30, 40, or 50. If the team’s total score hits one of these landmines, their score goes down to 10 points. 

    A variation on landmines is for each team to start at 50 points with a goal of playing until one team reaches 100 points. Four landmine numbers — typically 65, 75, 85, and 95 — are set. If you land on a landmine, your team is set back 10 points. Landmines are only dangerous once. So once a landmine is hit, it won’t “blow up” the next time someone hits it.

  4. Killer (Best Played in Teams)

    The game begins with a board that is modified so it has enough numbers evenly spaced around the board for each person playing on each team to end up with a different number. Whatever number they hit becomes their assigned number. Since no two players on the same team can have the same number, players have to keep throwing until they hit a number that hasn’t already been taken. 

    Every player has three lives. The initial goal is to become a killer. You do that by hitting your own number twice. Once you’re a killer, your goal is to hit the number of a player on the opposing team, which causes them to lose one of their lives. The game is over when one team takes all the lives from the players on the other team.

  5. Cornhole (2 Teams)
    Chances are you’ve heard of this game before, popular at tailgates and backyard barbecues. So how can you play one of America’s favorite pastimes with axes? Easy — players throw their axes to accumulate points instead of bean bags. The team that reaches 21 first wins. However, the twist with cornhole is in how the scores are calculated. After a player from each team throws, the lower score is subtracted from the higher score and the higher-throwing team member achieves a score equal to the difference. For example, if Team A throws a 3 and Team B throws a 1, Team A gets 2 points. If Team A throws a 2 and Team B throws a 3, Team B gets 1 point.
  6. Humans and Zombies (The More the Merrier)

    Humans and Zombies is played with two teams, but the makeup of these teams keeps changing. And if Human players aren’t careful, they become one of the walking dead. 

    Starting out, one player is the lone member of the Zombie team and everyone else is on the Human team. The Zombie throws against a Human using the same scoring method as used in Cornhole (subtract low score from high). If the Human wins, the Human team gets the difference in points. If the Zombie wins, the Human player becomes a Zombie and no points are awarded. If there is a tie, they keep the status quo. No points are awarded and the Human stays a Human. 

    Humans win if they reach 21 points before all Humans are converted to Zombies. If everyone is a Zombie, then the Zombies win.

  7. Blackjack (2 or More Players Divided Into 2 Teams)

    To win at Blackjack, your team has to accumulate 21 points. Each team gets to throw 10 times with the goal of getting a score of 21 or as close as possible to 21 without going over. If a team goes over 21 then it “busts” and loses the hand. It’s important to note that if a team reaches 21 before completing the 10 throws, the throws that remain need to land in the 0 points area. If they land in a points area, the team will bust. 

    When you score Blackjack throws, you only count the points if the axe is 100% within the scoring zone. If the axe blade is not entirely embedded in the zone, the thrower is awarded 0 points. In addition, if a player drops their axe, they score a negative 4. So players on a team that has reached 21 can’t just drop their axes and move on.

Axe Master Offers a World of Axe Throwing Fun

Of course, the list above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to axe games. There are dozens of games you can play with a hatchet, and most have multiple variations so players at every level of axe throwing skill can find a way to compete. If you find axe throwing as much fun as we do, you are invited to join one of our axe throwing leagues

If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at axe throwing, let Axe Master be your guide. We have packages available for individuals, groups and team building events. We offer axe throwing in San Antonio and axe throwing in Atlanta — so come on down Georgia!