An ancient game similar in appearance to the games “Go” and “Pente,” Gomoku plays a bit more like Tic-Tac-Toe, and can also be played as a paper and pencil game.

Number of Players



A grid of squares which can be any size really. Usually, it is 19x19 and no smaller than 15x15. Any board used for playing Go or Pente will work just fine.


A large number of round, flat stones in two separate colors (traditionally white and black…they can also be marked as Xs and Os).


Players choose colors and decide who will play first (When playing with traditional white and black pieces, black always goes first…on paper the first player to play will be considered Xs). The board starts empty.


The first player plays a single stone on the center intersection of the grid (in freestyle games, the opening move may be made anywhere). Players then alternate playing 1 stone per turn. They may play stones anywhere on the board they wish.


The goal is to get five stones in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally). The first player to achieve this wins. The first player (black or X) is said to have a great advantage in this game. The main thing to look for is anytime your opponent has three stones lined up in a row, because if your opponent manages to get an open ended row of four…you’re sunk.

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