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how to play Gomoku

Gomoku is a fascinating board game that originated from mainly two countries – China and Japan. The game is played by two players on a grid board using black and white stones. The main objective of the players while playing the game is to form a line of five stones, either horizontally or vertically to win. Gomoku can be slightly complex in comparison to other games as it requires critical thinking skills and concrete strategies.

Many people wanting to play this game are not aware of how to actually play it. If you are also one of them, don’t worry; this article will help. Here, we will provide all the essential information to begin playing Gomoku. 

How To Play Gomoku?

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Learning how to play Gomoku is not rocket science, as it can be learned quite easily. Here’s all you need to know about this fun game to start playing it:

The Essentials

Let’s get started with the crucial things that you will need to play Gomoku:

  • Two Players – Gomoku can be played only by two players, no more and no less. Hence, ensure that you find your opponent in the game beforehand. 
  • A Gomoku Board – It is a game board on which you will be playing the game. It usually consists of intersecting lines. The board mainly comes with 15×15 and 11×11 grids. Sometimes, Gomoku is also played on a 19×19 grid. You can pick any of them that fit your comfort level. 
  • Stones – Another one of the essentials of Gomoku is the two sets of stones, which come in white and black color. All white stones should be given to one player and black to the second player. 

Rules Of The Game

Before you begin to play the Gomoku, it is crucial to become familiar with the rules of the game. Here are some of the main ones that you must comply with while playing the game:

  • The First Move – In Gomoku, the first move is always done by the player with the black stones. 
  • Placing The Stones – On every turn, you will need to place a stone on any of the intersections of the grid. Once you have made your move, it cannot be reversed.
  • Deciding the Winner – The winner of the game will be the one who first forms a line of the five stones, which can be vertical or horizontal. However, forming a line of more than five stones will not be considered a win (in some types of Gomoku.) 
  • Draws – If no player has been able to make the line of five stones, the game will have no winner and it will be considered a draw. 
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Note: Remember that the rules may vary depending on the version of the Gomoku you are playing. Thus, it is advised for you to discuss the rules with your opponent beforehand for a smooth experience. 

Starting The Game

So, once you have gathered all the essentials and understood the rules, it’s time to start the game.

Firstly, decide who will use the white stones and who will use the black stones. Once the choice is made, the player with the black stones will commence the game as per the rules. The player can place their first stone at any intersection of the board. 

That’s it. The Gomoku game has officially started, and now it is up to players to display their strategic moves and successfully create a line of the five stones. The first one who accomplishes that will be considered the winner. 

What Are the Benefits Of Playing Gomoku?

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Playing Gomoku doesn’t only provide fun to the player, but also offers them numerous health benefits, which includes:

  • Enhances Problem-Solving Skills – When playing Gomoku, you are likely to experience a lot of challenges throughout the gameplay. To overcome them, you will need to think fast from different angles, which will ultimately enhance your problem-solving skills. 
  • Boosts Your Cognitive Function – Consider Gomoku as a mental gymnastic; it requires you to plan and think critically to beat your opponent, which increases your cognitive function by stimulating your brain. 
  • Helps You Become More Attentive – Gomoku is not a game that you can play while wondering about something else or multitasking. It demands complete focus if a player desires to win the game. For that reason, it will help you increase your focus and become more attentive. 
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What Are Some Tips and Strategies You Can Use To Beat Your Opponent?

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Here are some tips and tactics that will help you become better at Gomoku: 

  • Protect Yourself – This one’s for beginners. It is advised to safeguard your positions while aiming to build a line of five stones.
  • Threat Your Opponent – The main aim of this tactic is to put the other player in defense mode and make some strategic moves that make it hard for your opponent to win.
  • Do Not Take Your First Few Moves Lightly – It is recommended to make your first few moves strategically because they can literally be the moves that will lead you to the victory of the game. 
  • Do Not Make Immediate Moves – Once your opponent has made its move, stop for a moment before you make yours. Always analyze the position you calculated in your mind and ensure that it will evolve exactly the same way on the board.
  •  Always Stay Attentive – If you truly want to win the game, you must give it 100% of your focus. Otherwise, your chances of losing will increase. 
  • Keep Learning To Achieve Excellence – There are a lot of resources available on the internet from where you can learn about Gomoku. Take advantage of them and keep getting better to beat your opponents effectively.


That was all you needed to know about how to play Gomoku. It is one of the simplest yet challenging games you can play to have fun while exercising your brain. So, if the game has got your interest, get yourself a Gomoku board, stones and a worthy opponent and begin playing and enjoying the game. 

Make sure to use the tips and tricks provided above to level up your gameplay and increase your chances of winning.