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EN Rules dots and boxes ( DE / NL ):

Object of the board game

Take more boxes than your opponent. You move by connecting two dots with a line. When you place the last 'wall' of a single square (box), the box is yours. The players move in turn, but whenever a player takes a box (s)he must move again. The board game ends when all 25 boxes have been taken. The player with the most boxes wins.

Connecting dots

You connect two dots by clicking on the line between them. The illustration below shows the first move of a board game.

Taking boxes

When all four of the lines around a single box are in place, the player who made the last move owns the box. The box is marked in that player’s color and (s)he must move again. In the end phase the board game can look like this:

Red is in the lead: he has 9 boxes against blue’s 2.

End of the board game

The game is finished when all connections have been made and all boxes have been taken. The player who owns most boxes wins. In the example below Red wins 23 to 2.


On the surface this doesn’t look like a very strategic board game. A typical beginner’s game looks like this: in the beginning connections are made in more or less random fashion, and no boxes are taken. Only in the endgame one of the players is usually forced to give away boxes, and after that the players take turns in giving away ever-larger 'chains' of boxes; the one who gets the last and largest chain usually wins. However, there are ways to force your opponent to give away the long chains at the end. For a very good description of how to do this, and lots of other strategy tips, take a look at this site.

© Ottmar Zimmer, Brettspielnetz 2024