Gomoku game board

Gomoku How to Play: A Beginner’s Guide

Gomoku, also known as Five in a Row, is a classic strategy board game that’s easy to learn but challenging to master. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the rules and strategies of How to Play Gomoku so you can start enjoying this exciting game.

Objective: The goal in Gomoku is simple: be the first to get five of your pieces in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, on the game board.

Setting Up:

  1. Game Board: Start with an empty 15×15 grid (although smaller grids work too for quicker games).
  2. Players: Gomoku is typically played by two players, with one using X and the other O as their pieces.

Gomoku game board

Gameplay: Players take turns placing their pieces on the intersections of the grid lines. The game proceeds as follows:

  1. Opening Move: The player using X typically goes first.
  2. Alternating Turns: Players take turns placing their piece on the board until one player achieves five in a row or the board fills up, resulting in a draw.


  1. Winning: The first player to get five of their pieces in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) wins the game.
  2. Draw: If the entire board is filled, and no player has five in a row, the game is a draw.
  3. Forbidden Move: In some variations, certain patterns of moves may be considered forbidden to prevent unfair play.

Strategy Tips:

  • Control the Center: Try to control the center of the board; it gives you more opportunities for different winning combinations.
  • Defense: While going on the offensive is crucial, remember to protect against your opponent’s potential wins.
  • Create Threats: Force your opponent to defend against multiple potential winning moves.
  • Adapt: Be flexible and adjust your strategy as the game progresses.

A Gomoku player creating a threat on the board


Gomoku is a simple yet engaging game that offers hours of fun and strategic challenges. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, the key to success is thinking ahead, adapting to your opponent’s moves, and striving for that elusive five in a row.

Now that you’ve learned how to play Gomoku, grab a friend, set up your game board, and enjoy this exciting test of strategy and skill. May the best player win!

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