In England, in many English catherals of monastic origin (including Westminister Abbey) Nine Holes in the pattern illustrated at the left are carved into various places in the cloisters. The holes may be carved into a stone or wooden bench for example, though in modern times self-contained boards have been made for this game.There are documentary records from the past, of ecclesiastical courts punishing men for carving the holes for this game in inappropriate places - yet the game continued to be played by "residents" of these cloisters.
Two players, each with three counters - pebbles, marbles, coins, etc. - enter a counter one at a time into one of the holes, during alternate turns of play. Each player is attempting to make an orthogonal row before the other player does this. When all the counters have been entered, the game continues, and during alternative turns, a player can transfer one of his/.her counters to any vacant hole until a row of three is made.
Last update March 30, 2010