The illustration on the left is a pattern that might be drawn on the ground, scratched onto a piece of stone, or carved into a block of wood, or printed on a piece of paper. This game is similar to "Nine Holes", but instead players make use of the nine intersecting points on the pattern. Evidence of this game has been found in many diverse places in the world. It has been found in the ancient Egyptian temple at Kurna. It has been observed drawn on the ground in places in Africa such as the Gold Coast and Nigeria, and in India from the Punjab to the Central Provinces. It has been reported that it is played in remote Japanese villages and is one of the few games played by the Ainus.
Two players, each with three counters - pebbles, marbles, coins, etc. - place a counter one at a time onto one of the intersection of two lines (which is one of the nine points), 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 placed, the game continues, and during alternative turns, a player can transfer one of his/her counters to any vacant intersection until a row of three is made.
Last update March 30, 2010