Gomoku is a traditional game originating from Japan or China (but the origin is up for debate). Due to the fact no pieces are removed from a board, you can play this with pen and paper, but Gamepigeon has its own version on the app platform that now allows you to play with friends. And though sometimes you may find GamePigeon not working, it’s usually pretty reliable.
It can get really competitive and helps you to use parts of your brain you may not be used to, the first few times I played this game I hadn’t played an abstract strategy game in forever and it gave me a headache. But once you get the hang of it, it is super addictive.
How to play Gomoku GamePigeon
The game itself is kind of like Connect 4 and Noughts and Crosses but instead, it is 5 in a line. In the game, black goes first, which means that if you play it perfectly and you choose black, you should always be able to win because you are one move ahead of your opponent.
The game is played on a 19 X 19 tiled board but can also be played on a smaller board depending on how you wish to play. The game is really complex once you get into some serious strategy playing and really is only like Connect 4 in the fact you have to line things up.
Once you have chosen your pieces then players alternate their pieces in an empty intersection. Trying to strategically block the other player from getting five in a row. You can win by getting five, vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
This game is so simple it’s insane that said, it gets crazy hard at points because you are playing a chess style strategy game anticipating moves of the other person whilst trying to win yourself. If you take your eye off the ball they will sneak past you and take the win so you need to concentrate whilst playing Gomoku.
As stated black always goes first, this game is played with two players, you do not place your markers in the middle of squares you place them on the intersecting lines that make up the squares on the board. Your pieces are close together which means you can basically win in any direction you can create a line.
You need to be careful once your opponent gets three tiles down in a row because they can win from either open side if you leave them unchecked. If you fail to block both sides your opponent can then win from the other open side of the line by laying down two more markers. The black player has four in a row, but the white player has blocked the opening on either side preventing the first player from completing a five in a row line.
Because black can always win as it is the first piece set down there is a ‘Pro’ rule that states black must place the piece in the middle of the board and then the second player with their white piece has unrestricted movement. Then the first players second stone must be placed at least three intersections away from the first stone they laid down in the middle of the board.
Long Pro rule
Like in the pro rule the first piece is placed in the centre of the board, the white player then can place anywhere they want to on the board. In the long pro rule, the second black piece must be placed four intersections away from the first stone.
The first player can place their first three pieces anywhere on the board, usually two black and one white piece. The second player can then choose which colour they wish to place. Normal play then continues with white laying down their second stone and continuing alternating as normal.
The first player can place their first three pieces anywhere on the board, usually two black and one white piece. The second player can then choose one of three options
- Choose which colour they wish to play. Normal play then continues with white laying down their second stone and continuing alternating as normal.
- You can choose to play as black
- You can place two more stones, one of each colour and then pass the choice of colour to the player that laid down the first stones.
In conclusion, Gomoku can get really complicated and honestly I feel like my eyes are too easily confused to ever become amazing at it, but it is really fun to play. Considering how simple the premise of the game is there are countless ways to win the game. It is all about thinking ahead. This is a really fun game that has been around literally since ancient times so it must be good. If you don’t have GamePigeon and want to try it out follow this link to play against the computer > mathsisfun.com/games/gomoku.html.