How to play Gomoku on GamePigeon – Guide

If you’re looking how to learn to play Gomoku and win against your opponents, you’re in the right place.

Gomoku is one of the better games that GamePigeon have to offer, and though it’s a simple enough game, there are a few things to learn that can give you the upper hand on your opponent.

It can get really competitive and helps you to use parts of your brain that you may not be used to using.

But once you get the hang of it, it is super addictive – here’s how to play the board game Gomoku on iMessage.

How to play Gomoku GamePigeon – Guide

The game itself is kind of like Connect 4 and Noughts and Crosses but instead, it is 5 in a line.

One person will play white stones, and the other will play black stones. Unlike chess, black stones automatically get the first move.

And because in the game black goes first, this 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.

Once you install Gomoku on your device you can then send a game invite to a friend and begin playing. But first, you need to know how to play Gomoku.

Gomoku Game Rules

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, yet 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.

Gomoku Strategies

Pro rule


Because black can always win as it is the first piece set down there is a β€˜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.

Swap One


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.

Swap Two

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

  1. Choose which colour they wish to play. Normal play then continues with white laying down their second stone and continuing alternating as normal.
  2. You can choose to play as black
  3. 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.

Where does Gomoku come from?

Gomoku is a traditional Japanese board game – many say that it originates from Japan, however this is often debated as the game is popular in China too.

It’s not to be confused with the more complex Go Game, which also utilises black and white stones.

In comparison, Go Game is more like the ancient strategy games Chess and Backgammon, whereas Gomoku is more like “Five-in-a-row” – the players goal is to get five consecutive stones lined up together before their opponent.

One of the interesting things about Gomoku is that 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.

If you want to play optimally, Gomoku takes time and practice – and who knows, one day you could eventually be playing in the Gomoku World Championships!


In conclusion, Gomoku can get really complicated and though it’s tough to 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 >

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An avid gamer, historian and all-round literature buff, Tracy is our go-to when it comes to using different devices. MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux or whatever else, Tracy's got a device that runs it (she's even got an old Blackberry laying around somewhere!).

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