How to Play Gomoku? A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Play Gomoku

Are you ready to join the ranks of Gomoku masters?

The traditional two-player board game has been around for centuries and is a great way to challenge your gaming skills.

Learn how to play Gomoku with this step-by-step guide, and soon you’ll be putting your opponents in checkmate.

What is Gomoku?

What is Gomoku

Gomoku is a two-player strategic board game, also known as Five in a Row or Gobang.

The aim of the game is to place five stones in a row before your opponent does the same.

It is played on a 19×19 intersectional grid with black and white stones (or other markers) representing each player.

The player who succeeds in placing five stones in a row (either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) first is the winner.

The Objective of the Game

The goal of Gomoku is to be the first player to get five stones in a row.

This can be done by placing your stones horizontally, vertically, or diagonally on the 19×19 board.

You must also remember to ensure that your opponent does not achieve this before you do!

The game is over once someone has placed five stones in a row – either you or your opponent.

Setting Up a Gomoku Board

Gomoku is traditionally played on a 19×19 board but can be adapted to different sizes i.e., 15×15, 16×16, etc.

To set up the game, start by drawing a grid of intersections with a pencil and paper, or use an online game app that offers digital boards.

You will need two sets of stones – one black and one white – to represent each player.


  • To begin the game, each player takes a turn placing one of their stones on an unoccupied intersection on the board.
  • Black always plays first.
  • The players take turns placing their stones until one has achieved five in a row (either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally).
  • If neither player manages to achieve this, the game is considered a draw.
  • When playing, it is important to keep track of your opponent’s moves and plan ahead to achieve five in a row.
  • As the game progresses, you will need to adjust your strategy based on your opponent’s actions.

How to Play Gomoku?

Let’s learn how to play Gomoku in this step-by-step guide.

  1.  Set up the game board: Start with an empty grid typically consisting of a 15×15 square board, although smaller or larger boards can also be used.
  2. Determine who goes first: You can use any method to decide who gets the first move, such as flipping a coin or playing rock-paper-scissors.
  3. Take turns placing stones: The players take turns placing their stones on empty intersections (intersections of horizontal and vertical lines) of the grid. One player uses black stones, and the other uses white stones.
  4. Aim to create a row of five: The goal is to create a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row of five of your own stones on the board before your opponent does.
  5. Alternate turns: Players continue taking turns, placing one stone at a time on an empty intersection until one of the players achieves a winning row or the board is full.
  6. Follow the rules: While playing, it is important to follow certain rules. Typically, the following rules are observed:
  7. Once a stone is placed on the board, it cannot be moved.
  8. Stones cannot be placed on intersections already occupied by another stone.
  9. The game is won by the first player to create an unbroken row of five stones.
  10. Declare the winner: If a player succeeds in getting five stones in a row, they win the game. If the board is filled with no winner, the game is declared a draw.
  11. Optional variations: There are various variations and rule modifications to Gomoku, such as using larger or smaller board sizes, introducing time limits, or playing with different winning conditions. These variations can add depth and excitement to the game.

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Winning Strategies for Playing Gomoku

To succeed at this game, you will need to use a combination of strategic thinking and tactics. Here are some tips that can help you win:

  • Make sure to take advantage of your opponent’s mistakes.
  • Plan ahead by studying possible winning row patterns.
  • Be aware of what moves your opponent is making and anticipate their next move.
  • Focus on gaining control of the board and defending your stones.
  • Look for opportunities to set up traps or counter-traps.
  • Try different variations of the game to stay sharp and practice new strategies.

Tips and Tricks for Mastering the Game of Gomoku

Gomoku is a challenging game that requires strategic thinking and careful tactics. To become an expert player, practice is key!

Here are some tips for mastering the game:

  • Play regularly – The more you play Gomoku, the better you will become as you learn from your mistakes and develop your skills.
  • Take time to think – Don’t rush your moves. Take time to consider each move and its potential consequences before placing a stone.
  • Look for patterns – Pay attention to the patterns of stones on the board and look for opportunities to set up winning rows or traps.
  • Be creative – Try out different strategies, be creative with your moves, and don’t be afraid to take risks!
  • Keep track of your progress – Record your games so you can look back and identify areas for improvement.


Gomoku is a great strategic game that has been around for centuries. It is a challenging and addictive game of wits between two players.

With the right strategies and tactics, you can become an expert Gomoku player in no time!