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

how to play gomoku

Gomoku, also known as Five in a Row, is a popular board game that originated in Japan. The game is easy to learn but challenging to master, making it an enjoyable pastime for players of all ages. The goal of the game is to create an unbroken line of five stones on the board, with the first player to do so being declared the winner. While the rules are simple, the strategy can be complex, requiring players to anticipate and block their opponent’s moves while setting up their own lines. In this blog, we will explore the history of Gomoku, its basic rules, and strategies to help you improve your game.

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How to Play Gomoku?

Gomoku, also known as Five in a Row, is a traditional board game that is played by two players. The game is played on a 19×19 grid, although smaller grids can also be used. The objective of the game is to be the first player to place five stones in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Here are the basic steps to play Gomoku:

  1. Start by setting up the board. The board consists of a grid of lines that intersect to form a series of squares. You can use a traditional Gomoku board, or draw a grid on a piece of paper.
  2. Decide who will go first. Players can flip a coin or use any other method to determine who will go first.
  3. The first player places a stone on any empty intersection of the board.
  4. The second player then places a stone of a different color on any empty intersection of the board.
  5. Players continue taking turns, placing one stone at a time on any empty intersection of the board.
  6. The first player to place five stones in a row, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, wins the game.
  7. If the board is filled with stones and no player has placed five in a row, the game is considered a tie.

There are many variations of Gomoku, and different rules may apply depending on the specific version you are playing. Additionally, Gomoku can also be played online or through messaging apps like iMessage, with some variations in the rules and gameplay.

How to Play Gomoku on GamePigeon

GamePigeon is an app that allows you to play games, including Gomoku, on iMessage with your friends. Here are the general steps to play Gomoku on GamePigeon:

  1. Open iMessage and select a conversation with the friend you want to play with.
  2. Tap the App Store icon to open the iMessage apps.
  3. Search for GamePigeon and tap the icon to open it.
  4. Scroll through the list of games and select Gomoku.
  5. The game will open, and you and your friend can take turns placing stones on the board.
  6. The first player to place five stones in a row, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, wins the game.
how to play gomoku on gamepigeon

How to Win Gomoku

To win Gomoku, also known as Five in a Row, you must be the first player to create an unbroken line of five of your stones. The line can go in any direction, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Here are some tips for winning at Gomoku:

  1. Aim for a forced win: Look for opportunities where you can place a stone. This will force your opponent to respond in a specific way, giving you the chance to set up a winning line.
  2. Watch for potential threats: Keep an eye on your opponent’s moves, and try to anticipate any potential threats to your own lines. If your opponent is close to creating a line of their own, you may need to adjust your strategy to block them or set up a defensive line.
  3. Control the center: The center of the board is the most important area, as it gives you the most opportunities to create lines. Try to control this area and make strategic moves to set up your lines.
  4. Avoid non-open 4-in-a-rows: A non-open 4-in-a-row is a line of four stones with a gap on one end, which can be blocked by your opponent. Avoid creating these lines unless you have a forced win, as they can be easily blocked and can give your opponent an advantage.
  5. Practice and learn from your mistakes: Like with any game, practice and experience are key to improving your skills at Gomoku. Analyze your games and learn from your mistakes to improve your strategy and increase your chances of winning.

What is the Goal of Gomoku?

The goal of Gomoku is to create an unbroken line of five stones of your color (black or white) on the board. The line can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. The first player to create an unbroken line of five stones wins the game.

how to play gomoku on imessage

Does Black Always Win in Gomoku?

The question of whether black always wins in Gomoku is a matter of debate and depends on several factors, including the size of the board and the rules used.

According to some mathematical analyses, it has been proven that black can always win if they play optimally on a smaller board, such as 15×15. However, this does not necessarily hold true for larger boards.

Additionally, there are variations of Gomoku that have different rules and starting positions, which can affect the outcome of the game. Some opening moves may give Black an advantage, but this is not a guaranteed win.

Overall, while black may have certain advantages in some variations of Gomoku, it is not accurate to say that black always wins in every situation.


Gomoku is a fascinating game that has stood the test of time and continues to be enjoyed by people all over the world. While the basic rules remain the same, the game has evolved over the years, with different variations and strategies emerging. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, the key to success in Gomoku lies in developing your own style and staying one step ahead of your opponent. By practicing and learning from your mistakes, you can improve your skills and become a master of this timeless game. So, grab a friend and a board, and let the games begin!

Written by tech33560


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