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Official Othello Rules

Othello, also known as Reversi, is a classic board game for two players that is played on an 8x8 grid. The game is simple to learn but offers deep strategic gameplay. Here are the basic rules:

Game Components:

  • Board: An 8x8 grid with 64 squares.

  • Pieces: Black on one side and white on the other, typically called "discs" or "stones."


  1. Place four discs in the center of the board in a grid pattern, with black discs on squares d4 and e5, and white discs on squares d5 and e4.

  2. Players decide who will play black and who will play white.


  • The goal of Othello is to have the most discs of your color on the board when no more legal moves can be made.


  1. Initial Move: Black makes the first move.

  2. Turns: Players take turns placing one disc of their color on an empty square of the board. The placed disc must sandwich at least one opponent's disc between the newly placed disc and any discs of the player's color already on the board.

    • When a player makes a move that sandwiches opponent's discs, those discs are flipped to the player's color.

  3. Passing: If a player cannot make a legal move, they must pass their turn.

  4. End of Game: The game ends when no more legal moves can be made. This typically occurs when the board is filled or when both players pass consecutively.

    • The player with the most discs of their color on the board at the end of the game wins.


  • Corner Control: Occupying corners is crucial, as discs placed in corners cannot be flipped by opponents. They act as stable anchors for controlling adjacent lines.

  • Edge Control: Controlling edges allows players to limit their opponent's options and establish strong positions.

  • Mobility: Maintaining mobility and flexibility is important. Keeping options open and avoiding leaving gaps that can be exploited by opponents is key.

  • Disk Parity: Strive to maintain a higher number of discs than your opponent. This gives you greater control over the board and more opportunities for flipping discs.

Advanced Tactics:

  • Forcing Moves: Sometimes making moves that appear disadvantageous can force your opponent into making moves that benefit you.

  • Sacrifice: Sacrificing some discs strategically to gain control over critical parts of the board can lead to a stronger position later in the game.

  • Visualization: Being able to visualize potential future board states is crucial for making informed decisions.

Othello is a game of strategy, anticipation, and adaptability. With practice and experience, players can develop their skills and enjoy increasingly challenging matches.

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