Gobang is a simple board game which is the Japanese form of Nine Holes. A board can be easily drawn on a piece of paper or cardboard. The board consists of 324 squares in an 18 x 18 grid. Make sure you draw the squares large enough to hold one counter per square.

Age: Adults and older children

No. of players: 2

Equipment: Board; two hundred counters (100 black and 100 white, or other colours)

Time: 10 minutes+

Aim: To be the first player to get five counters in a row.

1. One player holds a black counter in one fist and a white counter in the other fist. The opposing player chooses one hand. Whoever gets the black counter uses that colour and starts first.

2. Each player takes it in turn to put one counter on any of the 324 squares on the board. They should try to get five of their counters in a row (vertical, horizontal or diagonal), while preventing their opponent from doing the same.

3. Once all 200 counters are on the board (assuming no player got five in a row), players take turns to move any one of their counters to a square adjacent to their counter (horizontal and vertical, but not diagonal). Play continues until one player wins by getting five counters in a row.

4. For variations of this game, see Achi and Nine Holes.

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