Julian Lucas Senet
Click anywhere to begin.
http://www.julianlucas.com Music © Tilted Mill 2004, Keith Zizza

The History of Senet

Senet is the oldest board game in the world, discovered in the most ancient tombs of Egypt's pharaohs and noblemen. Symbolizing the journey from death to the afterlife, Senet was both a casual drinking pasttime and an important ritual object to be placed in the tombs of the deceased.

Rules of Senet

Senet, the oldest game in the world, is played by two. The first player to move all of his pieces off the board is the winner.

Number of Players

Click the AI toggles to the left to automate one or both sides of the game. By default both sides are manually controlled.

Game Beginning

To begin the game, throw the sticks by clicking on them until a one is rolled. Black moves first. If you are playing as black, click the sticks again to roll - then click whichever piece you would like to move. Your turn ends on a two or a three.

Piece Movement

Each player has five pieces. They move around the board in a zigzag. Click on a piece to move it after clicking on the sticks to roll them. A piece moves forward or backward the number of spaces shown by the sticks. A piece cannot move to a square occupied by another piece of the same color. A piece can attack to a square occupied by a piece of the opposite color, switching places with that piece. A piece cannot attack a piece that is in a block of three or more pieces in a row. Any dice stick throw which cannot be used to make a forward movement must be used to move a piece backwards. If no legal move is possible in either direction, then the turn of the player ends.

Water Trap

Square 27, marked by (water), is a trap. Any players piece landing on this square must return to square 15 . If there is another piece there, the piece must return to the start of the game. The penalized piece then begins its journey again toward completing the game.

Safe Squares

Squares 26 , 28 and 29 are safe. Pieces cannot be attacked on these squares.

Bearing Off

Once all of his pieces are out of the first row, a player may begin to "bear them off," or move them into the afterlife. A player bears off a piece by clicking on it when he or she has a high enough roll to move it off the board. Any "leftover" moves may be used by another piece.

The first player to bear off all of his pieces is the winner.

Control Panel

Mouse over anything in the panel to the left to see what it does. The panel includes options for automating the game, displaying and hiding this rules panel, showing the credits, resetting the game, saving and loading.

This is a game of chance and fate, and as in life, the outcome is unknown until the game is completed.