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How to Play Five Lines

Five Lines was a game originating from Ancient Greece where it was known as Penta Grammai. The earliest reference to it is in 600 B.C. in a verse by Greek poet, Alkaios. It became popular among the Romans and boards have been found etched into pavements of old Roman towns.

Phase 1: Place the Pieces

Five Liness

  • Each player gets 5 pieces and places them on their side of the board (one per line/rectangle).

Phase 2: Move the Pieces

  • Each player take turns rolling a single die and moves one of their pieces counterclockwise according to the die value
  • Only 1 piece is allowed per line, so pieces are only allowed to move to a vacant spot.
  • The exception is the middle line (called the sacred line) is where more than 1 piece can land.
  • Player must move a piece even if it means moving a piece off the sacred line.
  • If a player is unable to move into a vacant spot or the sacred line, they pass.

The first player able to get all 5 of their pieces onto the sacred line of the opposing side wins.