The video above includes a playthrough of this great game, featuring myself and my camera-shy daughter Jemima. This video also includes some strategy tips. I should mention that neither of us claim to be world class GIPF players, but I have studied the game enough to be able to give beginners and intermediates a few pointers. The game featured above was about the tenth game of GIPF that Jemima and I played together, and both of us made a lot of mistakes, but I think that adds to the experience.

The full rules are at the bottom of this post, if you have never played before.

Here is a summary of the strategy I have picked up, most of which is demonstrated and/or commented on in the video.



  • Try to dominate the three longest diagonals, by having more pieces than your opponent in them.
  • Try to dominate the central spaces of the board. A piece in the centre can be used to atttack in any direction. It is especially powerful to get GIPF pieces there, as they remain on the board after others have been removed.
  • Your opponent will probably be trying to push your GIPF piece out of the central space. The best way to prevent that is by filling up the diagonal he/she is trying to use, from the other direction, so that your piece cannot be pushed away.
  • Don’t let your pieces get isolated on the board, try to keep them in clusters of at least two or three.
  • Conversely, try to split up your opponent’s pieces (especially GIPF pieces) and leave them isolated.
  • A four-in-a-row that does not touch the outside of the board is more difficult to prevent than one that does.
  • Keep an eye on when your opponent is running low on pieces, as you can predict that they will go for four-in-a-row then.
  • The winner will be the player who can best look ahead and predict what his/her opponent will do, and what the board will be like afterwards.


The full rules are in the attached pdf