Dots and Boxes


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About Dots and Boxes

Dots and Boxes, also known as the Dot Game or Boxes, is a classic pen-and-paper game that has been enjoyed by people of all ages for generations. The game is simple in its rules but can become quite strategic and competitive as players develop their skills. It's a two-player game that requires nothing more than a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.


The objective of Dots and Boxes is to create as many boxes as possible by connecting a grid of dots with lines. The player who completes the most boxes wins the game.


Draw a grid of dots on a piece of paper. The size of the grid can vary, but the most common grid is 5x5, creating 4x4 squares. Larger grids can be used for longer and more challenging games.

Players take turns connecting two adjacent dots with a horizontal or vertical line. Each line drawn represents one move.


Players take turns, with each player connecting two dots on their turn. The lines can be drawn horizontally or vertically.

When a player completes the fourth side of a square (a box), they write their initials or a symbol in the box to indicate that they have captured it.

The player who completes a box gets an additional turn. They continue taking turns until they fail to complete a box.

The game ends when all the dots have been connected, and no more boxes can be formed.


The player who has captured the most boxes at the end of the game is the winner. Players often tally the number of boxes they've captured to determine the winner.


Dots and Boxes may seem simple at first, but it can become quite strategic as players try to outmaneuver each other. Some basic strategies include:

Control the center: Try to capture the dots in the center of the grid as they are the most valuable and can lead to multiple box captures.

Force your opponent: If you see that your opponent is close to completing a box, try to block their path and force them to take a different route.

Plan ahead: Think several moves ahead to set up opportunities for yourself while thwarting your opponent's plans.

Avoid giving free boxes: Be careful not to make moves that allow your opponent to easily complete boxes.

Endgame tactics: In the late stages of the game, be cautious about leaving open boxes for your opponent to capture. Sometimes it's better to leave fewer available moves for your opponent.


Dots and Boxes has numerous variations and adaptations, including larger grids, team play, and digital versions available as mobile apps or online games.

Dots and Boxes is a game that combines simplicity with strategic depth, making it a timeless favorite for casual players and serious strategists alike. Its minimalistic requirements and easy-to-understand rules make it accessible to players of all ages, making it a beloved pastime for family gatherings, classrooms, and social gatherings.

How to play Dots and Boxes

Using Mouse and Keyboard

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