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Reversi (Othello) Rules

Reversi RulesReversi is a board game that's extremely easy for players to get started with; however, simply playing doesn't mean playing to win or playing well, so players really need to put some effort in if they're going to master the game and be ready to take on even the toughest opponent!

Reversi has been around since the late 1800's, and in the 1970's was purchased by a Japanese game company and sold under the name Othello, named for the work by Shakespeare.

Reversi is a game that involves only 2 players, who fight to gain control over the 8x8 board, which means having the most colored discs on the board at the end of the game

Rules: Here is how a game of Reversi (Othello) progresses:

  1. To start the game, one player needs to pick black and the other picks white. Black always goes first
  2. The Reversi board is setup in a checkered appearance once the game is. Pieces are placed in the middle of the board first with white placed adjacent to the top right corner, and black placed adjacent to the top left corner. From there the board is built so the colors alternate black-white al throughout; this process is completed during gameplay
  3. To start, the black player can place their piece next to a white piece to create patterns like B-W-B or B-W-W-B
  4. Once black pieces have been placed, the white pieces must show their black sides to make a chain of discs all of the same color (black)
  5. The white player takes their turn following the same process
  6. The game progresses until every space on the board has been filled or no more moves can be made
  7. Winning is calculated based on the number of colored discs each player has on the board. It can be a draw if both players have the same number of discs on the board. In tournaments, often any un-filled space on the board count in the winning player's total.

Reversi GameNote: in Reversi (Othello) it is possible that one player can engage in a series of consecutive moves. If one player is unable to make anymore legal moves under the rules, then they must forfeit their turn, allowing the other player to continue playing until they are able to make a move again. As you get more experienced, you'll begin to recognize patterns on the board and will be able to set up situations where your opponent will be blocked from playing, allowing you to take control over the board.

Another strategic way to gain control over the board in Reversi (Othello) is to get one of your pieces in the corner of the board. Having your disc in a corner controls all of the other pieces that share the border.

Additional Reversi strategies:

  1. Edges - when pieces are placed at the edges of the board, it can be a beneficial strategy when played out effectively. Using edges can reduce the moves available to an opponent, but can also cause players to make more moves than they would have otherwise. Placing a disc along the edge diagonally adjacent to the corner (the X square) early in the game can lead to loss of the corner; however, it can also help increase mobility and play strategy. A move like this is only recommended for experienced players
  2. Parity - parity involves making the last move wherever possible, therefore dominating the board with your colors. This is perhaps the most important strategy in Reversi!

See also:

Reversi History

Reversi Strategy