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Julbahar (Gulbahar)DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Northern Africa, Western Asia

Category Board, Race, Escape


Julbahar is a race game played in Southwest Asia, one of the different types which are called Tawulat ul-Zahr. It is unique because in the first move, a player moves the opponent's pieces.


The game is played on a board with twelve points on either side. The points form a continuous track in a horseshoe shape; each player progresses in opposite directions (one from their bottom right to the top right, the other from their bottom left to their top left. Two six-sided die. Each player has 15 pieces. Each player's fifteen pieces begin on the first point of their track. Players move according to the number on each die by moving one piece the value on one die then another piece the value on the other die, or by moving one piece the value of one die and then the value of the other. If doubles are rolled, the player must play the number on each die twice. Play begins with each player throwing the dice. The player who obtains the higher number goes first, except when doubles are thrown, then the opponent must throw higher doubles. The player who wins the opening throw moves the opponent's pieces according to the value of this throw. Play then continues as usual. A piece cannot land on a space occupied by one of the opponent's pieces. Pieces move around the board to the opposite quadrants from the player's starting position. Players may bear a piece off the board once it reaches one of the final six points on the board. Until all of the player's remaining pieces are on the final six points, the player may only bear off a piece on one of the final six spaces by throwing exactly one more than the number of remaining points. The player who bears off all of their pieces wins. The winning player's score equals the number of the opponent's pieces which are left on the board. In addition, whenever a player is unable to move and the opponent is able to, the opponent gains five points. Play continues until one player's score reaches 31.

Barakay 1974: 21.


Southwest Asia

Ludeme Description



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Barakat, R. 1974. Tawula: Study in Arabic Folklore. Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica.

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