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Ruleset: Dadu


See the game Dadu for more details.


Standard rules for Dadu.


These rules were documented by Jacob Schmidt-Madsen in 2023.


The board is a single track, with seven segments of six squares, the board turning perpendicularly after the sixth square. The first and sixth square in each segment is marked. Players play on two teams. Each team has one king piece and eight regular pieces.

Five cowry shells are used as dice, with the number of mouths that land face-up equalling the value of the throw, with the exception of five mouths up which equals 10. Throws of 1 and 10 grant another throw. Turns alternate between teams; every player on a team moves before the next team's turn begins. If one team has fewer people than the other (i.e., if there is an odd number of players), one of the players on the smaller team throws twice. A throw of 1 is required to enter a piece onto the board. Each player must throw a 1 before they can begin to move pieces. Players move the pieces only after all of their throws have been made. Throws may be assigned to pieces in any order, but only one throw may be applied to a piece at a time. All throws must be applied, if possible, but this can be ignored if previous throws applied have caused subsequent throws to be unusable.

Players move their pieces along the board, starting at opposite ends of the track, toward the end where their opponent begins. Pieces enter the board with a throw of 1; if any pieces are waiting to be entered on the board and a 1 is thrown, it must be used to enter a piece. Players choose whether to enter a king piece or a regular piece. Pieces belonging to the same team may occupy the same space. When a piece lands on a space with one or more pieces belonging to the opposing team, one of the opponent's pieces on that space is hit and removed from the board, and must reenter with a throw of 1. A piece resting on the same space with others belonging to the opposing team may hit another piece on this space with a throw of 1 (as long as no more pieces belonging to the team are waiting enter). When the king piece is one of the multiple pieces on a square, the regular pieces are hit first. When a king piece is hit, all of the team's pieces that have not exited the board are also hit. If a king piece is hit by the opponent's king piece, pieces that have exited the board are also hit, and must start the game again. Pieces cannot enter a marked square that has pieces belonging to the opposing team on it.

Pieces cannot enter the home row of the opponent until at least one piece has been hit. This rule applies also after a team's king piece has been hit; they must again hit a piece belonging to their opponent before entering the home row. Pieces can only exit the board with an exact throw. A piece landing on the opposing team's entry point is moved to the empty central part of the board, from which it must exit with a throw of 1. Throws of 1 cannot be used to exit pieces as long as the team still has pieces which must still be entered. The player who removes all of their pieces from the board wins.


Browse all concepts for Dadu here.


Schmidt-Madsen 2023.

Other Rulesets

Observed rulesets
Eight players Played with eight players.
Sixteen players Played with sixteen players.
Nine-segment board Played on a longer board.
Short segments Played on a board with shorter segments.
Alternate King rule Eliminates special King hitting rule.





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