Egyptians were known to enjoy their board games, and Senet is
believed to be one, if not the oldest of them all. Certainly one
in the tomb of Queen Nefertari, the queen of Ramesses II and an
image of a Senet board features in a painting of Hesy-Ra, who
lived 2686-2613 BCE during the Third dynasty of Egypt, during the
time of the Pharaoh Djoser. The Senet board has thirty
squares in three rows of ten and the aim of the game is to remove all of your five pieces
(pawns) off the board (in some versions up to ten pawns are used).
Well, that's the assumption as no actual rules have ever been
To play in turn, each play
throws four double sided sticks and for every
stick that lands facing upwards you can make one move around the board.
(There are four sticks, if, however none land facing upwards, you can make
Each piece can then be moved to an empty square or a square occupied by an opponent
piece. When the latter happens the two pieces switch positions. When two pieces of
a player are adjacent to each other, those two pieces are safe and
cannot be swapped by an opponent and when 3 pieces are adjacent to each other, the pieces
of another player cannot pass through them.
The video of the rules of Senet perhaps makes this explanation easier. After you play this Egyptian Senet game why
not check out and play our other African games or watch the video about
how to play Senet ~ right.