About the history of Gomoku

Gomoku, also known as “Five in a Row” is a classic strategy game that is known in many countries around the world. Gomoku has existed in Japan since the Meiji Restoration. The name "Gomoku" has Japanese origins, in which it is referred to as gomokunarabe (五目並べ). Go means five, moku is a counter word for pieces and narabe means line-up. The game is also popular in Korea, where it is called omok (오목 [五目], "five stones") which has the same structure and origin as the Japanese name. In China it is known as Wuziqi (Chinese 五子棋, Pinyin wǔzǐqí).

What you need to play Gomoku

In Europe five in a row is mostly played with a pencil and paper. In most parts of the world, it's usually played with Go pieces (black and white stones) on a Go board. The Go board’s dimensions are 15 × 15, 17 × 17 or 19 × 19.


Each player takes turn to place their own piece, and whoever gets 5 straight pieces in a row in either vertical, horizontal or diagonal direction wins. Pieces are never taken off the board, and once the whole board is filled, the game draws.

However, it has been proven that this regular version of Gomoku can be won by black (the first player) with perfect play. There has been many variations to balance the game. For example, disallowing black from creating 2 3-in-a-row without white pieces on either side. However, the only variation that really balance the game is to let each player play for a few turns and then let white decide if they want to switch.

Note that this game does not implement any such variations.