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The Rules of Surakarta or Roundabouts


The Rules of Surakarta or Roundabouts

The ancient game of Surakarta comes from the town by the same name on the Indonesian island of Java.

See also: Surakarta.






The game of Surakarta, sometimes known as Roundabouts is played on a special board of 6 x 6 points connected orthogonally to form a grid. Additionally, eight further loops extend out from the board. The points second in at each corner are connected by a three-quarter circle and the points third in from each corner are connected by a larger three-quarter circle concentrically outside the first.

Surakarta is played with 12 stones and 12 shells although black and white pieces will do just as well.

Preparation and Objective

The pieces are set up with the shells on the first two rows nearest the player who will player them and the stones on the first two rows nearest the opponent. A coin should be tossed to decide who plays first.

The objective of the game is to take all of the opponent's pieces.


Players take turns to move one of their pieces. A piece moves orthogonally or diagonally one space within the main grid except when capturing. Jumping over another piece or landing on an occupied point is not allowed for a non-capturing move.

Capturing is done by moving along a line over any number of unoccupied points including a loop until an opponents piece is reached whereupon the opponents piece is captured and the attacking piece takes its place. At least one loop MUST be travelled around in order to capture.


The game is won by the player who first manages to take all his opponent's pieces. If a series of games are being played, a score can be kept - the winner of each game scoring the number of pieces remaining on the board at the end of each game.



These rules are provided by Masters Traditional Games, an Internet shop selling quality traditional games, pub games and unusual games. For general information or for copying and copyright, see our Rules Information page.

Our rules are comprehensive instructions for friendly play. If in doubt, always abide by locally-played or house rules.

Copyright Masters Traditional Games © 2019. All rights reserved.

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