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Board Set-up
How to Win
Special Rules

Rules for Bräde (Swedish Boardgame)

The following rules are described as they are implemented in The Board. There exist several differences and variants of this game and we have implemented the most common and interesting of them.

Board Set-up

To play Bräde (Swedish Boardgame) you need a board, playing checkers and dice. The board is rectangular and along the long sides are a total of 24 points (or arrows), twelve on each side, lined up. The board is divided into four quarters by the bar in the middle which are numbered counter-clockwise. Each quarter consists of six points. The point in the top right corner from a player’s point of view is called that player’s home (or house). The player’s first quarter, where his home exists, is called the player’s home board, the second quarter is called the player’s outer board. The third quarter is called the opponent’s home board and the fourth, and last, is the opponent’s outer board. The point in the top left corner, the last point in the player’s outer board, is called the head

[BILD PÅ BRÄDET, med förklaringar]

There are thirty checkers, fifteen for each player. One player gets the dark checkers and the other the light ones.

The game uses two six-sided dice (or one pair of dice for each player) that are thrown together. If both dice comes up with the same number of eyes the throw is called a double.

At the beginning of the game each player stacks all of his checkers on his home point. The game begins with the players rolling one die each to decide who goes first. Any ties are re-rolled. The player with the lowest die score begins the game by rolling both dice.


The Gameplay

At the beginning of his turn a player rolls the two dice and moves his checkers as many steps (points) as the score on the dice. To make a move is called to take for a die. Each die must be taken for individually and a die score may not be split among several checkers. Both dice may, however, be used to move the same checker twice. For example, if a player rolls 4-2 he may move one checker four steps and another two, or one checker first four (landing on the point four steps away) and then two steps, or one checker first two (landing on the point two steps away) and then four steps. There is thus no obligation to take for either die first as long as both dice can be taken for.

A player may never forfeit a die score if he in any way can take for it. This means that if the second die can only be taken for by making a particular move and no other with the first, that particular move must be the one made. If a player only can take for either of the scores but not for both he must take for the higher. If a player rolls a double each die score is taken for twice. The player must then make four moves, moving one, two, three or four checkers while in all other respects adhering to the same rules as for a normal move. If a player can not take for all the dice he must take for as many of them as he can. The player must also maximise the score on the dice he takes for.

Movement is made counter-clockwise, from right to left along the upper side of the board and from left to right along the lower side. A checker enters the lower side when it passes or leaves the head. There is no obligation to land on the head before entering the lower side of the board. Since the opponent has his home in the other player’s lower left corner, the two players sort of chase each other round the board.


A single checker on a point is called a blot. Two or more checkers of the same colour stacked on the same point is called a prime. The first point you may start building primes on is on your head and then continuing in the whole opponent’s home- and outer boards. The opponent may not land on the primes. However, primes only stop the opponent from landing on a point; jumping over them, with a sufficiently large die score, is permitted. 

Even though the checkers on a player’s home point initially form a prime and continues to do so as long as more than one checker remains there, you may not stack any more checkers there until it has become completely empty. Thus, once the second-to-last checker has left the home there can never again be a prime by that player there, since in his home- or outer board he or she may only build a prime on the head.

If a player lands one of his checkers on one of the opponent’s blots he hits the checker already there. A hit checker is taken off the board and placed on the bar. The owner of the hit checker then may not move any of his other checkers until all his checkers on the bar has been re-entered onto the board. To re-enter checkers is called to bring in checkers. Checkers are brought in by taking for a throw as normal but as if starting to move from just outside the home. On a die score of one, the checker is re-entered on the home point, on a score of two on the second point, and so on. The point on which the checker is to be brought in must not be occupied by one of the opponent’s primes, since these block movement on that point. It must also not be occupied by one of the player’s own blots, since in the first two quarters one may not stack more than one checker on any point other than the head. Specifically, this means that a player can not bring in checkers on the home as long as he still has other checkers on it. It is possible, and common, to be unable to take for several throws in a row because one or several of your checkers are stuck on the bar. If a checker is brought in from the bar onto a point that is occupied by a blot of the opponent, that checker is hit and sent to the bar as usual. 

There is an exception to the rule that primes block re-entry: if a player has checkers on the bar and no free points in his home board, any opposing primes there may be hit in order to bring the checkers in. Example: White has three checkers on the bar, three on the home and a blot on the sixth point. Black has primes on the second, third and fourth points, each consisting of two checkers. White rolls 5-2. One checker is brought in on point 5 and since there is now no free points left the next checker hits the prime on point 2, sending two black checkers to the bar. If white instead had rolled 4-2, no checkers could have been brought in since the primes block movement and cannot be hit as long as there are free points available.

Much of the game’s strategy concerns the building of primes to block the opponent and hinder his movement. A prime may not be longer than five points, blocking five consecutive points, and may not be longer than five even during a move. There exists one exception to this: if a player has borne off (see How to Win below) with all his checkers but one, his opponent is then allowed to build as long primes as he likes. A prime on one’s own head point is, however, never included in the prime length calculations, since the opponent will never blocked passed that point.

How to Win

There are a few different ways to win the game; either by bearing off all checkers, by building a nice prime structure in the opponent’s outer board, or by making the other player jan

Bearing off is performed by moving all your checkers into the opponent’s outer board and then moving them off the board by taking for the dice. You must have all your remaining checkers in that quadrant to be allowed to bear off with them. If a checker gets hit it must be brought back into that player’s home board as usual and no checkers may be borne off until you once again have collected all checkers in the opponent’s outer board. If a die score "overshoots" when bearing off, meaning that the die score is higher than what is needed to move the checker off the board, the excess is simply dropped and not used. There is no obligation to bear off. If a player wishes to move his checkers inside the quarter instead. he may do so. If a player bears off all his checkers before the opponent has done the same or won in any other way, he wins.

Building nice prime structures are done in the opponent's outer board. There are four prime structures that can be built in order to win. All of these are considered superior to bearing off, and hence, giving more points if you are playing more than one game. They are explained below.

Single crown is built by making a five point prime with three checkers on each prime on the last five points in the opponent’s outer board.

Double crown is built by making a three point prime with five checkers each on the three last points.

Staircase is built by making a three point prime on the last points, with seven checkers on the opponent’s head, five checkers on the prime one point next to the opponent’s head, and three checkers stacked on the prime two points away from the opponent’s head.

Tower is created when you stack all your fifteen checkers on the opponent’s head point. This formation is rare and is considered even nicer than the other structures.

As stated above, if at all possible, both dice must be taken for. This is true even if just one would complete a structure. That is, the structure is not counted as a winning move unless it is completed after all dice have been taken for.


Jan, finally, means that one player has more checkers on the bar than there are points in the home board to bring them all in again. That is, if a player at any time has more checkers on the bar than he has points in the home board that are not occupied by his own checkers, he immediately loses by jan. A blast-jan occurs if a player wins the game by making the other player jan by striking his opponent’s prime(s). Because of the jan-rule, it is generally a very bad idea to have more than five, or six if the home is unoccupied, blots on the board at any one time.

The player who lost the last game gets to go first in the next. 

Special Rules

Apart from the above rules which are considered the basic classic rules, there are some variations to the game. The following add-on rules has been included in our game.

Double-six Rule

If a player’s first roll in the game is double six (6-6) he may choose to move six checkers to the seventh point as his move, instead of just one. If he does this, those six checkers are, however, not considered to be a prime but may be hit as if they were a blot, thus sending all the checkers currently on that point to the bar. This means that if this stack is hit before at least one checker has been moved away, the owning player immediate loses by Jan. However, if the other player also rolls double six as his first roll, the first player has to bring back all his checkers to his home point.

Easy Re-entrant Rule

When bringing in checkers from the bar and having more checkers there than there are free points in the quarter, it is not necessary to bring in checkers on the free points first before it is allowed to hit the opponent’s primes. Thus, as soon as there are more checkers on the bar than free points, primes may be hit.

One-die Rule

If a player would be able to build a winning prime structure with only one die, that player may call for to use only one die for the next roll. If the player fails to build the winning structure, the player must continue to roll just one die for the amount of rolls that the one-die roll score showed when he called for this. Meaning, if he, for instance, rolled a five as the first roll he must continue to roll one die for five more rolls. 

Vasa Competition Rules

This set of rules are used for the swedish championship and in club play in Bräde (Swedish Boardgame) and differ from the classical rules in the following ways.

A player may build as long primes as he wishes, but as soon as a prime is longer than five points the individual primes may be stricken by the opponent, whereby sending those checkers to the bar. Once a long prime has been stricken in this way making it less than, or equal to, five points long, the remaining primes are no longer strikeable. The exception to this rule is if a player has borne off with all his checkers but one, as explained in the basic rules. If a player has built a six prime or longer which covers points in the opponent's home board, those primes may be immediately stricken if the opponent brings in checkers from the bar, thus overruling the free spot restriction when bringing in checkers.

Bearing off must be done from the back,meaning that you may only bear off with the checker farthest from the end of the board and no other. If that means that you cannot bear off with every die roll, you must instead move checkers as usual. For example, if you have one checker on point 19, one on 20, two on 21 and the rest on 22 and roll a 6 and a 3, you must bear off the checker on 19 with the six and may then choose to move either the one on 20 or one of the ones on 21 three steps. You may not bear off one of the checkers on 22, because they are not in the back. This will make it a lot easier for the trailing player to be lucky and hit one of your blots while you are bearing off.

Both dice are not always needed to be taken for. If a winning move can be accomplished by taking for only one die (for example by completing a structure), then that player may make that as a complete move. Also, it is not allowed to land on a winning move and then continue to take for more dice. For example, if the player has only one checker left to make a single crown (which is missing on the opponent’s head) and has the blot in the first point in the opponent’s outer board and has rolled 5-1. The player may not first move the blot to the head with the 5 die, fulfilling the single crown, and then move one other checker from the back one step forward, thus ruining the single crown. However, it is completely legal to first move the blot one step, and then bear that checker off with the five die afterwards. 

The easy-reentrant rule is used in the Vasa competiotion rules from the start.

The Vasa competition rules make the one-die rule obsolete since you can use one die to perform a winning move with every roll.

The Vasa competition rules hugely hinders the players from winning by bearing off, so a good tactic would be to try to win by one of the other ways.