Othello Game- A Modification Of Reversi Game

Board games like Othello and Reversi are really popular now. But still, people are not fully aware of the differences between these two games. And due to that, a complete introduction with details is needed. Here in this article, you will get to know about the Othello game, its relevance, rules and regulations, the strategies, and ultimately how to score a win this game. Read the article to know why the Othello game needs your attention.

What is the Othello game?

Othello game is a modification of the Reversi game introduced by Goro Hasegawa from Japan. It was named this way, as a reference to the play called “Othello” by Shakespeare. In the play, Othello and Lago got into a conflict, which depicted them as black and white, which later became the colors of the discs in this game.

Rules of Othello game

Beginning with the rules, as you know Othello is a board game played on an 8×8 board with 64 squares. There are some strict rules to be followed for an authentic and interesting Othello game. These rules are stated here.

  • The Othella board must be green with 64 square blocks. Along with that, you need 64 discs or pieces, which must be white and black from either side. This helps in the easy reversal of the discs during the game.
  • Before you begin the game, four discs have to be set in the center of the board diagonally with each color disc. The arrangement is made in such a way that a black disc has two white discs on its sides.
  • The player who chooses black will begin the game and thereafter moves are made alternatively.
  • It is compulsory to capture and flip at least one opponent disc in every move. It can be done in any way by sandwiching or cathing.
  • Vertical, horizontal, or diagonal capturing is allowed. You have to make a capturing move in any of the directions or you can’t move further. Even capturing in two directions simultaneously is allowed if possible.
  • The game ends only when all the square fields are occupied by a disc. Or sometimes, if a player can not make any move, the game will automatically end. This happens when all the discs of a player are flipped.

The Othello gameplay 

The Othello gameplay comprises surrounding, capturing, and flipping the opponent’s discs and making the board covered with your discs. As soon as the game begins, you have to search for every possible way in which you can capture the opponent’s discs and surround them from various directions to make them turn. As soon as you turn them, the number of your discs increase and you get one step closer to the win. As stated in the rules given above, your attack directions can be varied, it can be a single horizontal line, single vertical line, a diagonal, or even an attack from two different sides turning two lines of discs at once.

Winning in the Othello game

The goal in the Othello game is simple- you have to turn your opponent’s discs into yours by flipping them. For this, you have to capture them first, by valid rules. The game ends as soon as one of the players is left with no possible moves or if one of the player surrenders. Also, if a player has no left space to make a move, it is concluded as the end of the game. Usually, if there is no space available for a player to move, the game ends instantly and the discs are counted to determine the winner. The difference between counted discs doesn’t matter the player with more discs is the winner.


  • Why is the Othello game called Othello?

The name Othello was selected based on a Shakespearean play named Othello. The name was chosen by Hasegawa, who was the Moor of Venice, and he used the play, Othello, for reference. The main highlight of this name was the conflict that arose between Moor Othello and Lago in the play, which lead to the revelation of a lot of controversies and drama. The basic colors were also based on Othello being black and Desdemona being white.

  • Do you have to flip a chip in Othello?

Yes. As per the rules, you have to flip the discs if they’re in one move. It is a basic rule that when you surround the opponent’s discs and capture them in any direction, you have to flip them all at once, in one single chance. This way, it is highly possible that the game ends before all 64 squares get filled because the other player won’t have any move to make. The game proceeds smoothly, as you can turn a lot of discs in your color, but sometimes it is not that much of an advantage. So, play strategically.

  • Can you do diagonals in Othello?

Yes, in Othello game you can do diagonals. It is as per your choice, how you want to capture the opponent’s discs. You can surround a row of one color that is adjacent to the other one, be it diagonally, vertically, or horizontally. The rule you must remember is that there should be no empty or open space between those discs, not even your discs otherwise, the complete combination will be disturbed. In this way, you can make a huge combination and flank any number of discs as much as you want.

  • How many discs are in Othello?

Othello is a board game played on an 8×8 standard board with two different colored discs. As said, there are two colored discs in the game of Othello, which are black and white. That is for two players, one of them must choose black and the other one must choose white. Based on the choice, the player with the black discs begins first and places his disc on the board. Then, the game begins with players making moves alternatively.

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