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Rules of The Royal Game of Ur


Goal

Get all of your seven pieces around and off the board!

Rules

RoyalUr.net uses the path and rules popularised by Dr Irving Finkel and his analysis of the game. Dr Irving Finkel is the historian who originally discovered the rules of The Royal Game of Ur in the early 1980s through his deciphering of an ancient cuneiform tablet.

Piece paths

How to Play

1. Roll the Dice.

Click on your dice to roll them. The value shown is how far you can move one of your pieces!

You can find the value of the dice yourself by counting all dice that have their marked corner up after rolling. Each die has 2 marked corners, and 2 unmarked corners, giving each dice a 50/50 chance of having their marked corner up.

You can learn more about the types of dice that have been used for the game, the probabilities of rolls, and some strategy on our dice page.

Example Dice

2. Move a Piece.

Moving your pieces is the core mechanic of Ur! You can move your pieces by the value of the dice that you have rolled, and they follow the path shown under Rules above.

If you can't move a piece, your turn will be skipped. If you can move a piece, you must move it! You cannot choose to not move a piece.

On desktop, you can click a piece to move it. On mobile, you can drag or double tap the piece you wish to move.

Example Move

3. Capture your opponent's pieces.

You can capture your opponent's pieces by moving your pieces over their pieces in the middle row! Capturing your opponent's pieces is a great way to stop them getting all of their pieces off the board before you!

Beware though, the middle rosette is a safe tile! You cannot take pieces on rosette tiles.

Rosette Tiles

Extra Moves: Moving your tiles onto rosette tiles gives you another move!

Safe: Pieces on rosette tiles cannot be taken!

Rosette tiles

Read More

You can read more about the different types of dice that have been used for the Royal Game of Ur, the probability of rolls, and some strategy on our dice page.

Play The Royal Game of Ur

Now that you've got the rules sorted, give the game a go!