Play Othello online

eOthello is an online Othello community where you can play this strategy game against other players from around the world. At eOthello you can play multiple Othello games online simultaneously and increase your score as you win. Try to reach the top of the leaderboard!

If you haven't played Othello before, take a quick look at the Othello game rules, and you will be ready to go!
How to play Othello

Othello is a strategy board game for two players (Black and White), played on an 8 by 8 board. The game traditionally begins with four discs placed in the middle of the board as shown below. Black moves first.

Othello game rules

Black must place a black disc on the board, in such a way that there is at least one straight (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) occupied line between the new disc and another black disc, with one or more contiguous white pieces between them. In the starting position, Black has the following 4 options indicated by translucent discs:

Othello game rules

After placing the disc, Black flips all white discs lying on a straight line between the new disc and any existing black discs. All flipped discs are now black. If Black decides to place a disc in the topmost location, one white disc gets flipped, and the board now looks like this:

Othello game rules

Now White plays. This player operates under the same rules, with the roles reversed: White lays down a white disc, causing black discs to flip. Possibilities at this time would be:

Othello game rules

If White plays the bottom left option and flips one disc:

Othello game rules

Players alternate taking turns. If a player does not have any valid moves, play passes back to the other player. When neither player can move, the game ends. A game of Othello may end before the board is completely filled.

The player with the most discs on the board at the end of the game wins. If both players have the same number of discs, then the game is a draw.

Basic Othello strategy

Although the rules of Othello are very simple, mastering the game is not easy. Below you will find a brief guide with concepts that will help you get started.

Corners and stable discs

According to the rules of Othello, once a disc is placed in a corner, that disc can never be flipped back (it is "stable"). Because of that, corners are the most valuable squares on the board. Once you have a corner, you can often build more adjacent stable discs around it. In the example below, Black has the corner at h8, and stable discs next to it.

Basic strategy - corners

Danger squares

Within the Othello board there are squares that are safer than others. When starting a game, it is recommended to play within the 4x4 central area (marked by white translucent discs in the diagram below) when possible. It is often not recommended to move on the squares next to corners (marked by black translucent discs). Moving in these squares could give the opponent access to the adjacent corner.

Basic strategy - danger zones

Mobility

A common beginner mistake is to try to get as many discs as possible from the beginning. This is not a good strategy in Othello. A better strategy is to focus on limiting your opponent's options, while having many possible moves yourself. This is usually easier to achieve by having fewer discs. In the example below, White, with only one disc, can easily win the game in four moves.

Basic strategy - mobility

If you enjoy learning Othello and want to get better at the game, we recommend Brian Rose's book "Othello: a minute to learn... a lifetime to master". Brian is the 2001 World Othello Champion and his is the most comprehensive book on Othello strategy ever published in English.

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Othello: a minute to learn... a lifetime to master

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