B. General use

These are the basic rules you must know, because they apply to all the different types of potentials.

To avoid misunderstandings, the different pieces are defined as follows:

  • A basic piece is a single piece (i.e. a normal piece you use to play GIPF)
  • A GIPF-piece is 2 basic pieces stacked upon each other.
  • A potential is an extra piece that represents a certain potential.
  • A loaded piece is a basic piece with a potential on top of it (of any type)

Note: the side with the furrow is the top side of a basic piece! A potential must be stacked upon that side!

1. Before you start a game of GIPF, you and your opponent must agree on which potentials you are going to use and how many of each kind. You should play with a minimum of 3 potentials of each kind you decide to use.

2. You must stack a potential on a basic piece before bringing it into play. A basic piece with a potential on top of it is called a "loaded piece" and is to be introduced with a regular move: put it on a black dot and push it onto a spot. You may not introduce a potential as a separate piece.

3. All your loaded pieces must be in play before you start playing with basic pieces. For example: if you play with 6 potentials, they must be stacked upon the first 6 basic pieces you play. When you play the tournament version: first introduce your GIPF-pieces, next play the loaded pieces and continue with basic pieces.

Note: potentials that are not brought into play before you play your first basic piece are lost; they go out of the game.

4. You may use the special power of a potential as soon as it is on the board. In other words: you need not bring all your potentials into play before having the right to make a move with them.

5. Playing with a potential counts as a turn, meaning that you make a move with the potential instead of playing with a piece out of your reserve.

6. A loaded piece may be pushed by other pieces and can be captured just like any other piece on the board.

7. You do not have to take a loaded piece from the board when it is part of a row that must be removed. So, just like a GIPF-piece, you may leave it on its spot. (Exception: see point 8 below.) If you remove a loaded piece from the board, you must always remove it as a whole. If you remove a loaded piece of your own color, you return the basic piece to your reserve but you lose the potential; it goes out of the game without being used. A potential can never return to the reserve!

8. A row of 4 GIPF-pieces may remain on the board (cf. GIPF rules). This is not the case when 4 loaded pieces are lined up, nor when one or more loaded pieces form a row of 4 in combination with solely GIPF-pieces. Any such row must be "broken": you must remove at least one GIPF-piece or loaded piece.

9. The particular ability of a potential can be used only once. As a single piece (i.e. after the particular ability has been used) it has no more special power. This means that you may not leave it on the board when it is part of a row that must be removed; it must be removed. The potential goes out of the game, no matter whether it is you or your opponent who takes it from the board.

10. If, towards the end of a game, you have no more basic pieces in reserve but still one or more pieces on the board that are loaded with a potential, you may continue the game by making use of the potentials – that is: if they are in a position where they can be used.


Originally, you had to bring the different kinds of potentials into play according to a specific order. That is not the case anymore. You may load your basic pieces with potentials in any order and you may switch from one type of potentials to another as often as you want.

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