Hounds and Jackals Game Rules

How to Play Hounds and Jackals


Hounds and Jackals, an ancient Egyptian game also known as Fifty-Eight Holes, is a two-player race game which is played on a board with 2 identical separate tracks for both players. The rules of this game have been reconstructed by various people and this version is mostly taken from the rules by Jack Botermans with some additions. Each player plays with 5 distinct pieces (hounds or jackals) and the objective of the game is to be the first player to bear all of his/her pieces off the board.


  • The first player is decided randomly. In this version hounds start first.
  • The game is played by rolling 4 casting sticks which are marked on one side. The number of marked sides is counted as the rolled value. If all sides show blank, then the rolled value is counted as 5.
  • All pieces start off the board. A piece can only enter the board at point# 1 if a 1 is rolled. When a piece enters the board on a roll of 1, player rolls again.
  • Pieces already in the play can be moved by the number of spaces equal to the rolled value.
  • Pieces can jump over other pieces except for other piece on point# 10, 15, 20, 25.
  • A piece landing on point# 6 or 8 immediately moves to 20 or 10 respectively. Similarly if a piece lands on 20 or 10, it will be moved backwards to 6 or 8.
  • A piece can not move to a space occupied by another piece of its own.
  • A piece can not move beyond point# 30. A piece must land on the final space (i.e. point# 30) with an exact throw and can only be borne off the board by a roll of 5 or 1. A piece can only be borne off if all of other pieces of that player have entered into play.
  • Final space (point #30) is common for both players and can hold more than one piece of both players.
  • The first player to bear all his/her pieces off the board wins.