Mastermind Rules

Mastermind is a puzzle game for 2 players. The first player composes a code of 4 different colors that the second player will try to guess. The goal of the first player will be to propose the most difficult code possible, while the second player will have to guess the code as quickly as possible.

Principle and goal of the game

  • Mastermind is a game that is played in several rounds, at the end of which the player with the most points is declared the winner.
  • To win a round, a player must guess the code composed by his opponent as quickly as possible.
  • Only the player who guesses the code gets points.
  • The two players will switch roles at the beginning of each round.


  • 1 game unit
  • 80 pieces

Set up

  • Before you begin, determine if you will be playing:
    A set number of rounds,
    Or attempt to reach a certain score.
  • Place the pieces in their compartments.
  • Tuck all the marker sliders into the game unit.
  • Determine who will make up the code; this is Player A.
  • In the next round, the roles will be reversed and so on.
  • Player B stands on the side with the storage compartment.
  • Player A stands on the side with the cache.
  • He chooses 4 pieces of 4 different colors from the storage compartment.
  • Be careful! Player B must not see the code composition!
  • The counters are placed, one by one, in the space reserved for this purpose.
  • The cache is lifted.
  • Once these actions are completed, player B can turn around.

How to play?

  • Player B will try to guess and recreate the code.
  • He places 4 pieces of 4 different colors on the first row of the game unit.
  • Once the 4 pieces are placed, player A indicates, using the cursors placed on both sides of the game unit, whether his opponent has guessed correctly or not.
  • As long as he has not found the code, player B moves forward one line.

The red cursor

  • The red cursor has 4 levels.
  • It indicates that one or more pieces are in the right place.
  • The number of levels shown indicates how many checkers are in the right place.

The white cursor

  • The white cursor has 4 levels.
  • It indicates that the correct checkers have been placed in the wrong location.
  • The number of levels shown indicates how many checkers are in the wrong place.

End of the round

There are two possible outcomes:

  • Player B guesses the code.
  • In this case, the red cursor at the winning line is drawn to reveal 4 levels.
  • The code is revealed and the points are counted.
  • Player B fails to guess the code after doing all the lines.
    Player A wins 9 points.

Counting the points

  • Player A wins 1 point for each line made up by his opponent.
  • Naturally, he wins 9 points if his opponent can’t guess the code.
  • If player A gives wrong clues, the round is replayed, 3 points are taken away from him and given to his opponent.

End of the game

  • When all the pre-determined rounds have been played.
  • When the maximum score has been reached.

Winning the game

  • The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins the game.


  • It is possible to play with the same color several times.
  • The code can be composed of less than 4 pieces.