Game of the Goose Rules

The aim of the Game of the Goose, created in the 16th century, is to be the first player to reach square 63.

The content and purpose of the game 

  • The game of the goose is a spiral course of 63 squares that is played by two or more players. 
  • Each player rolls two dice (or one die twice) and moves their piece forward according to the result of the roll. 
  • The goal is to reach the 63rd square, the goose garden, exactly. 
  • To play the game, you will need a game board, counters (usually geese), and one or two dice.

Start of the game 

Begins with each player taking the dice and making a single roll. Generally, the player with the highest roll score starts the game. However, when playing with siblings, it is not a bad idea to let the younger players start the game. Once the order of play is established, players can place their pieces on the starting square or just before square 1.

The turn process 

The turn pocess of the game is composed of three simple steps:

  • Rolling the dice
  • Moving your piece according to the roll result
  • Following the rules that apply if the player lands on a special square.

Not all squares are special, but some offer advantages while others penalize the player.
When a player’s turn is over, it is the next player’s turn to follow these steps. Above all, cheating is not allowed.

Explanation of the different squares of the game of the goose

The game of the goose has special squares with different rules. Here are the explanations for these special squares:

  • The goose squares: 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54 which have a goose design. 
  • Landing on these squares will allow the player to advance by the same amount as the roll made. For example, if a player lands on a “goose” square with an 8 on their roll, they move forward another 8 squares.
  • The bridge: square 6: Landing on this square allows the player to go directly to square 12.
  • The hotel: square 19: Landing on this square requires the player to rest. This means they have to miss their turn twice.
  • The well and the prison: squares 31 and 52: Landing on these squares will make the player remain stuck without being able to play until another player lands there and takes their place.
  • The labyrinth: square 42: Landing on this square will make the player return to square 30.
  • The skull and crossbones: square 58: Landing on this square will make the player forced to start the game again from the beginning. Back to square 1!

Special throws in the Game of Goose

The Game of Goose has special rules for throwing. Here are the explanations for these special throws:

  • The 9 at the start: At the beginning of the game (square 0), getting 9 points on the dice has a significant implication. It depends on how the 9 was rolled:
  • A 4+5 roll forces the player to move directly to square 53!
  • A 6+3 roll on the dice puts the player on square 26. Although this is not the same as a 9 in 4+5, it is already a considerable lead.

Only one player per square!

The Game of Goose has a special rule that applies when a player lands on a square that is already occupied by another player.
The player who was there before must return to the square that the player just landed on.

For example, if a player moves from square 20 to square 30 and another player is already on square 30, that player will be forced to return to square 20.

End of the game

The aim of the game is to reach the 63rd square, the goose garden, exactly. It is not allowed to pass the last square. Each additional roll beyond the last square will move the player back as many squares as it takes to land on the last square. To put it simply, if a player is on square 60 and they roll a 10, they will have to move back 7 squares and return to square 57.

The other players can continue and try to finish the game in turn until one reaches the end and wins the game.