Recreation in Ancient Egypt

Click the link below to learn about the games Ancient Egyptians played.

Ancient Egyptian Games - Ancient Egypt Facts for Kids

Civilizations and cultures around the world seem to share in the love of playing games. Some of the games in ancient Egypt were designed just for adults, but others were played by people of all ages.

Ancient Egyptians played a two-person board game called Senet.

Archaelogists discovered painting of Egyptians playing the game in ancient tombs. This painting is from the tomb of Queen Nefertari.

This Senet gameboard and pieces were found in the tomb of King Tutankamen.

Make your own Senet game using these instructions. Gather your supplies and read the directions all the way through before starting.

Supplies Needed:

  • Senet board (attached)
  • 4 popsicle side colored and one side left plain
  • 7 counters for each player (buttons, beans, game pieces, etc)


How to Play Senet

1. One player puts 7 counters on the odd-numbered squares, 1-13, and the other player puts 7 counters on the even-numbered squares, 2-14.

2. Each player drops the throw-sticks:

  • 4 decorated surfaces up scores 5
  • 4 plain surfaces up scores 4
  • 3 plain surfaces up scores 3
  • 2 plain surfaces up scores 2
  • 1 plain surface up scores 1

3. The first player to score 1 starts, and has to use whichever counters are on the even-numbered squares.

4. At the start of each turn, a player drops the four throw-sticks. The player can then move any counter as many squares as the throw has scored, but the counter can only be moved to an empty square or to one occupied by an undefended opposing counter.

5. A counter is undefended if the squares to either side of it are empty or are occupied by one or the other player's counters in adjacent squares, they are safe from attack.

6. If an undefended counter is attacked it is moved back to the square that the attacking counter came from.

7. If a player cannot move any counters forwards, a counter must be moved back by the score thrown. If no counters can be moved, the score is lost.

8. A throw of 5 gives a player an extra turn.

9. All the counters have to land on Square 26 before they can go any further. The exact number must be thrown to reach this square.

10. Once on Square 26, a throw of 5 takes the counter off the board. Throws of 2, 3 or 4 take it to Squares 28, 29 or 30 respectively. To leave the board from Square 28 requires a throw of 3, from Square 29 a 2 and from 30 a 1.

11. If an undefended counter on Squares 28, 29 or 30 is attacked it moves back to Square 27. A player with a counter on Square 27 cannot move any other counters until a 4 has been thrown to remove the counter on Square 27 from the board.

12. The first player to remove all his or her counters from the board is the winner.

senet board.pdf