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Oust Rules


Oust is a two-player game where the player with pieces remaining on the board at the end of the game wins. You try to win by capturing your opponent's pieces while at the same time forming connected groups of your own pieces.

Oust was designed by prolific game designer Mark Steere.


The standard Oust board size is 19x19.

Initial Oust board position.


Each player starts with no pieces on the board, but has an unlimited supply of pieces to place on the board.


  1. Black moves first.
  2. A connection between two pieces is formed by placing a piece on an empty space so that it is adjacent horizontally or vertically to another piece.
  3. A group is formed by a single piece or a set of two or more connected pieces of the same color.
  4. A piece may be placed on any empty space if it doesn't form any connections with like-colored pieces. Such a move is called a non-capturing placement.
  5. A piece also may be placed on an empty space so that it forms one or more connections with a like-colored piece, but only if the resulting group is connected to at least one enemy group. Such a move is called a capturing placement. If the group of friendly pieces formed by a capturing placement is larger than any one of its connected enemy groups, then all of the enemy groups are removed from the board. Otherwise, the move is not permitted.
  6. After making a non-capturing placement your turn ends. After you make a capturing placement of enemy pieces, you must continue to make moves until you make a non-capturing placement or run out of moves.
  7. The game ends after each player has made at least one move and one player is left with no pieces on the board. The player with pieces on the board wins.
  8. If one player has no moves available, but the other player has a move, play passes to the player with a move until the original player has a move available or the game ends.
  9. The rules don't intend for a tie to be possible, but it is possible for the board to fill up with no moves available to either player, which is a draw.

Oust Help


UnselectedSelected or Moved

Piece Placement

Place a piece by clicking on an empty board space.

Redraw Board

If you make an adjustment to your Web browser—such as changing your font size—while playing, the game pieces may no longer align correctly with the board. To restore proper alignment, select the Redraw command from the Oust menu.