A three by three grid of dots, connected by lines. Someoen is putting a counter on a dot.

Take it in turns to put a counter on the board.

Tired of tic-tac-toe? Try Achi, a trickier game from the African country of Ghana.

You will need

  • An opponent to play against
  • A printout of an Achi board
  • Four counters in one colour
  • Four counters in a second, different colour

What to do

The aim of the game is to get three counters of your colour in a straight line. If you do this, you win!

An arrow indicates that a counter can move to an empty dot.

Once all the counters are placed, take it in turns to slide along a line.

  1. For the first stage, take it in turns to put a piece of your colour onto one of the nine circles on the board. Each circle can hold only one piece.
  2. When both players have placed all their pieces, the game moves to the second stage. Players take it in turns to slide one of their pieces along a line onto the empty circle. You can only move one piece, and you can’t jump over other pieces. If you can’t move any of your pieces, skip your go.
  3. Keep playing until someone gets three in a row!
There are three white conters running vertically up the board.

The winner is the first person to get three counters in a row!

What’s happening?

Achi is a game from Ghana, a country in West Africa. It’s a fun game – a bit like noughts and crosses or tic-tac-toe. In fact, the first few moves are essentially the same as noughts and crosses, but there’s a twist at the end.

Once all the pieces are placed, there’s only one space to move to. Often, that means you only have one possible move on your turn. It happens to your opponent too. This can be really useful – maybe you can force them to move out of the way and let you make a line!

If you want to get better at Achi, see if you can imagine what the board will look like after your move. Then, see if you can work out what your opponent will do in response. This is called ‘looking ahead’ or ‘thinking ahead’ and it’s really important to play some games well. Good chess players can look four or five moves ahead, and chess is a lot more complicated than Achi is!

If you’re after more maths activities for kids, subscribe to Double Helix magazine!

Subscribe now! button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By submitting this form, you give CSIRO permission to publish your comments on our websites. Please make sure the comments are your own. For more information please see our terms and conditions.

Why choose the Double Helix magazine for your students?

Perfect for ages 8 – 14

Developed by experienced editors

Engaging and motivating

*84% of readers are more interested in science

Engaging students voice