This game is one of the most famous and popular board games. With a little bit of strategy and brains, a brain teaser that is fun. Two people play it on a mill board. Each player receives 9 game pieces in a different color. Mostly black and white. Read the rules and instructions for this game here.

Rules & Instructions

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Data & facts

Spielalter‎:ohne Altersangabe
Spieldauer:ca. 10 - 20 Min.
Spieleranzahl‎:2 Spieler
Ersterscheinung‎: erste Aufzeichnungen von 1400 v. Chr.

Goal of the game

The aim is to build as many mills as possible. A mill is a row of 3 stones of the same color and can be created along any line on the board. Whenever one is closed, one of the opponent’s stones can be removed. If the opponent only has 2 stones left, he has lost.

Another way to win is to lock your opponent in with your own pieces so that he can no longer move.

Rules of the game & procedure

mill game

A player starts and places the first stone on an intersection or corner point. Then the other player places his stone on any point. Both players take turns placing their stones until they are all distributed on the board.

If you manage to get 3 stones in a row, you can take any stone away from the opponent. Only stones that are in a closed row may not be removed.

When all the stones are in place, you can only drag them from one intersection or junction to the next adjacent free spaces. Now you have to think carefully about every step, because a mistake can be very helpful to the opponent.

If a player only has 3 stones left, he can hop with them to any point. The only dangerous thing is: as soon as the opponent closes a mill, the game is over.

It is important to place the stones in such a way that you always come to your goal. The priority here is not to close mills immediately in order to knot a stone from the opponent as quickly as possible, but rather to place the stones in such a way that one can move as freely and flexibly as possible.

One has an enormous advantage if one succeeds in building a double mill, a so-called dilemma. You open one and at the same time another is closed. You can then just move back and forth and take a stone away from your opponent each time. The opponent has practically no chance of winning the game.


If you have less than three pieces on the board, then the game is over and the player loses.

Although it is the player’s turn, there is no longer any possibility of making a legal move.

In the event of a tie, if none of the players can move a mill after at least twenty plays.

A tie also comes about if the pieces have taken the same position three times in a row.

special cases

You are not allowed to take stones from existing mills as an opponent. This is only allowed with official tournament rules if there is no other way to steal a stone. Then you can also destroy the opponent’s mill.

If you manage to create two mills with just one stone, you can still only take one stone from your opponent.

Download the instructions as a PDF for free

Rules of the game explained in a video

The story of Mühle

In 1400 BC A mill board was discovered on the roof of the temple in Kurna (Egypt). From the beginning of the 19th century, the game replaced chess.


In Switzerland the mill game is called Nünistei. This term stands for nine stones. Usually nine white and nine black round flat stones are used for this. Most of the time the stones are made of plastic or wood. There are also games where the stones are a different color than black and white. Of course, this game is not as varied as the game of chess. The computer scientist Stahlhacke has completely calculated the mill game on his home computer.

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