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Five Stones
Five Stones
by (Public Domain), Cayro Juegos (-2000)
Player Count
1 to 4

Playing Time
10 minutes
  • Action / Dexterity
  • Real-time
  • Ancient
  • Designers
  • (Uncredited)
  • Family
  • Knucklebones
  • Rating: 6.1/10 from 7 users


    Five Stones is an ancient game played in various forms in most countries throughout the world. The rules vary slightly but typically they involve 5 to 10 stones or tokens of some type.

    The modern game of Jacks, using metal caltrops and a ball, is a descendant of this game. Unlike Jacks, Five Stones games require only pebbles or tokens.

    The game may also have been played with astragals, or sheep knuckle bones, but instead of being used as randomizers for wagering they're used in place of stones for tossing.

    Five Stones requires only a handful of small stones, although many variants use stylized tokens instead of stones. The stones or tokens normally have irregular or cubic sides to allow scattering in a small area.

    In Korea 5 small octagonal prisms or polyhedrons are used, in the traditional Jewish variant 5 cubes are used, but the only real requirement is 5 irregularly-shaped pebbles.

    Typically the game involves casting the stones and then tossing one stone in the air and picking up another and catching the first before it strikes the ground. In some regional variants the stones are caught on the back of the hand, either for scoring or during play.

    Related to: Knucklebones
    Re-implemented by: Jacks

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