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Game of the Goose Rules: How do you play Game of the Goose?

Game of the Goose Rules

The Game of Goose is sometimes referred to as the Royal Game of Goose. This earliest commercially designed board game has been in existence since the 15th Century.

First recorded in Italy, Game of the Goose has appeared in different variations of rules in the past hundreds of years. With the changing illustrative designs, this game, just like other board games, reflect social or political situations of the changing times.

Despite having been in existence for many years, the basic form of its rules remain remarkably unchanged. This means the rules guiding the boards produced today are the same rules used in boards produced four centuries ago. So, what are the Game of  Goose rules?

Giuoco Dell'oca (Game of the Goose) Vintage Italian Game Board Poster

The Equipment

This popular game is conducted on a special spiral board made up of 63 spaces. In addition, there are four pieces and each one of these is differently colored. The four pieces are in the form of two 6-sided dice which are shaped like the geese.

Main Objective of the Game

The primary objective of the Game of Goose is for the a player to gain control of space 63. To achieve this feat, players must start by placing the pieces on a starting space, just outside the spiral-shaped board.

The number of players can be two or more.

How the Game of Goose is Played

Players take different turns to cast the dice and shift their pieces a few steps forward based on their dice roll. Here is an illustration of how the game goes:

  • If, on their first throw, a player rolls numbers 3 and 6 , the player moves the piece to space 26.
  • If, on their first throw, a player rolls 5 and 4, the player moves to space 53.
  • If a player’s piece lands on the opponent’s piece, the two pieces exchange places.
  • If the player’s piece falls on a space with an image of a goose, the same piece is moved forward based on its face value it landed. Supposing the same piece lands on a second goose, the first player moves it forward in the same way as in the first attempt.

The Hazard Spaces or Special Fields

6-The Bridge-Move to space 12

19-The Hotel-stay (miss) one turn

31-The Well-The players must wait until someone else comes to their rescue. The rescurer takes their place and must then wait to be rescued.

42-The Maze-The player must return to space 39 or 30

52-The Prison-The player is stuck until someone else lands on the space, releasing them and taking their place.

58-Death-The player must return to the beginning space.


The ultimate goal of the player should be to land a piece on space 63. This must happen with an exact roll. If a player’s roll exceeds that which would land exactly on space 63, they move backwords the remaining number of spaces based on their roll. That is, if a player is on 62 and rolls a 3, they would move forward one space and back two spaces, leaving the player at space 61.

The first player to land on space 63 wins.

When a player lands the piece on a goose space, she must move backward until she lands on a space that has no goose image.

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