How to Play Othello or Reversi

Othello, also known as Reversi, is played with two players, each representing a color on the board. The rules are simple, but strategy is what will help you win.


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Turn off the TV and get the family involved in a good old-fashioned parlor game; the rules are all here in this Howcast video series.

You Will Need

  • An Othello board
  • 64 reversible discs


  1. Step 1

    Set up the board

    Place two black and two white discs in the board's four center squares, with corresponding colors diagonal to each other.

  2. Step 2

    Choose a color

    Choose a color for each player. Black goes first.

  3. Step 3

    Begin play

    Place a black disc in a square adjacent to a white disc so that a black disc is on either side of a white disc. When a white disc is surrounded, the black player flips the white disc to the black side.

  4. Step 4

    Next player

    Move on to the next player. The white player places a disc in a square adjacent to a black disc so that there are white discs on either side of black ones. Flip the black discs to the white side.

  5. A player can flip any number of opposing discs so long as they have one of their discs on either side of consecutive opposing discs.

  6. Step 5

    Take turns

    Take turns playing the game until all of the discs are on the board. If you cannot place a disc on the board so that your color is on either side of another player, you lose your turn.

  7. The corners are the most powerful spaces on the board. Try to get one of your own colored discs in each of the corners.

  8. Step 6

    Continue play

    Continue playing until every space on the board is occupied or no one can make another move. The player who has the most discs on the board wins.

  9. Othello was created in 1971 by a Japanese salesman named Goro Hasegawa.