ConHex - General game info
2 players, 10 years and older
AuthorMichail Antonow
Published byClemens Gerhards KG
Online since 2009-10-20
Developed by (MrLucky66)
Boardgamegeek10989 owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
ConHex - Rules

ConHex is a game of strategy for two players, aged ten and up.

Chance and luck play no part in this game. The rules are simple and easy to learn. Yet there is an amazing strategic depth to ConHex, which will keep players engaged until the very end of each game.


The board has 41 cells and 69 holes. Each player has 25 small gems to be placed in the holes and 25 markers to be placed on the cells, all in a single colour.

The Aim of the Game

Each player tries to connect two opposite sides of the board by a chain of cells, all in their colour. Player A wins by connecting the top and bottom sides, player B by connecting the left and the right sides of the board. One player will win since a draw is impossible.

How to Play ConHex

The board is initially empty. In turn, players place a single gem of their colour in an empty hole. Every gem exercises its "influence" over the three adjacent cells. The only exceptions are the four holes in the outermost corners of the board and the hole in the centre, which affect one cell only. However, more than one gem is needed in order to secure ownership of a cell.

Ownership of a cell is secured only when a player has either achieved a majority of the surrounding holes, or is the first to occupy half the holes around that cell. To mark the ownership of a cell, the player immediately places one of his markers on that cell. It is possible to secure the ownership of up to three cells by placing a single gem.

The Rules for Cell Ownership in Detail:

The cells along the edges all have three holes each. Ownership of these cells is secured as soon as two out of three holes are occupied by gems of one colour.

The square cell in the middle (with the additional fifth hole in its centre) is secured by the player who occupies three of these holes.

The inner cells, which are all enclosed by six holes each, are secured by the player who first places three gems of his colour around such a cell. Even if during the rest of the game the other player fills all 3 remaining holes around this cell, no change of ownership occurs, and the marker stays where it was.

Once placed, gems and markers are not moved at all. In the extremely rare cases when players run out of gems to play, they can remove some gems which are already on the board, and that are no longer needed to determine ownership of any of its neighbouring cells. Ownership markers which are on the board always remain where they are.

End of the game

The game is won by the player who has made a complete chain of cells in their colour connecting their two sides of the board. A corner cell touches both its edges.

Advantage and Handicaps

As in most strategic games, the player who moves first has a slight tactical advantage. Therefore players should start in turn when more than one game is played.

Strong players are advised to apply the "pie rule": after player A has placed the first gem, player B may - if they wish - replace that gem with one of his own colour and thus become the starting player. This rule is intended to force the starting player to choose a less favourable hole for his first gem - to compensate for the privilege of moving first. In the same way people get more careful how a cake is cut in two, when someone else may choose which piece they prefer.

When there is a substantial skill difference between the players, a handicap system may help restore some balance: the less experienced player starts by placing two or even three gems anywhere on the board, and then play continues with both players taking single turns.

Detailed descriptions and analysis of ConHex and other connection games can be found in the book "Connection Games" by Cameron Browne. Published by AKPeters, 2004, ISBN 1-56881-224-8.

Remarks to the Online Version on


The online version shows colored fields instead the possession markers.

The inviting player uses red and has to connect north and south. The colors of each player can be changed by clicking on the symbol besides the players' names. The play direction can be changed by clicking on the symbol in the lower right corner of the board. The board will be mirrored on the diagonal (not rotated) so the coordinate A1 is still in the upper left corner after this change. At the start of the game, the color and the play direction for the second player is changed automatically, so both players see the game in kind: play color is red and direction for connection is north to south.

Pie Rule

The online version uses the pie rule as mentioned in the original rules. The second player can take the first gem of the start player by clicking on the first gem. A gem in their color will be placed there. This is something different than in the Atoll implementation.
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