How to play the Dots (pen and paper game)

How to play: the Dots / Siege (pen and paper game)

The Dot, also known as the Feudal siege or Siege, is a game that is easy to learn and simple to play. At the same time, it is a quite intellectual game.

The game superficially resembles the game of Go, except that it is simpler and the primary goal of this game is to capture the opponent’s dots whereas the main goal of the Go game is to surround more territory than the opponent.

This game develops tactics, strategy and memory skills.

Features of the Dots Game

 ★  Game Name Dots
 ★  Group size for 2 players
 ★  Age any
 ★  Type stationary
 ★  Skill memory / erudition
 ★  Place indoor
★  Time up to 5 – 30 min
 ★  Preparation no
 ★  Materials paper and pen

Aim of the Game

This is an abstract strategy board game for two players in which the aim is to surround and capture more dots than the opponent. 

Group Size and Ages

This is a group game for 2-people, and those 2 will be competing against one another. 

Although the Dots (Siege) is a great game to play with anyone aged 6 and up. In reality, there is no real minimum age for this game. If somebody can understand the instructions and they can hold a pen, then they can play the Dot Game.

Preparation and Materials

To play the Dots (Siege), you will have to prepare the materials below:

  • A sheet of the grid paper.
  • Two pens (or pencils) of different colors.

How to Play the Dots Game

Step 1: Each player will take it in turns to draw a single dot on the paper. Once the dot is placed it cannot be removed.

Step 2: Players take turns to place a dot of their own color to surround the opponent’s dots.

To form a chain, dots should be adjacent to each other either vertically, horizontally or diagonally

So, if a newly-placed dot completes a closed chain of dots of the same color which encloses at least one of the enemy dots, then all the area inside it is consideredsurrounded.

Surrounded enemy dots cannot be used anymore to create more connections.


  • Dots cannot be placed too far away from each other.
  • Surrounded dots cannot be used anymore to create more connections.
  • When dots touch the border of the field, they cannot be captured.These dots are said to be grounded.
  • Empty areas (without at least one opponent’s dot) cannot be surrounded.

The goal of the Dots (Siege)is to capture more dots than the opponent. 


Players choose when the game ends, for example:

  • Playing up to 10 (30, 50, etc.) point.
  • Playing with time control.
  • Playing until the list is filled in.

Some Advanced Variations to the Dots Game

Once you get used to the rules, you can make the game more challenging.

  • Surrounded areas can be surrounded the same way. By doing so, players will also free their dots.
  • Empty areas (without opponent’s dot) can be surrounded.However, if playerplaces a dot into empty area surrounded by the opponent to form a chain,by the same move,this player will be the first to do it.
  • When dots touch the border of the field, they can be captured.

These rules encourage offensive play.