Senet: Game of Pharaohs

How to Play Senet, the Ancient Egyptian Game of the Pharaohs:

Senet is a game for two players, each with a set of a maximum of 7 pieces, although the game can be played with lesser but equal number of pieces (i.e: 6, 5 , 4, etc. pieces each).

The board consists of 30 tiles called houses, arranged in three rows of 10 tiles each. The pieces are placed alternatively starting on tile 1 and ending on tile 14.

Red plays first. You may start with any piece that can make a legal move.

Press the button to see how many tiles to move your piece forward.

Pieces move around the board left to right in the first row, right to left in the second row and left to right in the third row.

Senet Direction Instructions

• 1 = Move 1 square and play again
• 2 = Move 2 squares
• 3 = Move 3 squares
• 4 = Move 4 squares and play again
• 5 = Cannot move. Lose a turn
• 6 = Move 6 squares

A piece cannot land on a tile occupied by a piece belonging to that same player.

When a piece lands on a tile occupied by the other player’s piece, they switch places, unless that player has two or more pieces in a row, in which case the pieces are “protected”. Pieces on tiles 26, 28 and 29 are always safe from being switched.

When a player has 3 or more pieces in a row, it “blocks” the other player’s pieces and these cannot pass.

As you play along, you may encounter situations in which a move is not possible and you must therefore relinquish your turn. If you obtain a 1 or 4 and you cannot move a piece, you’re still allowed another turn. This may go on until you obtain a 5 (lose a turn) or another number that lets you move.


House of Nile River Nile river (TILE 27): A piece that lands on this tile will be sent back to the House of Rebirth if unoccupied.

 House of Rebirth The House of Rebirth (TILE 15): You land here after falling on the Nile. If the House of Rebirth is occupied (by you or your opponent), then you must land on the closest open square behind.

House of Seth The House of Seth (TILE 21): Avoid landing on this tile if possible. You can only exit it with numbers 1, 4 or 6. This last number will drop you straight onto the Nile river, though.

Getting the pieces out of the Senet board:

IMPORTANT: To exit the board, the first row must be emptied of that player’s pieces.

House of Happiness House of Happiness (TILE 26): All pieces must land on this tile before proceeding to the last three tiles. A piece on this tile is protected. You can move to any of the last 4 squares from the House of Happiness by obtaining the corresponding number:

• Get a 1 and you fall into the Nile river and move back to the House of Rebirth.

• Get a 2 and you reach the House of the Spirits House of the Spirits (Khu) (TILE 28). Moving from here to the last 2 tiles is prohibited. You must get a 3 and leave the board. A piece on this tile is protected.

• Get a 3 and you reach the House of  House of the Double (Ka) (TILE 29). Moving from here to the last tile is prohibited. You must get a 2 and leave the board. A piece on this tile is protected.

• Get a 4 and you reach the last tile. You must get a 1 to leave the board. A piece on this tile is NOT protected.

• Get a 6 and you get to leave the board.

IMPORTANT: Moving to the last 3 tiles (28, 29, 30) require that you land in the House of Happiness first.

First player to get all of their pieces off the board wins the game of Senet.

Good luck and may the Neteru be with you.