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  • Game board
  • 28 marbles (14 black and 14 white)
  • Instruction booklet

Object of the Game

To be the first player to push six of the opponent's marbles out of play, into the board's outer rim.


Arrange the marbles as shown in here. Black makes the first move.

Game Play

On their turn, each player may move either a single marble or Column of marbles of their own color one space.

A Column consists of two or three marbles of the same color directly adjacent to one another in a straight line.

A marble or a column can move in any direction in an in-line move or side-step move.

An "In-line" Move: Marbles are moved as a column
into a free space

A 'Side step' move: Marbles are moved sideways into
adjacent free spaces. A 'Side step' move can not
be used to push an opponents single marble, or column.

All marbles in a Column must move in the same direction. (see above).

Unless in a Sumito position, as described below, a marble or a Column must move into a free space.


When a player's Column faces a lesser number of the opponent's marbles, the player has a Sumito, or advantage.

In a Sumito position, a player's Column of three marbles may push one or two of the oppo- nents' marbles one space, or a player's Column of 2 marbles may push one of the opponent's marbles one space.

A "2-push-1 Sumito"

A "3-push-1 Sumito"

A "3-push-2 Sumito"

It is important to note the following:

  • When pushing, the opponent's marbles must be pushed either into an unoccupied space or off the board into the outer rim.

  • Marbles pushed into the outer rim are no longer in play.

  • A single marble can never push an opposing marble, nor can a Column push any marble if it moves sideways.

  • Enemy marbles sandwiched between friendly marbles may not be pushed.

  • At any turn, no more than 3 friendly marbles can be moved, thus an opponent's Column of three can never be pushed. A position of 4-on-3 or greater is not considered a Sumito.

In these examples the black cannot push the white for the following reasons:

  1. The white marble is sandwiched between the black marbles. There is therefore no free space for the white to be pushed onto.

  2. The black and the white columns are separated by a free space.

  3. A side stepping column cannot push any marble.

End of the Game

As soon as a player has had six marbles pushed off the board into the outer rim, the game is over and the opponent wins.

Abalone Variations

The play rules above reflect the Abalone classic rules.

Over the years Abalone players have invented several game play variations some of which have gained worldwide popularity.

Abalone can also be played as a three and four player game. To play these variations additional colored marbles are required and are available by contacting your retailer.

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