Quarto (board game)

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Quarto board at start of game

Quarto is a board game for two players invented by Swiss mathematician Blaise Müller.

It is played on a 4×4 board. There are 16 unique pieces, each of which is either:

  • tall or short;
  • red or blue (or some other pair of colors, such as light or dark stained wood);
  • square or circular; and
  • hollow or solid.

Players take turns choosing a piece which the other player must then place on the board. A player wins by placing a piece on the board which forms a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row of four pieces, all of which have a common attribute (all short, all circular, etc.). A variant rule included in many editions gives a second way to win by placing 4 matching pieces in a 2x2 square.

Quarto is distinctive in that there is only one set of common pieces, rather than a set for one player and a different set for the other. It is therefore an impartial game.

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