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A Tapatan board

Tapatan is a two-player abstract strategy game from the Philippines. It is related to tic-tac-toe, but even more related to Three Men's Morris, Nine Holes, Achi, Tant Fant, Shisima, and Dara, because pieces are moved on the board to create the 3 in-a-row. It is an alignment game.

Tapatan is identical to the 3 piece version of Achi.


To create a 3 in-a-row of one's pieces either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.


A 3 x 3 board is used. Three horizontal lines form the three rows. Three vertical lines form the three columns. Two diagonal lines connect the two opposite corners of the board. Each player has 3 pieces. One plays the black pieces, and the other plays the white pieces, however, any two colors or distinguishable objects will suffice.

The board is easily drawn on the ground or paper.

Rules and Game Play[edit]

1. The board is empty in the beginning.

2. Players decide what colors to play, and who will start first.

3. Drop phase: Each player drops one piece per turn on any vacant space on the board. Players alternate their turns. Pieces cannot move until all three pieces have been dropped.

4. Move phase: After each player's three pieces have been dropped on the board, each piece can move one space at a time following the pattern on the board. Only one piece can be moved per turn.

5. Players can create the 3 in-a-row at either the drop phase or move phase, and win the game.

6. HOUSE RULES: These are rules that you and the other player can agree upon. They are not standard for the game.

a) A stalemate where one player cannot make a move is cause for a draw of the game, or a loss to that player.

b) Repeating a position three times can be cause for a draw.


Analysis has shown that the first player wins with perfect play.

There are 1,680 ways for each player to drop each of their 3 pieces on the board, and no more than 490 when you eliminate rotations and reflections. 105 of them are wins.

Related Games[edit]

Picaria, Nine Holes, Three Men's Morris, Achi, Tant Fant, Shisima, Dara (game), tic-tac-toe

External links[edit]