Sugoroku (双六) is the Japanese form of backgammon.

I could not find an English-language description of the rules of this game, so maybe this is the first-ever list of the rules of sugoroku in English on the Internet.

If I made a mistake, or left out something important, please excuse me. I am working from a downloaded sugoroku game.

Sugoroku plays identically to backgammon (it even has the same starting position), except for the following two differences:

  1. Doubles are not special. Even if you roll doubles, each die still only counts once.
  2. There is no "bearing off". The goal is to move all of your men to within the last six spaces of the board.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Another type of game called sugoroku
3 Sources


The game is thought to have been introduced from China (where it was known as Shuang-lu) into Japan in the sixth century. It is known that in the centuries following the game's introduction into Japan it was made illegal several times, most prominently in 689 and 754. Although this variant of the backgammon family has died out in most other countries, it is still popular in Japan, partially due to a boost caused by the inclusion of a free Sugoroku board with the first issue of the newspaper Kingu (in 1925) which sold 740,000 copies.

Another type of game called sugoroku

There is also another type of game called "sugoroku". This sugoroku operates on much the same principle as Snakes and Ladders. I am not sure, but I think only one die is used for this game. There exist boards for this game with many different themes. There appears to be no single "standard" layout. More info at [[1].