Learn About the Game of Reversi

An Overview of Reversi

Reversi is a classic game that the whole family will enjoy because it has the exciting aesthetics of an old game and is incredibly simple to master. Reversi is a game that you can play if you’re sick of playing checkers and want something a little more challenging to do. Despite similarities to the game of checkers, Reversi, or Othello as it is more popularly called, provides a very different gaming experience. Whatever name it is called, the idea of playing it is uncomplicated. You flank your opponent’s disc on both sides so that it becomes one of your own. The pieces are turned over when ownership changes because the discs are double-sided. Reversi is one of the simplest games to learn, but it can be challenging to master, which is one of its appeals.

Reversi is a two-player board game with a strategic component on an 8 x 8 board. Each player has 64 disks, which are the game’s identical components. The disks between the two players can be recognized depending on whether they are black or white. The game’s length depends on how quickly the players are playing; occasionally, they pause and consider their options. The game is easy to set up; initially, only four pieces of the disks are arranged diagonally from one another before the game start. Whenever the game begins, the black disk makes the first move.

Once you’ve made a few moves and the board starts to fill, you’ll have a lot to monitor and an ever-evolving strategy. Even if you have your next play planned out, your opponent could entirely alter your strategy with just one well-placed disc. You don’t need to master a difficult scoring system or memorize many rules to play the basic game of Reversi or Othello at home. The only goal is to win the game with more discs than your opponent. The winner is determined by who has the most discs.

The History of Reversi

Othello (Reversi) board

The famous classic game Reversi or Othello has several theories claiming its origin; despite the lack of concrete proof, historians still associate these theories at the beginning of the game. The first is that the game is believed to have originated in China from the game “Fan Mian,” and the second is from Lewis Waterman and John W. Mollett, who published this game in 1888. The current Othello rules were created by a Japanese man named Goro Hasegawa about 1970 and have since been formally adopted worldwide. Compared to many other board games, Othello has considerably simpler rules. 

The present version is based on the game reversi, created in 1883 by one of two Englishmen, Lewis Waterman or John W. Mollett, and became very well-liked in England at the close of the 19th century. The Saturday Review’s edition from August 21, 1886, contains the game’s earliest known and trustworthy mention. A New York Times story from 1895 described the game as similar to Go Bang and being played with 64 pieces. The game was also one of the earliest that the renowned German game publisher Ravensburger produced, starting in 1893. Page 14 of the Spring 1989 Othello Quarterly mentions two continental European books from the 18th century that deal with a game that may or may not interest us. There has been speculation—so far unsupported by evidence—that the game has older origins.

In the 1970s, the Japanese gaming manufacturer Tsukuda Original filed the game under the trademark “Othello,” which is still the most frequently used rule set on the international tournament stage. This game was invented in Mito, Ibaraki. The name was chosen as a connection to the Shakespearean tragedy Othello, the Moor of Venice, which highlights the tension between Othello, a Moor, and Iago, who refers to himself as “two-faced,” as well as the more contentious drama that develops between Othello, a Moor, and Desdemona, a White character. The commander Othello, gallantly leading his army into combat on a green field, is the source of inspiration for the board’s green color. 

Another origin theory is mentioned in a press release in 2002 concerning the history of the modern game Othello or Reversi. According to this idea, Goro Hasegawa, a Japanese gaming aficionado, created Othello in 1971. To assist him in developing and marketing the game, he selected James R. Becker. Hasegawa aimed to design a game full of strategy but still approachable to the casual player. The ancient Chinese strategy game inspired him “Go.” Due to the black and white disks, Becker streamlined the game’s gameplay, came up with the slogan “A Minute to Learn…A Lifetime to Master,” and called the new game after Shakespeare’s great play. The Japanese Othello Association was established in 1973 by Tsukuda Original Co., who did so at Becker’s advice. The first national championship for Othello was held in 1973, the year it achieved commercial popularity in Japan. In 1975, Goro Hasegawa’s book How to Win at Othello made the game famous in Japan.

How to Play Reversi?

Couple Playing Reversi Game 

Reversi is a strategy board game regarded as traditional and well-liked in Japan and gained popularity in America and most European countries in 1970. The game also includes straightforward guidelines. Although it contains many additional intricate strategies that would take years and a lot of effort for the players to master, they are easy for beginners to understand.

1. Setting Up the Game

  The game of Reversi is normally played with two players sharing an equal number of 64 double-sided chips on an 8×8-inch grid board. Once these pieces have been suitably distributed, The board is set up by placing two of each player’s chips in the board’s center. The identical color chips are typically arranged diagonally from one another. The black player makes the first move.

2. The Objective of Reversi

You must finish the game with more pieces on the board than your opponent to win. Each participant counts the number of pieces still on the board after the game to decide who won. Securing the places around the board by putting the colored player’s disk there is the game’s primary goal. The only way a player can occupy that spot is to have two disks surround the opponent’s disk from both sides. These disks can be positioned front and back, left and right, or diagonally. Furthermore, if the player surrounds the opponent’s disk with both of his disks, it can still be seized even if the opponent has secured a specific spot.

3. Playing Reversi

Players in Reversi try to have the most chips on the board at the end of the game, which is like the objectives of Go. Players must grab their opponent’s chips while avoiding having their chips taken to do this. The player holding the black chip makes the first move after the players select who will play which color. Two of each player’s chips are placed in the center of the game board during the first setup. Players may place additional chips on any square that allows a capture after placing the initial four chips.

The ability to capture is essential to the game of Reversi since you can only place tokens on the board in locations that would result in a capture. While no chips can be moved or altered once placed onto the board, placing chips near your opponent’s chips turns them into your territory. Once you have captured a chip or many chips, you can flip those pieces over to represent your new ownership. Placements on the board that are horizontal, vertical, or diagonal can capture. The game is over when there is no more placement area on the board. To determine who won the round, add up each player’s tokens to select who collected the most.

4. Flanking the Opponent

The flanking of your opponent’s pieces in Reversi is a crucial tactic. Every piece in the row between your two pieces is taken if you can grab a piece on either end of a row or column straight or diagonal. If you have mastered the flanking technique, you can take numerous rows of pieces per turn.

5. Ending the Game of Reversi

This play pattern continues until no more pieces can be added to the board, and the play ends. When the final playable empty square is filled, or neither player has any more movements left, the game’s goal is to have most of the disks showing their respective colors. The game is declared a draw if all players have equal pieces remaining on the board.

Winning Reversi Strategies

Child Is Playing Reversi Game

Although Reversi is simple to learn, it eventually requires a strategy to win. Your placement of each piece affects how the game will turn out. Here are some Reversi tips to remember if you want to win consistently. Reversi takes a high level of skill and strategic thinking to win. Here are a few tactical ideas to think about.

1. Mobility is Important

  Make sure every piece you play leaves you with open positions for your next moves because every move your opponent makes depends on the position and availability of your discs. Early in the game, limiting your discs will enable you to direct play. To prevent a wipeout, seizing strategic and vital positions is essential, especially on corners and edges. You should always be aware of these places, as we will see later in this guide. To prevent your opponent from capturing more of your pieces, don’t make extra disks of your color that are exposed to open squares. Limiting your opponent’s alternatives and giving them few options can make them make less-than-optimal choices.

2. Maintain Corner Control

Any effective Reversi plan must focus on controlling the corners as a straightforward approach to flank your opponent’s pieces. The corner will almost always offer enough pieces to take a diagonal, a column, or both. Once that has occurred, the other player cannot take the corner piece. The corners are, therefore, the most vital squares in the game. You will frequently win the game if you can get the corners. Your odds of success are better the more corners you cut. Keep your piece out of the three squares that surround the corner. In this case, the adversary can position their piece in the corner next to your piece.

3. Reduce the Options Available to Your Opponents

You must make plays restricting your opponent’s options and compel them to perform movements to accomplish your goal. The core of this strategy is that your opponent will have fewer options for the fewer disks you have in play. Naturally, you will give up this tactic at some point in the game and start actively flipping your opponent’s pieces.

4. Make Silent Movements

Quiet moves involve flipping fewer discs. To keep your disc count modest, flip no more than 1 or 2 discs at once. Flipping the discs in fewer broad directions will limit the number of new moves your opponent may make. The actions that flip only discs encircled by other discs and the disc you just placed on the board are the greatest quiet moves. Remember that these actions assist you in creating clusters and maintaining group formation, as we have previously discussed.

5. Think ahead

Simply attempting to capture the most pieces from your opponent on each move is insufficient in Reversi. Beyond the novice level, you will need to be thinking forward and evaluating the effects of your decisions long beyond the present move. For instance, you might need to coerce your opponent into playing into the square next to the corner before you can grab it. Computers are considerably better than humans at predicting the future and examining potential scenarios. Good computer opponents defeat good human players because of this.


Players worldwide have long loved Reversi, also called Othello, a strategic board game. Players of all ages and abilities can enjoy it because the game fundamentals are simple. The game’s goal is to finish with the most number of discs of your color on the board. Whenever a disc is added to the board, any opposing discs caught between it and a disc of the same color are flipped to that player’s color. However, beyond the simplicity of the games is a rich and intricate strategic technique. The game’s dynamics can be altered by positioning each disc, which can flip many discs. Players are given a wide range of strategic options and a rich decision-making environment. Successful players must assess the current state of the board, foresee their rivals’ actions, and consider potential outcomes. Players attempt to control the board and limit their opponent’s options while increasing their own, balancing offensive and defensive moves.