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Yut is a traditional Korean board game played mainly during the period from Korean New Year to the first full moon. Cheok-sa and sa-hee are the other names of the game. Its origin is not clear, but it seems that the game was started from the age of ancient Korea called Three-Kingdoms. The game is played by throwing four sticks, and moving marks on the board according to shapes of the sticks that fell down. In Korean New Year, many people play the game in the reason that it can be enjoyed anywhere regardless of age and sex.

Tools[change | change source]

Board of the game

The equipment of the game consists of a board, four yut sticks, and four marks, called mal, per each team. The board, which is normally rectangular shaped, is made of various materials like stitched cloth, paper, or leather. It is composed of a circle with a cross in the center and 28 circles around this cross. The sticks determine how far a mal can advance. The stick consists of two sides, which one of it is round-shaped, and the other side flat-shaped. It is commonly made of wood from chestnut trees. Players can move their mal from one circle to another based on the results that their sticks indicate. Anything can be a mal if it can be distinguished from the mal of opposite teams.

Four pieces of yut sticks

Rules of the Game[change | change source]

Shapes of sticks that fell down after throwing indicate movements of each team’s mal. There are five possibilities: do, gae, geol, yut, and mo, which each of them means five livestock, pigs, dogs, cow, sheep, and horses. Do, when flat side of only one stick faces upward, means one-step advance. When two flat sides are up, it means gae, which is two-step advance. Geol is three flat sides up which is three-step advance, and yut, which all of four sticks are flat side up, means four-step advance. When all of sticks face round side up, it is mo which means five-step advance. Each teams throw sticks normally in turn, but players get one more chance to throw sticks when they throw yut or mo.

Players can move only one mal per each movement, unless mals are grouped in one. When a mal arrives the big circles in the center, or arrives the others in each corner, players can move their mal to shortcut. There are four possible routes to move mal when considering shortcuts. When a mal arrives the circle that is already occupied by a mal of opposite team, the mal of opposite team is captured by new mal, and should restart from the start point. If a mal lands on circle that another mal of the own team exist, two mals can make a group, and move together. The team that all of their mals arrives the start point again becomes the winner of game.

References[change | change source]