OBJECTIVE OF FOX AND THE HOUNDS: Fox to the opposite end of the board, or hounds trap the fox


MATERIALS: 8×8 checkerboard, one red checker, 4 black checkers

TYPE OF GAME: Board game

AUDIENCE: Kids, family


Fox and the Hounds is an abstract strategy board game that uses checkers and an 8×8 grid.  It is part of a bigger family of “chasing” games that all follow different rules.  Fox and the Hounds is a fun game for children, and it is a great way to teach them abstract and strategic thinking skills. 


To determine who will be the fox, one player hides a red checker in one hand, and a black checker in the other.  Their opponent picks one of the hands.  Whichever piece is revealed is that player’s color for the game.

Whoever is playing as the hounds shall place their four pieces on the dark spaces in their back row.  The player who is playing as the fox can place their piece on any of the black spaces in their back row.

Here are all of the possible starting positions for the pieces:

Once the pieces are in place, the game may begin.


The game begins with the fox making their move.  The fox is allowed to move one space diagonally in any direction much like a king piece in checkers.

After the fox makes their first move, the hounds can now take their turn.  During the hounds turn, the player may choose one hound to move.  Hounds move diagonally, but they may only move forward.  Once a hound has reached the opposite end of the board it is stuck and can no longer move.

Play like this continues until either side meets their win condition.

In this game, neither the fox or the hounds are allowed to jump over or land on other pieces.  They may only move into an adjacent space that is open.


If the fox is able to reach the opposite end of the board and end up in the hound’s starting row, the fox wins.

If the hounds surround the fox in such a way that it can no longer move in any direction, the hounds win.

Mark Ball
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