Game board
made for marbles

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Alquerque Game Board

Alquerque game board for marbles
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What you will make:

In this project, make a cardboard game board for the game of Alquerque. The game board is designed to use marbles as playing pieces. You can also use the project's printable patterns to make a simple "print, cut and play" game board by following the instructions in the English Board Solitaire craft project.

Alquerque is a classic war or battle game with equal sides and complex strategy. Included at the end of the project are rules for playing the game of Alquerque and some history about the game.

Related craft: Use Homemade Modeling Dough to make your own marble-like game pieces.

Here's what you need:
  • Computer paper and cardstock
  • Lightweight cardboard (cereal box)
  • White craft glue (PVA) or strong glue stick adhesive
  • ¼" hole punch
  • Scissors or craft knife and ruler
  • Marbles in two colors
  • Optional: Markers or colored pencils

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make an Alquerque Game Board for Marbles

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It

Choose a game board to make—colored or black & white. Download and print the pattern. Use the Marble Squares pattern to make a game board suitable for marble playing pieces.
Choose a design that prints in color, or select a black & white pattern and use your creativity to add color and designs.

Easy Game Board: The Alquerque board patterns can be used to make a simple "print, cut and play" game board. Just follow the instructions in the English Board Solitaire craft project.

Alquerque Board
Printable pattern for Alquerque Game Board
Marble Squares
Printable pattern for game board's marble squares
Alquerque Board
Printable pattern for Alquerque Game Board, blue-green
Marble Squares
Printable pattern for game board's marble squares, blue-green

Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The Adobe Reader is available for free.

All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4). When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.

Make game board base Step 2: Make Game Board Base

Following the instructions in the English Board Solitaire craft project, make the game board base. Follow the directions for making it with cardboard and do not cover it with contact paper.

Tip: You may print the game board directly on cardstock and skip the step that glues the game board to cardboard.

Tip: If you printed a colored version of the board, you can still add a personal touch by decorating the border around it.

Step 3: Print

Print the Marble Squares pattern on computer paper. The pattern has 30 squares. You will need 25 squares for the game board.

Print marble squares

Tip: Print the black & white pattern on colored computer paper that coordinates with the game board. You won't need to color the squares if you do this.

Step 4: Color (optional)

If you printed the black & white Marble Squares pattern on white paper, color the squares with any colors you like, or leave them white.

Tip: You could color the twelve starting squares for each player in different colors and leave the center square white.

Step 5: Glue to Cardboard Glue squares to lightweight cardboard

Cut a piece of cardboard big enough for all 30 squares. Cardboard from an empty cereal box works well. Glue the squares to the cardboard. Be sure to cover the squares completely, edge-to-edge, with glue.

Step 5: Cut Out Squares and Punch Cut out and punch marble squares

Cut out 25 marble squares. Be sure to make straight cuts with square corners.

Tip: It's easier to cut the squares with a craft knife and ruler. Careful! Craft knives require adult supervision.

Using the gray circles as a guide, punch a hole in the center of each square.

Step 6: Glue Squares to Game Board Glue marble squares to game board

Arrange the squares on the game board. Be sure to center each one over a circle on the game board.

Carefully glue each square to the game board. Wipe any excess glue from the squares and holes. Let the glue dry, and you are ready to play.

Tip: Glue the center square to the board first, then glue the four squares with eight lines coming out from their centers. Use these as placement guides as you glue the other squares. Align a ruler or long strip of cardboard to the sides of these squares, then glue the other squares in the row along the ruler's edge.

Step 7: Play Alquerque

To play Alquerque, you will need a game board and playing marbles of two different colors—twelve marbles of each color. You can also use game pieces from other games, coins, marshmallows, or dry cereal (Trix). You can even make your own pieces with homemade Modeling Dough.

Place marbles on game board

The object of this 2-player game is to capture all of the opponent's pieces.

  1. Put the marbles of one color along the bottom two rows and the two leftmost spaces of the third row. Do the reverse for the other color of marbles. Leave the center space empty.
  2. All marbles can move to any open space. They move one space at a time along any line.
  3. Your opponent's marbles are captured by jumping. All jumps are from one side of a marble to an empty space beyond. Multiple jumps are allowed on the same play, and they need not be on a straight line.
    How opponent's pieces are caputured
  4. Jumps must be taken, but the player can select which jump to take if more than one jump exists.
  5. Captured marbles are removed from the board.
  6. Draw to see who goes first, then take alternating turns.

The game ends when one player captures all of the other player's marbles, or when one player is blocked and cannot move. The game ends in a draw if neither player can capture all of the opponent's marbles.

Now it's time to play a game!
Alquerque game board for marbles

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When and where did the game of Alquerque originate?

Alquerque-type games are war games of the battle variety. These games are among the oldest games and date back to at least 1400 B.C. An alquerque board was cut into a roofing slab of the temple at Al-Qurna in Egypt. The Arabic name for this game is el-quirkat; it is mentioned in a manuscript, Kitab al-Aghani, from the 10th century. The Moors brought the game to Spain, where its name became alquerque. Several versions of the game are mentioned in the Libro de Juegos (Book of Games) from the reign of Alfonso X.

Other battle games...

Awithlaknannai ("Stone Warriors") is played by the Zuni of New Mexico. The board, called stone field by the Zuni, originated in Mexico where it was used in a hunt-type game.

Lau Kata Kati and Dash Guti are two alquerque-type games from India. Alquerque-type battle games are played all over the world on many different board arrangements, but the rules are nearly always the same.

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

ePaper Extra

Alquerque game board decorated with paper ribbon

Tip: Use Arabic Floral Paper Ribbon to decorate an Alquerque game board. Download and print Aunt Annie's Blue-green Arabic Floral Ribbon ePaper and Red-orange Arabic Floral Ribbon ePaper for paper ribbons that coordinate with the colored Alquerque game board patterns.

You can also use the coordinating ePapers, Blue-green Arabic Floral Pattern and Red-orange Arabic Floral Pattern, on the backs of the game boards.

Arabic Floral Pattern ePaper, blue-green


Arabic Floral Pattern ePaper, red-orange


Simple Alquerque game board with paper ribbon

Tip: Glue strips of Arabic Floral Paper Ribbon to the sides of a solid color Alquerque game board. The ribbon downloads come in two colors.

Simple Alquerque game board

Tip: Make a simple "print, cut and play" game board by following the instructions in the English Board Solitaire craft project.

Alquerque game board made with colored paper and cardstock

Tip: Print the black & white patterns on colored paper and coordinating colored cardstock. The game board can then be mounted on a thick piece of colored cardboard.

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