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How Blokus Works


Blokus Tips and Strategies
In Blokus, it pays to take note of your opponents' strategies (and remaining pieces), not just your own.
In Blokus, it pays to take note of your opponents' strategies (and remaining pieces), not just your own.
Robert Nickelsberg/News/Getty Images

Think Blokus is for babies? Think again. (Especially since it's been noted that the sound of a Blokus board being knocked over by a toddler is a terrifying, shattering noise that leaves parents with curdled blood.) The truth is, although it's technically simple to understand, Blokus can be maddeningly strategic. Not only are you attempting to thwart the advances of other players, but you're also on an offensive attack to save space for your squares, as well.

Luckily, there are a few easy tips you can keep in mind while you're playing to leverage your chances at Blokus success. When placing your first pieces, make sure to move toward the center. Remember, you want to keep as many corners of your pieces open as possible -- so lining them up on the side of the board is going to immediately point you out as a Blokus amateur, and all your friends will laugh at you.

Also, be aware that the more squares you cover on the board, the more points you get. So use your shapes strategically. Positioning the smaller squares first is not only going to leave you less room to place the bigger ones; you're also handicapping yourself when it comes to getting the most points on the board fast.

In terms of playing against your opponents, it's Blokus -- and not WatchUsWhileWeBlokYou -- for a reason. Be aggressive about making sure the other players have few options for their own pieces. The Blokus instructions refer to the corners that are unprotected and jut out the most as "advanced" corners. Be proactive about surrounding your opponents' most available, advanced corners. Remember that while you can only touch the corners of your colored pieces, you can abut all sides of another player's piece. Use this ability to surround your opponents.

Want a fast, sneaky way to try out Blokus strategies on your own? Lucky for you, there are many ways to play Blokus apart from the board games. There's an app available for various smartphone platforms, as well as free online versions at the Blokus Web site. You can even go the old-fashioned route and play a solitaire version of Blokus, where the goal is to get all the pieces on the board legally.

Before you go rogue, meet the clever mind behind Blokus -- and discover why you might actually (gasp) learn something from playing it.