Ketchup is a two-player abstract board game played on a hexagonal board that was invented by Nicholas Bentley in 2010. 


Ketchup is played on a hexagonal board with five cells per side. Larger boards can be used for a deeper game.

Object of the Game

The winner of the game is the player with the largest group of stones when the game ends (group of stones is a set of same-colored stones touching each other).


The game begins with an empty board.

There are two players in the game: Ketchup (red stones) and Wasabi (green stones).

On the first turn of the game, Ketchup must place 1 red stone in any empty cell. Then both players put 2 stones of their colors per turn in any empty cells of the board until someone makes a group of 2 or more stones of their color.

From then on, the players take their turns placing 2 or 3 stones (in any empty cell) per turn depending on which player has the largest group of stones on the board:

  • the player with the largest group of stones on the board must put 2 stones of his color per turn;
  • the player without the largest group must either put 3 stones per turn or pass. The player may not place his stones such that at the end of the turn his largest group is the same size as his opponent's largest group.

The game ends when a player cannot make his move, i.e. when the board is full or there is not enough space to put the required number of stones.

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