Kubb Game information
Kubb is best described as a combination of horseshoes and bowling. The ultimate object of the game is to knock over the “King”, before your opponent does. Along the way, the game requires a mixture of strategy and skill. This combination of skill and strategy has led many to call the game “Viking Chess.” But unlike chess, and more like billiards, knocking the king down early causes you to lose the game! The game can be played on a variety of surfaces such as sand, concrete, grass, or even ice. Kubb is a great game to play at a backyard BBQ’s, a tailgates, family reunions, picnics in the park, or even at the beach! Discuss anything you want about Kubb in our Forum
Have the rules with you when you’re ready to play. Click the download button & print the Kubb instructions found on this page.
- 1 King
- 10 Kubbs
- 6 Throwing Sticks ( or casting pins )
- 4 Corner Pins
- “Thor’s Hammer” ( for setting the corner pins )
How To Play
- The game is played on a level field or open area defined by the four Corner Pins.
Most commonly on a sandy beach or a level lawn (on ice or snow is an option).
- The ten Kubb are placed on end, 5 on each team’s base line.
- The objective is for players standing at their base line to topple all 5 of the opposing team’s Kubb with an underhanded toss of the six Throwing Sticks, and to then topple the King ( which is placed in the center of the playing field )
- The Corner Pins define the playing field.
- The field is rectangular and usually ranges from 7 to 15 feet wide by 15 to 30 feet long.
- The shorter sides of the rectangle become the respective base line of each team while the longer sides establish the sidelines or inbound playing area.
- Each team places their five 5 Kubb at even intervals along their respective base line, but no closer than one Kubb length from either Corner Pin.
- They may not be imbedded in the surface to the point that they become difficult to knock over.
- The King is placed half way between the two base lines, centered between the two sidelines.
- The players are divided into two teams, ranging from 1 to 6 players per team.
- The Throwing Sticks are distributed equally among the players of the teams
** One player would toss all six Sticks, or a six-member team would only have one each to toss.
** In the case of four or five team members the extra Sticks would be rotated among the team members so that each player in turn would have an opportunity to throw a second pin.
- To determine which team will begin, one person from each side will toss a Throwing Stick toward the King. The team landing closest to the King without knocking it over starts the game.
- Sticks are tossed underhand, and may rotate only in a vertical, end-over-end manner and not in a helicopter-like horizontal or sideways rotation.
- Sticks must be thrown from behind the team’s base line.
- Each member of the team tosses their Sticks at one of the opposing team’s Kubbs, attempting to knock it over.
- A Kubb is removed for the rest of the game once the opposing team has knocked it over.
** See alternate rules for additional options
** A Kubb is considered toppled if it should come to rest in a tilted manner supported by another game piece.
- The King sits in the middle of the playing field. The first team to successfully knock over all the opposing team’s Kubbs then has the opportunity to topple the King and win the game.
- Toppling of the King prior to having toppled all of the opposing team’s Kubbs constitutes an automatic loss of the game.
Alternate Variations for Game Play
The most popular variation has the opposing team collecting their toppled Kubbs, which now become Field Kubbs. Once all six Sticks have been tossed, the opposing team tosses any of their toppled Kubbs past the King, and into the opposing team’s playing field.
All Kubbs that are knocked down are then thrown onto the other team’s half of the court, and stood on end. These newly thrown kubbs are called field kubbs. Deciding where in the opponent’s half to throw the field Kubbs is a very important part of the strategy. Play then changes hands. The throwing team must first knock down any standing field kubbs. These knocked down Field Kubbs are then removed from the game.
** Field Kubbs that right themselves due to the momentum of the impact are considered down.If either team leaves field kubbs standing, the kubb closest to the king now represents that side’s baseline, and throwers may step up to that line to throw at their opponent’s kubbs. This rule applies to field and baseline kubbs only; fallen kubbs are thrown from the original baseline, as are attempts to knock over the king.
When a team has successfully toppled all of the Kubbs but did not topple the King ( Kung ), the opposing team may attack the King to win the game.
** When playing with this variation, a team with only one Throwing Stick, and one Kubb standing may want to forfeit the toss rather than risk toppling the last Kubb which would leave the King open to the opponent’s attack.
You can make your own Kubb game. Just click the download button, and print out the Kubb game making instructions found on this page.
- 6′ of 4″x4″ – For the King and Kubbs
- 6′ of 1.5″-2″ dowel / closet rod – For the Throwing Sticks
- 4′ of .75″ dowel – For the Corner Pins
- 30′ of nylon rope or string – to define the playing area
Making the King
- Chop off 12″ of the 4×4.
- The King often gets decorated to show off how important it is.
- The amount of decoration is up to you.
- Example: Using a table saw, use two, 45-degree cuts to notch the sides, and make a series of cuts at the top to give the king a crown! A router would be great for this.
Making the Kubbs
- The size of the kubb is 7cm x 7cm x 15cm or 2.75″ x 2.75″ x 5.9″
- Trim .5″ off of two sides of the 4×4 to make these pieces, using a table saw.
* A 4×4 is actually 3.5″x3.5″, so you trim .5″, not 1″
- Next, cut 10, 5.9″ lengths to create your 10 kubbs.
Making the Throwing Sticks
- Create 6 batons to throw at the kubbs and the king
- Cut 6, 12″ pieces of the 1.5″ – 2″ dowel. The Throwing Sticks should be about 12″ long.
- Then, cut 4, approx. 12″ stakes to mark off the playing field.
Cut Your String or Rope
- The playing field for kubb is roughly 16.5′ by 26′.
- Cut a length of string or rope and tie a few knots where the corner pins will be.
- Wrap the string around a leftover piece of the dowel.
Official Sizes and Dimensions
Our instructions have taken certain liberties, in order to create a game with supplies that are easy to find locally. Of course, it’s always best to try to be as close to the Official specifications as possible.
Official dimensions are:
- Kubbs: 10 at 7x7x15 (cm)
- King: 1 at 9x9x30 (cm)
- Baton: 6 at 1 3/4” diameter (almost impossible to get 44mm diameter wood in the US).
Tournament wood recommends a hardwood (poplar)
Have a better way? Tell us in the forum!