Buy this game: nestorgames Edition from Spain, nestorgames Edition?, Made of ceramic

FlipFlop 3x3 in play FlipFlop 5x5 in play FlipFlop made of tile by Mr. Yamamoto

FlipFlop Néstor Deluxe FlipFlop Néstor Standard

  • FlipFlop: The Japanese version of this page

FlipFlop is now playable online: Enjoy the game!!!

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Click the left and right edge of the enlarged photos to see the previous and the next photo. Click the x button to come back to this page.


The FlipFlop was invented by Masahiro Nakajima, the Curator of 'The Museum of Abstract Strategy Games', in 2009.


FlipFlop is played between two opponents. There are two versions of the game: One is played on 3x3 board and another is on 5x5 square board.

3x3 setup
3x3 Board

5x5 setup
5x5 Board


Each player has 3 (5 for 5 x 5 boards) pieces, which have two faces: The Bishop and the Rook.



You win when any of your pieces is placed in the middle square in the last row, your goal square (i.e., the third row center file for white, and the first row center file for black when played on 3x3 boards) for two consecutive turns, or when there is no legitimate moves left for your opponent.

The game ends in a draw if the identical position appears on the board for three times.


All pieces start as Rook, arranged at the first row on each end. As in normal chess games, Rooks move in a straight line, horizontally or vertically and Bishops move in a straight diagonal line, as far as they want.

The player with the white pieces commences the game.

After each move, pieces are 'flipped' and promoted from Rook to Bishop, then from Bishop to Rook.

Pieces cannot be captured, except when they are either in your or opponent's goal square.

Playing Tips

Even with the 3x3 small board one, you'd better think ahead, because the game is not as simple as you think ;-).


You can play with "Paper Board and Pieces", for your convinience. You can use two sets of coins as the pieces, such as "dime head/tail" for "white Rook/Bishop" and "penny head/tail" for "black Rook/Bishop".

Sample Games

1. Rook b1 x b3 = Bishop
R  R
1. Rook a3 x b3 = Bishop
R  R
2. Rook a1 - a3 = Bishop
2. Rook c3 - c2 = Bishop
3. Bishop a3 - b2 = Rook
3. Bishop b3 - a2 = Rook
4. Rook c1 - a1 = Bishop
4. Bishop c2 - b1 = Rook
5. Rook b2 x b1 = Bishop
5. Rook a2 - b2 = Bishop
6. Bishop b1 - c2 = Rook
6. Bishop b2 - a3 = Rook
7. Bishop a1 - b2 = Rook
7. Rook a3 - b3 = Bishop
8. Rook b2 x b3 = Bishop


FlipFlop Manual nestorgames version

Zillions Game File ZRF

Executable program source files for Zillions of Games are available here. All the variants introduced in this page are playable.

The game is also available at Zillions of Games.

Paper Board & Pieces

Printable version is available here:

The designs of the pieces have been renewed in July 2009. fileFlipFlop.pdf

The design has been renewed in December 2016. You can play 3x3, 5x5 also FlipFour (English) with single board. fileflipflop_flipfour.pdf


The left photo at the page top shows a match-up on the 3x3 board, and the right is another one on the 5x5 board. It seems people who first played the games prefer 3x3 version over 5x5 version.

The photo in the lower section at the page top shows the FlipFlop made of tiles, just arrived! It is designed by masahiro Nakajima and manufactured by Mitsuo Yamamoto. The paper version and the software version are also nice but this tile version is truly gorgeous...

If you feel that you play this game too well [bigsmile] , please see also RinneTensei (English).

Copyright © Masahiro Nakajima 2009, www.nakajim.net 2009, All rights reserved.



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Last-modified: 2023-07-22 (土) 01:13:03 (73d)