Hounds and Jackals

by Vincent on July 4, 2011

Hounds and Jackals

Hounds and Jackals is a bit like Senet but instead of moving pieces on a board like Senet, the players plug hound-headed and jackal-headed pegs into holes in the board.

Thought to be the origin of the modern game of Snakes & Ladders, Hounds and Jackals was also known as the ‘Game of 58 Holes’ for the number of holes that are used to move around the board.

Each player has five pegs and they compete with each other to be the first to move their pieces around the palm tree and onto the ‘Shen’ hieroglyph for ‘encircling’, or ‘eternity’. The number of places a player can move is determined with a set of two dice formed from knuckle bones.

A Hounds & Jackals game, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

A scene from the movie The Ten Commandments (1956) showing Nefertari playing the Hounds and Jackals Game with Pharaoh Sethi:


More Information:
Download Hounds & Jackals to play on your computer (Windows only).

You can find information on the rules at the Game Cabinet website

Download a PDF with a lot more information on the game.

The University of Waterloo’s Eliot Avendon Museum & Archive of Games: Hounds and Jackals

Photo of the Hounds & Jackals game board at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Mary Harrsch. Some rights reserved

Visit Mary Harrsch’s website.

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