Kubb, Viking chess


Have you ever heard of the Kubb? It's a shooting game, which is practiced with large pieces (such as bowling), but of reduced weight because they are made of wood. You start by designing a rectangular surface with 4 stakes used to delimit the area. The measure of this should be 5 meters wide and about 8 meters long, although this can vary depending on the difficulty you want or the experienced players.

It is said that this game originated in Sweden, specifically in the era of the Vikings. Although it may be that this statement is nothing more than a marketing strategy of the manufacturers of this game, whose popularity increases every day more.

There is also the theory that Kubb is a variant of another game that arose earlier than our Nordic ancestors. Even in ancient Egypt something similar was practiced, such as a mixture of javelin and chess. Curious, isn't it?

In spite of these data, it has been proven on several occasions that Kubb was played in places like Norway, Sweden and Scotland, where the Vikings lived.


The pieces of the Kubb


  • The King: a wooden rectangle about 30 cm high with a square base of 9x9 cm.
  • 10 kubbar: rectangles, also of wood, with a square base of 7x7 cm, and 15 cm high. In singular, kubb, and its plural kubbar, are the pieces that give the name to the game.
  • 6 wooden cylinders, called kastpinnar, about 30 cm long and 4 cm in diameter.
  • 4 stakes to delimit the playing field.

The king is always placed in the center to divide the field into two equal halves. The 10 kubbar,5 for each team, are placed standing in front of those of the other team and at the same distance of separation.


How to practice it?


Kubb is played with two teams and in each of them can get to participate from 2 to 12 players. The goal is to bring down the king, but first you have to finish the pieces of the opposing team.

This will be done by throwing the 6 wooden cylinders (kastpinnar), always under the arm and without making them rotate, as if it were a propeller. But be careful: if one of the teams knocks down the king before throwing all the kubbar, the team will be automatically eliminated.

The throws are always made in turns and, in addition, the king can not be eliminated by the last cylinder left to the team, but the team that manages to bring down the king must have at least one of its cylinders (kastpinnar).

As we can see it is a very entertaining game with which to have a good time. They say that the Vikings used this strategy game to solve some of their disputes. Imagine these ferocious warriors throwing some games to the Kubb and tasting a good mead to solve problems!

Have you ever played it to solve a discussion with a friend? Or maybe we have given you an idea to solve your conflicts in a fun way? Tell us!

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