DOG-Spiel online - DOG Board Game - The Game of DOG

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Start a DOG-Spiel game

DOG Spiel - or the Game of DOG - is an extremely popular card-and-board game (brettspiel) originating from Switzerland. It is played with cards and a board with four players, in two pairs, and requires teamwork and strategy.

In Germany, it's also known as Dogspiel, with boxed versions from Schmidt Spiele or Brändi Dog with variations such as Black Dog, and is similar to Canadian TOCK (introduction at boardgamegeek.com).

Our online version follows the basic Swiss rules for DOG, and was developed for our own use so our family could continue playing through the COVID lockdowns.

Our online game is browser-based so it works on mobiles, tablets and PCs with no download, app or sign-up needed. It is most fun if you play while also having a group call on Whatsapp or Facetime.

Rules for DOG-Spiel can be found here in English and Spanish. If you haven't played DOG-Spiel before, playing a few games face-to-face might make it easier to get familiar with the tactics involved.

DOG Online version - getting started - logging in

The game needs four players to play, playing in two teams. The winners are the team that gets both sets of pegs home first.

The person who sets the game up is the game-lead. The game-lead starts the game (use the link above), and sends out invite codes to the other players so they can join.

The invite codes are found at the bottom of game-lead's screen and can be sent via Whatsapp or Email, or simply read out over the phone and typed in.

Each colour has an individual invite code. The game-lead plays as Red. The teams are: Red with Yellow; and Blue with Green.

To join the game, the other players click the link they receive, or go to the game page above and enter their code to join the game.

Once logged-in, Blue will see a button to deal, everyone else will see a message 'Waiting for Dealer'.

Deal the cards

When everyone is logged in Blue should click the 'deal-button' to start play. All the players will see cards appear on their screen automatically. Check everyone has cards, and then it's time to 'swap'.

Swap with your partner

Once a deal is made, the next step is to swap a card between partners. Select the card you want to swap with your partner - the tactical advice is to give them a card that will be useful for their position in the game (eg getting out, or getting home, or to knock the opposition home).

Once all four players have chosen a card to swap, the system will swap cards and update each player's hand, and the board play can start.

Play in turns

After the swap, one of the players will be told 'Your turn'. The others will see 'Waiting for {colour}' so they know who is playing.

The player whose turn it is, picks a card to play. Once the card is picked, the player is shown options for the play on their screen. At the same time, the other players see the 'In-play' card selected, but not the possible moves.

The player should choose and click the move on the board. The peg will move, and all the other players' screens will be updated.

The game will only allow you to play cards that have valid moves available. It will check for blocking pegs for instance, pegs not in play, or in the home, and that a whole move can be completed. Once a card is chosen there is no unchoosing it.

Once the move is complete, play will move to the next player. If a player has no options to play, then the player is bust, and the move will automatically go to the next available player.

Like conventional DOG, the dealer rotates, and the number of cards per deal decreases 6 to 5,4,3,2 and then back to 6. Each round needs the relevant dealer to click to deal when they get the 'Deal cards' button.

It's recommended to pause and check everyone is ready before dealing to make sure the final move of the round have been finished correctly.

Playing special cards

For moves involving special cards players have to choose how to play the card.

End game

When a player has all four pegs home, that player then switches to play their teammate's pegs - even if it's mid-move. The two players then play together to get the remaining colour's pegs home.

When getting a peg home, the game won't allow a peg home unless the whole move can be completed. This is most relevant when playing 7s - the whole 7 has to be playable, but it can be split from the getting home last peg of one colour to the remaining colour mid-move.

At the end, the game will state the winner. Click "Log-out" to be able to start a new game.

Troubleshooting

The game relies on connection to a game server for play. Occasionally this can be interrupted. Try refreshing the page to reconnect to the server to update positions and cards. If it's your turn and you have a card in play, click the in-play card after refreshing to see the move options.

If you get fully stuck, the game-lead can skip move for whoever is in play to allow the game to continue.

For experienced DOG players

Off-line players sometimes play with some additional rule tweaks. For clarity, this online version allows the use of 4 to go backwards into home, and allows finishing with a Joker. The game uses two packs of cards with four jokers in total. The packs are only reshuffled when all existing cards have been dealt - as per normal games.

Privacy and GDPR

The game uses local cookies to keep players logged into the game. No personal information is gathered and the game can be played completely anonymously.

Copyright 2020 dobney.com. Written during the Covid lockdown to keep friends and family connected.