DOG game - The game of DOG - DOGspiel online

Instructions to play online DOG - free, from dobney.com research

Click here to play DOG online

DOG is a popular card-and-board game originating from Switzerland, similar to Canadian TOCK played by four players, in two pairs, using a Ludo or Parchis board and two packs of playing cards. It's also known as Dogspiel with variations such as Black Dog (introduction at boardgamegeek.com).

Our online version follows the basic Swiss rules and was written to allow our family to play remotely through the COVID lockdowns. It works on mobiles, tablets and PCs with no download, app or sign-up needed. It is most fun if you have a group call for all the players at the same time.

If you haven't played, playing in person might be easier to get to know the game and teamwork involved. Dog rules can be found here in English and Spanish.

Online version - getting started - logging in

Click on the link above to get to the game.

The first person should "Start a new game" - this person is the game-lead. The game-lead will play as red. Red plays with Yellow and Blue plays with Green.

The game lead needs to go to the bottom of his/her screen and send invite codes to the other players. Each colour has an individual code. The codes can be sent via Whatsapp or via Email, or simply read out over the phone and typed in.

Each of the other three players needs either to click the link they receive, or go to the game page and enter the code they are given to get the game started. When everyone is logged in Blue needs to deal.

When playing, keeping an open Facetime, Skype or Whatsapp connection is a good way to play and talk together.

Deal the cards

Once everyone is logged in, the first person (blue) needs to deal. Blue will see a 'deal button' - click it to send cards to all the players. Everyone else sees 'waiting for dealer' until the deal is made.

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 deal when they get the 'Deal cards' button.

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

Swap with your partner

Once the 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).

Once all four players have chosen a card to swap, the system will swap cards and update each players 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. That player will then see options for the play on their board. At the same time everyone else gets to 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.

Once the move is complete, play will move to the next player.

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. Once a card is chosen there is no unchoosing it.

If there are no options to play then the player is bust, and the move will automatically go to the next player.

For moves involving special cards

End game

When one player is finished, the game will automatically switch to double team on the remaining partner's pegs. 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 expert players

For expert players, this online version allows the use of 4 to go backwards into home, and allows finishing with a Joker. This is based on 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.