Bughouse chess

  • Last updated on 12/6/07, 7:34 PM.

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Bughouse (also reffered as tagteam and siamese chess) is played with two teams of two, using two sets. Each player on the team plays a different color than their partner.  It begans as normal blitz chess, but every piece a player captures, he/she can pass it to his/her partner, who will be allowed to drop the piece any unoccupied space on the board (with the exceptions of pawns, which can only be dropped within the middle six rows), creating new twists to the game. The goal is to checkmate either of your opponents, gaining the win for your team. But when this game is played on clock, a player has the choice to stall until a piece is gained to counter the mate.


-Sacking : Sacking is a powerful strategy, often used to break the pawn structure near an enemy king.  F2/F7 pawns are the most common targets of sacking. 

-Not castling: It is easy to get smothered in bughouse, so castling is actually not a useful move.

 -Not dropping like crazy: Dropping is fun, but be sure to leave a few pieces in reserve. Every piece you keep in your hand is worth double than those on the board. Holding them all in is not a good plan either, if your opponent is holding a lot of pieces, you need to launch a strike to lure them out. 

-Contact checks: Checking directly next to the king, like with pawns and knights. This forces the king to capture or move away, so the opponent will not be allowed to drop pieces. This type of checkmate is typically the only way to gurantee victory.

-Pawns: Pawns are the ultimate factor in this game. Break your pawn structure means enemy pieces being dropped there. 

-Stalling:If you have excess time, do it. Buy time to get pieces, but make sure you have a good upcoming attack to back it up.

-Opening: You will often see king pawn, kingside knight, followed by kingside bishop to attack the F pawn.  You will see it often. Get ready. 


DoubleChessBoard - Bughouse software with Sjeng bughouse chess engine incorporated in.

Net Blitz II - basic bughouse software. No computers for it though

FICS/ICS - bughouse servers



  • 9 years ago · Quote · #1


    yeh i play this all the time... its fun especially with ur friends

    u can help ur partner as well if he is in a losing position... if u lost then u can blame ur partnew for not giving u any pieces!!

  • 9 years ago · Quote · #2


    This would be a fun feature to implement!  Anyone know where you can play this online?



  • 8 years ago · Quote · #3



  • 7 years ago · Quote · #4


    i play this all the time in chess club. Even have a tournament, which u nedd a partner... Anywhere online? Awesome if it was on the site, but would be difficult to always find a partner...

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #5


    This can be played online here.


    Not sure about online multiplayer though.  I would think the game would be better though if you could only place pieces on your first 2 (maybe 3) rows to prevent the 'smothering' referred to.  It's too bad chess.com doesn't come up with a variant like this for multiplayer play.  I think it could be very popular.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #6


    Haha the guy who commented above me is an idiot. Dude, bughouse is huge! Of course it's popular! Chess.com did not come up with this idea, it's like a real game! i have been playing bughouse for over 5 years, and the rules should not be changed to "drops on first two ranks" or whatnot. Lol seriously, you may know how to play chess, but you should learn more about the world of tournaments, etc. And certainly don't try to be an expert on it.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #7


    Wesley does your  mom know your posting comments on the internet DUDE?  Its LIKE a real game? how old are you. rude little punk.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #8


    now there is three countries commenting

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #9


    i heard chess.com is planning to implement this!!!!!

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #10


    If they really are going to get this on chess.com. It would be great! Cool

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #11


    i think it will be cool if we had 6 player bughouse too! (where the person in the middle gets to chose which way to pass it) And 8-player bughouse, and 10 player, 12 player... (ect)

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #12


    6 player bughouse is known as motherboard

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #13



  • 4 years ago · Quote · #14


    Add it, they must. Spoken, Yoda has

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #15


    Hope chess.com adds bughouse. It's awesome

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #16


    At chess.com roadmap from june 2012 they said they would work on bughouse in the future.


  • 3 years ago · Quote · #17


    When is there going to be bughouse on chess.com?

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #18


    PLEASE bring bughouse to chess.com

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #19


    please bring bug house to chess.com

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #20


    I sometimes play bughouse with my friends at our weekly OTB chess meeting at a local restaurant. Bughouse is NOT chess, even though it looks like chess.

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