Senet is an ancient Egyptian race game played between two rivals, the Hounds and the Jackals. The objective is to get all five of your pieces safely off of the game board while employing strategy to stall your opponent.
How to Interpret the Dice
Senet does not use standard playing dice. That being the case, it is important that you understand how the dice are interpreted before reading the Game Play section.
The “dice” in Senet are the 4 long sticks next to the game board. Each die has a rounded side and a flat side. Think of them like cylinders that have been cut in half. The flat side has been colored black to make it easier to identify which side is up when rolling. The dice are scored in the following way:
- 1 flat side showing = 1
- 2 flat sides showing = 2
- 3 flat sides showing = 3
- 4 flat sides showing = 4
- NO flat sides showing = 6
Some rolls are more common than others! There are 16 possible rolls that can be made with the dice. The probability of rolling a particular number is as follows:
- 1 flat side showing = 4 in 16 (25%)
- 2 flat sides showing = 6 in 16 (37.5%)
- 3 flat sides showing = 4 in 16 (25%)
- 4 flat sides showing = 1 in 16 (6.25%)
- NO flat sides showing = 1 in 16 (6.25%)
To roll the dice on your turn, simply click on any of the four dice.
To play Senet, simply touch the game board to access the game menu and choose ‘Play’ to join the game. When there is no game in progress, you may touch either the tiled board or the decorative base around it to access the game menu. During a game, only touching the decorative base will bring up the game menu. This is to prevent accidental mis-clicks during the game from bringing up the game menu, which would be annoying.
Once two players have joined the game, you can choose “Start” from the same game menu to begin the game.
Game play in Senet occurs in two phases:
The Hunter vs The Hunted
In the beginning, the roles of the Jackals (white) and the Hounds (black) are not set. Players must take turns rolling the dice to determine who takes on the role of the Jackal. The first player to roll a 1 becomes the Jackals and must immediately move a Jackal 1 space. This phase typically only lasts a few rolls.
Once the Jackal has been chosen, the race begins in earnest. Players take turns advancing their tokens to reach the end of the board. Each tile on the board is numbered 1-30 and are known as Houses.
At the beginning of your turn, roll the dice to begin your play. You must then choose one of your tokens to advance. If your token lands on a House occupied by an enemy token, then the enemy token is Captured, and most go back to the beginning of the board. If the 1st House is occupied, they will be sent to the next available house.
It may be that some tokens cannot be advanced by the amount that you rolled, this could be for several reasons:
- Two tokens cannot occupy the same house simultaneously. Moving one of your own pieces into a house already occupied by one of your own pieces is forbidden.
- You cannot move a piece off of the end of the board. For example, if you are in the 29th House and you roll a 2, you cannot advance that token, as there is no 31st House.
- You cannot capture an enemy piece that is protected by a neighboring piece. For example, two Hounds that are adjacent to each other are protecting each other, and neither one can be captured.
- You cannot pass a blockade formed by 3 or more adjacent enemy pieces. For example, if there are three Jackals in a line with no gaps (a piece on the next row still counts as being in a line, as long as it is consecutive houses), then a Hound token is not allowed to jump over the blockade. Other Jackals may still jump the blockade with no restriction.
- The 26th, 28th, 29th and 30th houses are safe houses. Any token occupying one of these houses cannot be captured.
If it turns out that none of your tokens can advance the amount you have rolled, you will instead have to move one of your tokens BACKWARDS the amount you rolled. All rules regarding capturing and moving forward apply to moving in reverse as well.
If the game determines that there are no possible moves for you to take on your turn with your roll, either forward or backward, then your turn will automatically end with no tokens advanced and it will become your opponent’s turn.
The 27th House is cursed, any token landing there must start over at the beginning of the board.
In all cases, if there is a viable move for you to make, you MUST make it, even if you consider it to be to your disadvantage. This includes moving into the cursed house.
You have won when all of your pieces have been removed from the game board. You remove pieces from the board by moving them to the 30th House (the last tile on the board). It is important to note here, however, that you cannot remove pieces from the board until all of your pieces are in the last row (Houses 21 to 30).
- If all of your pieces that are still on the board are in the last row, moving a piece onto the 30th House will automatically remove it from the game.
- If, however, you move a piece onto the 30th House and all of your pieces that are still on the board are not in the last row, it will not be removed from the board. Instead, it will be removed automatically as soon as you have moved your remaining pieces into that row.
Some Strategy Tips
- Always move one of your own pieces onto the 30th House at the earliest possibility. Even if you cannot move your pieces off the board yet, occupying the 30th House also means that your opponent will be unable to move their pieces off as well.
- When possible, keep pairs and blockades together. For example, if you have a pair together, and you roll a 2, the rear piece can leapfrog the front piece and thus stay as a pair. If you roll something other than a 2, consider moving a piece not in the pair if possible. Likewise in blockades, if you roll a 3 then the last piece can leapfrog to become the first piece, still maintaining the blockade.
- Try to get your pieces onto the safe zones at the end of the board when at all possible.
- Capturing an opponent’s piece is not always a good idea. If your opponent is occupying the 30th House, thus preventing you from moving into it and getting your pieces off of the board, it may be a good idea to avoid capturing their pieces so that they can move that piece out of your way.
The reality is that no-one knows exactly what the real rules of Senet were in ancient Egypt. Many historians have made educated guesses as to the rules used, but they often disagree on particular points. As such, it is possible to find Senet boards with different rule sets. With this in mind, Senet has several options which can be enabled or disabled by the board owner to switch between differing rule variations.
- Multiple Rolls: (default is ON)
- When enabled, players can take any number of rolls on their turn and continue advancing so long as they roll a 1, 4 or 6 each time. If they roll a 2 or 3, then their turn is over (after advancing their token).
- When disabled, players only get 1 roll per turn, regardless of what they roll.
- Occupy 30th House: (default is ON)
- When enabled, tokens can only be removed from the board by landing directly on the 30th House.
- When disabled, tokens can be removed from the 28th, 29th or 30th house, provided they roll exactly 1 past the 30th House. This means that if a token is on the 30th House, they must roll a 1 and only a 1 to leave the board. If they’re on the 29th house, they must roll exactly a 2 to leave the board. If they’re on the 28th house, they must roll exactly a 3 to leave the board.
- Harsh Captures: (default is OFF)
- When enabled, captured enemy tokens are sent back to the beginning of the race.
- When disabled, captured enemy tokens swap places with the token that captured them.
Gaming.SL Live Integration
Gaming.SL Live (also known as Gaming.SL or G.SL) is gaming platform and services system developed by K.R. Engineering, which brings a variety of enhanced features to games in Second Life that are not possible with Second Life alone. In addition to the features described in this article, G.SL can integrate with our games in the following ways.
Gaming.SL connected games have a grid-wide top score database that allows players to compete and have a pervasive record of their high scores. These high scores can be viewed by using a Top Scores display board in Second Life or by accessing the Top Scores page on the Gaming.SL website. Scores can be filtered down by region, specific game tables, dates, and other criteria.
In addition to recording high scores, games keep a running tally of the total number of times players have won on a game. This information can be viewed on a Top Winners display board in Second Life or by accessing the Top Winners page on the Gaming.SL website. Winners can likewise be filtered by region and other criteria to see a more specific list of winners.
On supported games, players will also be assigned a rank that compares their performance to other players who have played the same game. Players can improve this rank by playing well against other players. Rank information can be viewed on a Top Ranked display board in Second Life or by accessing the Top Ranked page on the Gaming.SL website.
Gaming.SL includes support for Achievements in participating games, where-in you can unlock trophies by performing miraculous or mundane feats of gameplay. Achievements are awarded automatically and announced in Second Life when they are unlocked. Players can check their own achievements by visiting the Achievements page on the Gaming.SL website.
Gaming.SL supports the option to have ongoing recurring Jackpots where players can win cash prizes just for playing, no purchase necessary! Visit the Jackpots page on the Gaming.SL website to see the current jackpot standings, and who you need to defeat to win a prize. Prizes are based on ranking on a leaderboard that is erased during each jackpot period. Players must play during each period to be eligible to win during that period.
Gaming.SL connected games utilize a licensing system that allows scores, ranks, winners, and other attributes to persist between rezzes of the same game, regardless of location in Second Life. This licensing system also allows games to have COPY permissions while still offering instancing control.
Games that use Gaming.SL Live can also optionally be specified as a PUBLIC game by the game’s owner. This will display the game on the Gaming.SL Live Games page, including game status, options, and location, and a button to let a user teleport straight to the game to play. All games default to PRIVATE unless explicitly changed by the owner of the game.
To access the game’s administrative menu, simple touch the game board to access the game menu, then press the “Admin Menu” button. If a game is currently in progress, you will need to touch the decorative base of the board to access the game menu. The menu is disabled on the tiled surface during a game to prevent accidental mis-clicks from being annoying.
Some elements of the administration menu are accessible only by the owner of the game, while others can be accessed by anyone who is considered an administrative user, either explicitly added or implicitly through the Group Admin feature.
- Rem Admin: Select this option to remove a game administrator. You will be prompted to say their name.
- Add Admin: Select this option to add a new administrative user to the game, allowing them to force resets and change game options on the table (not the admin menu, only options on the board). You will be prompted for their name. They must be within 50m of the game for this to work.
- Admins: Select this option to see a list of current administrative users on this table.
- Branding: Access the table Branding menu.
- Phantom: Turn the table phantom (non-physical) so that you can not collide with it. (default mode)
- Physical: Turn the table physical so that avatars will collide with it.
- Update: Select this option to make the game check for available updates and automatically upgrade if available.
- G.Admin On: Off by default, this enables the Group Admin feature. When on, all members of the table’s group are considered administrative users, whether they’ve been explicitly added as an administrative user or not.
- G.Admin Off: Disables the Group Admin feature.
Administrative User Options
- Timeout: Select this button to change the number of seconds the table waits for idle players to begin their turn. If they don’t roll before the timeout occurs, the game will skip them for this round.
- Quiet: Makes the table be quieter in chat, disabling many chats that are redundant to the information displayed ‘graphically’ on the table.
- Chatty: Makes the table normally chatty again.
- G.Play On: Off by default, this enables the Group Play feature. When enabled, only members of the same group may play on the table. The group of a game is the group you had active when you first rezzed it. You can change the table’s group by editing it and clicking “Set..” next to Group on the General tab of the editor. Group members must have their group tag active in order to be recognized as group members by the table.
- G.Play Off: Turn off the Group Play feature.
- Prizes: Access the internal prize server menu. See Prizes section below.
- Multi On: Enable Multiple rolls. Players will continue rolling on their turn until they roll a 2 or 3.
- Multi Off: Disable multiple rolls.
- Occupy On: Enable Occupy 30th House. Pieces are only removed from the board by landing exactly on the 30th House, instead of rolling off of the board.
- Occupy Off: Disable Occupy 30th House.
- Harsh On: Enable Harsh captures. Captured pieces will go back to the beginning of the board.
- Harsh Off: Disable harsh captures. Captured pieces change places with their captor.
- Dice Left: Position the dice on the left side of the board.
- Dice Right: Position the dice on the right side of the board.
- Dice Front: Position the dice in front of the board.
Bug Fixes and Upgrades
Most owners of K.R. Engineering games are entitled to free upgrades to newer versions of the game. If a new update is available, then following the updating instructions for your game will result in a new copy of the most recent version being sent to you by the update server. This process is not automatic. You must request an update manually.
If you are having problems with your game, please search this knowledge base or contact us for product support. If the problem you are having has not previously been encountered, a new game version will be released with a fix as soon as possible, and you may qualify for a bug bounty.
DISCLAIMER: The appearance and feature set of games are subject to revision between versions as the capabilities of Second Life change over time. Please see the detailed ChangeLog for your particular game before upgrading. By upgrading. you are agreeing to accept any and all changes that have been imposed on the updated version of the game.
If you have more questions, please use the search tool on our main page to browse our many helpful articles and FAQ entries. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can contact us for assistance.
You can find the ChangeLog for Senet by visiting this article.