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Dots Game Printable

This handy dots game printable template (PDF) will make it easy to play the classic dots and boxes pencil and paper game!

dots game printable pdf with hand holding pencil hovering above.

What is the Dots Game? 

The dots game is a classic pencil-and-paper game which goes by a variety of different names including dots and boxes, boxes, pigs in a pen, the game of dots, or dots and dashes. The game was originally named “la pipopipette” when it was published in the 19th century by Edouard Lucas, a French mathematician.

Since the game requires so few supplies (only a pencil and piece of paper covered with a grid of dots), this has become a great activity for making time pass on a long car ride. Dots and boxes can be played by a wide variety of ages, so it is sure to be fun for the whole family! 

How to Play the Dots Game

The main tool you need to play dots and boxes is a grid of dots. This grid is typically arranged in a square or rectangle. 

Taking turns, each player draws a single horizontal or vertical line connecting two unjoined adjacent dots. When a player completes the fourth side of a 1×1 box, they immediately write their initial in the box and take an extra turn. The game continues until all possible lines are drawn, and the player with the most completed boxes at the end wins.

The game of dots and boxes definitely has a strategic aspect to it. Players must balance creating opportunities for themselves to finish boxes while avoiding giving their opponent easy chances to steal and complete the boxes themselves. 

Dot Game Template

To save you time drawing a grid of dots yourself, I created a collection of free printable dots game templates in six different sizes. The dot grids range from a single grid which takes up a full page to a page with several smaller dot grids. There are even multiple different full-page options with a different number of dots. 

dots game printable pdf with six different versions to choose from.

Definitely consider how you will be using the dots game before choosing which printable dot game board to use. A larger grid means a much longer play time. When I was in ninth grade, a classmate and I had a game of dots and boxes which we kept in our binder and pulled out whenever we had a chance. The game continued for the entire school year, and we never finished! 

Full Page Templates for Dots and Boxes Game

There are four different templates to choose from that feature a full page of dots for playing dots and boxes.

dots and boxes game printable pdf version 1.
printable dots game pdf version 2.
printable dots and boxes game pdf.
giant dots game printable board pdf.

Templates with Multiple Dots Game Grids

I also created two templates which feature multiple grids. This will greatly shorten the time required to complete the game.

One version features three long rectangular grids. The second version features nine smaller grids for the dots game.

dots game printable board with three different sections to play.
dots game printable with nine smaller dots and boxes game boards to play.

Printing the Dot Game Templates

I suggest printing the dot game templates on regular copy paper. 

If you are using these boxes game templates in a classroom setting where you would like students to use them again and again, I would print them on cardstock and slide them inside a sheet protector or dry erase pocket for extra durability. 


dry erase pockets

I cannot imagine teaching math without my dry erase pockets! They instantly make any activity more engaging and save me countless hours at the copy machine since I can use the same class sets of copies year after year.

Here are my current go-to recommendations:

  • 8.5 x 11 Inch Dry Erase Pockets from Puroma
  • 11 x 17 Inch Dry Erase Pockets from C-Line Products
  • Expo Dry Erase Markers

Free Download of Dots Game Printable (PDF Format) 

The collection of printable dot games is only available as a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat or another pdf reader installed on your computer to open the file. Unlike many of my files, no editable version of this file is available. Sorry for the inconvenience.