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Nine Doors: Game Rules

Game Introduction

The game "Nine Doors" was developed by me, to give you the parents a game that would open the channels of better communication with your children. The objective of the game is not winning it, but the existence of significant interpersonal communication "at eye level" with your child.
We recommend to play this game with children age 5 and up. The game can be played with two or more players (by playing in pairs or threes, children versus parents, boys versus girls, and so on). During the game you are to encourage your children to answer the questions openly and in great detail. We are sure that you will be quite surprised to discover "what’s behind your doors”.


Game contents
The game contains 126 “Door” cards
Eight “Key” cards in two colors (four red, four blue)
One “End of Game” card (two big keys in two colors) 
One “Exchange Door” card 


The objective of the game
The first player, who succeeds in opening three doors in a row (up, across or diagonally) thus creating a sequence of three keys of the same color (just like in the game "Tic-tac-toe") is the winner.
In lack of a sequence of three keys, the first player, who puts the “End of Game” card on the last door, is the winner.


Preparations for the game
At the beginning of each round, nine “Door” cards are to be placed on the table – face down (the “door” side up), without looking at the back of the card (the questions). The doors are arranged as illustrated below (three rows with three cards in each row). 
Then each player gets his 4 “Key” cards, 4 red ones to Player A (parent) and 4 blue cards to Player B (child). The “End of Game” card and the "Exchange Door” card are placed on the table - face up.

Playing the Game
Choose the player, who will start the 1st round of the game.
The chosen player will select one of the nine doors that are placed on the table and turns it around (face up). He reads the question out loud written on the card. Now he has to answer the question openly and in great detail. After he has given his answer, he turns to the Player of the other group to ask him whether his answer is “satisfactory".

If the other Player accepts the answer, he will answer “the answer is satisfactory”, in which case the Player will choose one of his 4 “Key” cards to cover the “Door” card he has just answered, thus obtaining a “Door” covered by a “Key”. 
After the “Door” was covered by a “Key” it is the other Player’s turn to pick a card and repeat the process.

Important Information
If the other Player does not confirm the answer as being satisfactory, the Player, who answered the question has three option:  

  1. Extend his answer and explain it again.

  2. Check with the other player and try to find out, why his answer was not accepted.

  3. If both Players agree then the “Exchange Door” card may be used and another “Door” card is taken from the remaining stack of cards. (the “Exchange Door” card may only be used once in each round of the game).

  4. If after all the above options no agreement on the answer was achieved, the other Player may try and provide an answer himself thus “steeling” the door from the Player.


How does the round end and how to win the game
A round ends in one of two ways:

  1. A victory that earns you 10 points:

  2. When one of the Players managed to open three doors in a row (up, across or diagonally) thus creating a sequence of three keys of the same color (as in "Tic-tac-toe").

  3. A victory that earns you 5 points:

  4. When no Player has won (failed to create a sequence and there are no more “keys” left) the last Player uses the “End of Game” card.

  5. After the end of the round the winner’s points are counted and a new set of nine cards are placed on the table for a new round.

  6. The first Player, who achieves 20 points wins the entire game.


Questions and Answers
What happens if a Player persistently does not acknowledge the other Player’s answer?
A: Check why he continuously choses to reject answers given and talk to him about that; you might want to remind him that if he does not accept the answers of the other Player, then his answers might not be accepted either, in which case the game cannot proceed.

Q: What happens when the game is played in a group?
A: When playing in a group, for instance two Players versus two Players (parents versus children), then each one has to answer his own question, meaning two answers for each question. 

Q: Can this game played without the parents and only among children?
A: Certainly! This game is suitable for everyone and children are invited to play it by themselves.


Wishing you good luck and enjoy the game!
Eran Hadomi – Founder of IGS

About the game developer
Eran Hadomi – M.S.W.

  • Clinical Social worker and Psychotherapist 

  • Specializes in working with parents and children

  • Former Mental Health Officer 8200, Reservist

  • Owner of a private clinic, Manager of a diagnostic center 

  • Lecturer at the School for Social Workers, Universities and various Colleges 

  • Conducts workshops in various fields related to children and adolescents, 

  • Parent training and working with families

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