Block Tower Game

Jenga – From Wikipedia

Players take turns removing one block at a time from a tower constructed of 54 blocks. Each block removed is then placed on top of the tower, creating a progressively taller and more unstable structure.

The name jenga is derived from kujenga, a Swahili word which means “to build”.


Jenga is played with 54 wooden blocks. Each block is three times longer than its width, and one fifth as thick as its length 1.5 cm × 2.5 cm × 7.5 cm (0.59 in × 0.98 in × 2.95 in)*. Blocks have small, random variations from these dimensions so as to create imperfections in the stacking process and provide an additional challenge to the game. [Note in the photo there are only 45 blocks plus 1. Likely it originally had 54. It was also made with light, soft 2×4’s that have worn a lot.]

To set up the game, the included loading tray is used to stack the initial tower which has eighteen levels of three blocks placed adjacent to one another along their long side and at right angles to the previous level (so, for example, if the blocks in the first level lie lengthwise north-south, the second-level blocks will lie east-west).

Once the tower is built, the person who built the tower gets the first move. Moving in Jenga consists of taking one and only one block from any level (except the one below the incomplete top level) of the tower, and placing it on the topmost level to complete it. Only one hand should be used at a time when taking blocks from the tower. Blocks may be bumped to find a loose block that will not disturb the rest of the tower. Any block that is moved out of place must be returned to its original location before removing another block. The turn ends when the next person to move touches the tower or after ten seconds, whichever occurs first.

The game ends when the tower falls, or if any piece falls from the tower other than the piece being knocked out to move to the top. The winner is the last person to successfully remove and place a block.

  • For 2×4’s:
    • 3x longer than the width = 3×3.5″ = 10.5″ long
    • 1/5th as thick as its length = 1/5x 10.5 = 2.1″. Oh well, 1.5″ will do.
  • Cut 54 pieces of 2×4 into 10.5″ long pieces.
  • An 8′ length of 2×4 will make 9 pieces. 54/9 = 6 ea 2×4’s.
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