The game of Wahoo was played on boards that were usually hand made, with sixteen marbles and 1 die. It became widely popular and was soon manufactured with different rules and a variation on the app
earance, to be sold under games such as Parcheesi, Aggravation and even Sorry. Wahoo kept a following of fans, however, unlike the other brand name games it sold under. Pressman Games came out with Wa-Hoo in 1986 and it didn’t fare as well as the other titles and rules the game sold under later on, so it was soon outdated.
Wahoo is still played in areas such as Texas and Texas claims full invention of the game in the 1950s. Older generations of people still play the original game and some even have their original boards.
Wahoo is a game of chance that is easy to play for ages five and up. Handmade game boards are being made by craftsmen who sell them either online or out of their homes. Many fans are playing Wahoo from their boards or on the computer in the PC game. Mexican Wahoo is a beautifully crafted board with graphics that give the game a bit more character.
You Will Need
To make your board, use a ½ inch core box bit to create the indentations or “holes” that represent your “home” and the spaces you will move. The basic design of the game is that of a large cross with four extra spaces up each side, top and bottom of the cross. In the corners, another four indentations need to be made, for the player’s home base. One indentation is in the center of the board as well, which designates the space you move each of your marbles to for a win. To make Wahoo!, you will need:
- Measuring tape
- 1 compass to draw circles
- ½ inch core box bit
- One 12x12 inch piece of wood
- Polyurethane spray or liquid
- Sixteen marbles, with four each of yellow, red, blue and green
- 1 die
- paint in each color of red, blue, green and yellow
- small thin paint brush
- medium paint brush
Measure and locate the center of an end of the piece of wood. You will be working on one end first. After choosing which side you wish to begin with, in the center, draw a ½ inch circle with the compass. On each side of the first circle, draw two more circles, each with a ½ inch space between them and each with a diameter of ½ inch.
Moving upward, toward the center of the board, above the circles on each side, draw out five ½ inch circles, with ½ inch of space between each one. Repeat this design across all four sides of the board. Each side should have five circles across with five more circles going upward into the center of the board.
On each side, from the center circle, draw four circles of the same diameter with the same ½ inch space between each circle inward toward the center of the board. For the center indentation, measure the center from each of the center lines of four circles. Draw one circle of ½ inch diameter in the center of the board.
The final number of holes needs to be drawn at a diagonal cut in between the two rectangular “arms” that extend outward to the edges of the board. Each circle has to be drawn at ½ inch in diameter, with ¾ inch space between each circle.
With the drill bit, each of the circles drawn need to be drilled to create the “hole” to place the marbles in as they move around the board.
The diagonal lines can be painted one of the four colors. Each line should be a different color to match up with the color of marbles. The inside four circles pointing inward toward the center need to be one color, such as red. Once the inside four are painted, the diagonal line to the right of the red player’s “home” stretch needs to be painted red. After the four circles in the diagonal line are painted red, the “start” hole needs to be painted red as well, which would be the hole on the left of the five circles across the sides of each side of the board.
How to Play Wahoo!
To play Wahoo! on your new game board, start by placing all four of your marbles in the diagonal lines that match the color of your marbles.
Roll a 1 or a 6 to start playing. Each time you roll a 6, you get an extra turn. Jump over or bump an opponent’s ball by landing on it, sending them back to home base. You can never jump over your own ball.
Players move around the board with the roll of the die. Move the number of spaces indicated by the die. If you land on an opponent’s marble, it sends them back to their home, where they have to roll a 1 or 6 to get back out into play.
The object is to get all of your marbles into the middle circle, one at a time. When all four marbles are “home”, you win the game. Making it into the center circle is by exact count on the die.
- Image by ntar, “Pressman 1986 Edition Box Front” under CC BY-SA 3.0
- Spinner Baker Software, “Wahoo”
- The instructions for making a Wahoo! board are written and designed by the author.
- ScoFF, “My Woodworking Projects - Wahoo”
- Image: Aklibbee, “Aggravation Board” under CC BY-SA 3.0
- Moon Marble Company, “Mexican Wahoo Board”
- Cribbage Connection, Pictures and Description of Product Line, “Wahoo”