How to Construct a Hex Board

There are many ways to construct a Hex board. Any method that results in the appropriate pattern of hexagons will do. If you don't like this method, you can always print one out, play online, or build a board your own way. This is primarily a straightedge-and-compass method, with some suggestions for other approaches.


  1. 1
    Decide how large your hexagons will be and plan your space. Hex is most frequently played on an 11 x 11 board, but any size can be used. According to John Nash, co-inventor of the game, 14 x 14 is an optimum size. For however many spaces N you want a side to be, plan the space to be 1.5N units wide. That is, if you want a 14 x 14 board with one-inch spaces, choose a surface at least 21 inches (53.3 cm) wide.
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    Working lightly in pencil, draw horizontal and vertical lines through the center of your page.
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    Draw a circle centered at the intersection of these lines.
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    Draw a set of circles, each centered on the intersection of the last circle with the vertical line. This article describes the basic pattern. Extend it as far as you wish.
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    Draw angled lines through the points where the circles intersect, marked in red.
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    Create the whole set of these lines.
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    Then draw the angled lines going the other way.
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    Extend that set, too.
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    Draw vertical lines through the intersections of the angled lines, marked in red.
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    Create that set of lines.
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    Starting at the center, ink, etch, or otherwise make permanent and prominent the pattern of hexagons you want. You are aiming for a rhombus such as the one above, with the same number of hexagons on each side.
  12. 12
    Erase the construction lines, leaving the rhombus of hexagons.
  13. 13
    Color opposite sides of the rhombus as shown.
  14. 14
    Learn how to play hex, and enjoy.


  • Hex can also be played with on an array of large hexagonal nuts tacked together, using ball bearings as pieces. This sort of board may be quite heavy, though.
  • You will also need a supply of game pieces. These can be any objects, provided that there are two different colors or types and they fit in the hexagons. Go stones are excellent, but pennies and nickels, flat glass beads, or even cut up pieces of card will work.
  • If you have a 30-60-90 triangle, the kind used in manual drafting, you can save time by skipping the circles. Instead, make lines 60ยบ from the vertical line, evenly spaced.
  • An array of hexagonal tiles would make an attractive and long-lasting game board.

Things You'll Need

  • A surface, perhaps a thin wooden board or a stiff foam board.
  • A straightedge.
  • A compass.
  • A pencil and pen.
  • An awl or other tool for scribing lines (optional).
  • Pieces of some sort.

Article Info

Categories: Wooden Toys and Puzzle Making