The following text has been copied from the YALi Rules of the game pamphlet,
with some modifications to fit the Java version. (I apologize for their
dull and repetitive language, as well as their somewhat ambiguous formulations.
I had to read this through several times myself before I figured it out.)
The object of the game is to get all your eight marbles to the other end of the
board as quickly as possible. The first player to do so wins.
The human player gets to start. After that, YALi decides whose move it is. When
the YALi board tips over to your side, it's your move. You can keep on moving
until the board tips over to the computer's side.
You can move a marble one space or jump over another marble into a space (you
can jump over as many marbles as you wish as long as you only jump over one
marble at a time). Please see illustration. You can only move straight
forwards, or diagonally forwards, but not backwards and not to the side.
The game will indicate all the alternatives by drawing a circle around any
marble that can be moved when you place the mouse cursor over it. Once you have
selected a marble by holding down the mouse button, all the move alternatives
will be marked with little white crosses. Make a move by dragging the marble
to a cross.
You can jump over your own marbles and
your opponent's. Jumping, like ordinary moves, may be forwards or diagonally
forwards, but not backwards and not to the side. Please note that in the starting
and "goal" areas all balls are allowed to move and jump to the side.
If one of your marbles reaches the opposite end of the board, you can move one
of your marbles along the edge of the board towards you; this will change YALi's
center of gravity in your favor. Here again, you can move a marble one space
or "jump" along the edge as many times as you want -- always remembering you can
only jump over one marble at a time into a space.
Rules for Advanced Players
When using the basic rules there is a strategy that always wins. We will not give
this strategy away because that would spoil the challenge of discovering it yourself.
When you discover the winning strategy you are ready for the advanced game rules.
If you play according to these rules, YALi becomes even more strategic and
The starting position is different: players each get three balls along the edge
instead of four. You can toggle between "advanced" and "basic" by clicking on the
fourth marble, or its hole, before choosing a side.
Starting position for advanced players
Only the rules for the marbles along the edge are different. Using the basic rules
you may move a marble along the edge when one of your marbles reaches the opposite
end of the board. When you play according to the advanced rules you can also move
a marble along the edge each time you jump over an opponent's marble. After each
jump across an opponent's marble you may move a marble along the edge.
- This rule does not apply to marbles in the starting and finishing position.
- If you jump over two or more of your opponent's marbles in one move, you can
only move one marble along the edge.
All this means that the marbles along the edge are very important. It is very
likely that you can move your three marbles completely towards your side before the
game is over. If your three marbles are completely at your side then you may move
your opponent's three marbles towards your side of YALi. In doing so, you will
change YALi's center of gravity in your favor. So, when you play according to
the advanced rules it is very important not to let your opponent jump across
your marbles. This gives YALi an extra dimension!