Copyright (c) 2005 Mark Steere

This game is played on the following 8x8 square board:

  • STACK - A pile of stones of either color. The bottom stone determines ownership.
  • TURN -  On each turn, each player may do one of the following actions.
    • Move a friendly stack.
      • A stack moves to a diagonal adjacent empty cell, provided that it moves closer to one of its nearest stacks (i.e., the distance in number of moves between those two stacks must diminish).
    • Merge two diagonally adjacent stacks (call them stacks X and Y).
      • The player picks any friendly stone from stack X, and move it (including all the stones above it) into the top of stack Y, provided that: (a) the friendly stone must be at a higher level when it lands on Y, and (b) stack Y cannot have more than 8 stones.
      • If a stack has 8 stones, it is removed from the board. The player which has the top stone of that stack gets one point.
    • Pass his turn.
    • Merging takes precedence over moving which takes precedence over passing.
  • GOAL - The winner is whoever gets two points.

Notice that since there are only 24 stones, only three stack of size 8 are possible. Thus, there are only 3 points to earn which means there are no draws in Byte.

Some move examples

White's turn.

He has the following moving options: (a) move d5 to c4 approaching the nearest stack at b5; (b) move e2 to d3 approaching b5 or d5.

Some merge examples (taken from the original rules)

Black's turn. He has two possible moves.

In the upper left corner, he may move the bottom stone into the top of the stack with two white stones, making a stack with five stones. He cannot only move  the top black stone between stacks because it would remain at the same level.

In the right bottom corner, he may move the black stone of the smaller stack into the larger stack, making a stack of size 8 but giving one point to White. He cannot pick the bottom stone of the larger stack into the other stack, because that would create a stack larger than 8.

Check Byte's webpage for more information.