A Kubb on the back line

What is the Kubb Yard Game?

The Kubb yard game is a traditional outdoor lawn game that originated in Sweden. Hence the strange spelling comparing it to English. Many people pronounce it differently but it is pronounced ‘KOOB’. Some say it was invented by the Vikings but that seems very doubtful!

The objective of the game is to knock over all of the opposing team’s kubbs (small wooden blocks) and then knock over the “king” Kubb in the center of the playing field before the other team does.  It involves throwing things and there is a little bit of strategy and layering to the game than what you initially think. 

If you like throwing things and having fun read on to learn more about this crazy game!

Rules For Kubb Game

A Kubb on the back line
The Kubb Back Line (not that straight!) – Photo: Mancaveexpert

Here are the basic rules and play of Kubb:

  • The game is played on a rectangular playing field, about 8 meters long and 5 meters wide.
  • Each team sets up its five kubbs on its own baseline, with the king kubb in the center of the field.
  • The game starts with team 1 throwing six dowels (wooden sticks) at teams 2’s kubbs, trying to knock them over. The dowels must be thrown end over end and not helicopter style. Once all dowels are thrown from one side, it is the other teams turn. 
  • If any kubbs are knocked over, team 2 must throw them back onto team 1’s side of the field and become team 2s new targets. Team 2 must knock these targets down prior to going for team 1s kubbs. 
  • These kubbs the 2nd team threw must be stood up on the long end. If while throwing these new targets hit each other on the ground they can be stacked to offer a larger target for the team(create a tower). Once these have all been knocked down then the team can go throw for team 1s back line of kubbs. If they do not get them all of them down team 1 can throw from there for easier shots to team 2s back line. 
  • Play continues in this way until one team has knocked over all of the opposing team’s kubbs.
  • The team that knocked over all of the opposing team’s kubbs then gets to throw the dowells at the king Kubb. If they knock over the king Kubb, they win the game. Typically knocking over the king Kubb is easy so we throw in that you have to hit the Kubb over by throwing it backwards and through your legs!
  • If they do not knock over the king Kubb, the other team gets to throw the dowells at their kubbs, trying to set them up for another chance to knock over the king Kubb.

One tip is to never knock down the king until it is time. If you do the other team wins automatically! Game over!!

The game can be played as a best-of-three or best-of-five match or however you want to score it. Or play it however you want!

There are additional rules and variations to Kubb depending on the region, but these are the basic rules of the game. Make up some of your own rules and set them in stone for everyone to follow!

We typically don’t have a set number of players per side. The more the merrier for us so we go up to 6 a side if we can get enough people to play!

Where Can Kubb Be Played

Kubb Game on the Beach
Kubb on the beach – Photo: Mancaveexpert

Kubb can be played almost anywhere and I have played it almost anywhere. From beaches to parking lots and grass to gravel. The playing surface doesn’t matter too much because you are throwing the dowels in the air. 

The only important thing I have discovered is that you need a flat surface to play on! The kubbs or blocks need to be on a flat surface so they stand up straight and don’t tip over so easily. But even then you can play on a sandy surface because you can create a small platform for them to sit on. 

The only unfortunate thing with Kubb is traveling with them. They take up a considerable amount of room. 

I used to carry my set in a carry-on bag wherever we went but in my recent trip to Mexico because they thought they were dangerous to have on board the plane. It had made numerous flights prior to this but I guess it just depends on the security team reviewing the bag. Sad days! I need to make a new one now. 

If you need a kubb game then check out our best of Kubb games. We did our research on the top Kubb games out there and picked a few for you.

Who Can Play Kubb

Kubb is a great game for most ages! But for the younger ones it can be a little difficult. We would recommend that the limit is set to an age of 10 years old for a competitive game of kubb. 

But if you want younger ones to play then you can shrink the length of the field a little bit. The even younger ones sometimes have fun setting up the blocks and retrieving them when they are done.

The only problem with shrinking the field is it could get too easy for the better players on the field but if you don’t mind that it’s no big deal!

How To Make A Kubb Game

The Kubb game is a simple DIY. I even did it and I have limited skills and I even had limited tools at the time so you can learn from my mistakes. 

Here are the tools you will need to make Kubb: 

  • Mitre saw
  • Circular Saw with fence
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil

Materials Needed:

  • One – 4 inch x 4 inch x 8 foot wood post
  • One – 72 inch long x 1 ¾ inch diameter wood dowel – A dowel is a piece of wood that has already been cut to a cylinder shape. You will be throwing these!
  • One – 48 inch long x ¾ inch diameter wood dowel. FYI – these are for marking out your field and are really not needed. You can use anything to mark your field but I guess these make it look cool. But save money and space by not purchasing these. 

I used douglas fir as the type of wood. It didn’t quite hold up after 7 years but it still was playable and everyone still had fun. It was also so cheap. But if you want a game that will hold up a little better go for poplar wood on your kubb blocks and dowels. 

The sky is the limit on cost so feel free to substitute those out for even harder and better looking wood. 

Kubb Production – Step-by-step process


  • Step 1: From the 4 inch x 4 inch post cut a 10 inch block off of it. This will be your king! 
    • You can rip the king down to official size or leave it as it is. That is what we did. But if you want to make it official use your circular saw to cut two sides of the block to a total of 3 ¼ inch x 3 ¼ inch. 
    • Make sure you have your circular saw fence set to ¾ inch. Hold down the block with a clamp or use something else other than your hand to hold it down. Be careful ripping this. It is probably the most dangerous part of the process. 
  • Step 2: Rip the entire remaining portion of the 4 inch x 4 inch post. 
    • This time you will be ripping the piece of wood down to 2 ¾ inch x 2 ¾ inch. Set the fence of your circular saw to 1 ¼ inch. 
    • Proceed to rip two sides of the post. 
  • Step 3: Time to cut your Kubbs!  Bring out the miter saw and cut ten – 6 inch kubbs from the post you ripped in step 2. 
  • Step 4: Cut your dowels using your miter saw into six – 12 inch pieces from the 72 inch x 1 ¾ dowel. Be sure to cut from the longer and thicker dowel!
  • Step 5: Cut your playing field markers. Use the 48 inch ¾ inch dowel and cut them into 12 inch pieces for a total of 4. Again you don’t have to do this step as marking the field is a luxury that isn’t necessarily needed. 

A lot of people will cut designs into the king’s head to resemble a crown. Sometimes people even paint a crown on top. This is your chance to get creative and make the game your own!

Pro tip: If you are as bad as a woodworker as I am you might want to sand down some of the pieces’ edges if you have any sharp slivers protruding out. 

Kubb Cost!

Since I used douglas fir here is the total cost you can be expected to see when making this game. Wood seems to fluctuate like gas prices nowadays so don’t hold me to it!

  • 4 inch x 4 inch x 8 foot wood post:  $12.50
  • 72 inch long x 1 ¾ inch diameter wood dowel:  $10.00
  • 48 inch long x ¾ inch diameter wood dowel:  $5.00
  • Total: $ 27.50

Not too bad for a fun game that will last years and bring the family together!

Kubb Yard Game

So that is the yard game called Kubb. Remember to say KOOB but here at man cave we don’t care if you call it cub or make up your own name. Just play it and we guarantee you that you and your friends and family will have a blast

Check out our review on some of the best Kubb game sets available.