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Players remove blocks from a tower.
Jenga is a game of physical skill, marketed by Hasbro, in which players remove blocks from a tower and put them on top. The player who causes the tower to collapse loses. The word "jenga" is derived from "kujenga" the Swahili word for "build", "jenga" is the imperative form.
Jenga is played with 54 wooden blocks; each block is 3 times as long as it is wide, and slightly smaller in height than in width. The blocks are stacked in a tower formation; each story is three blocks placed adjacent to each other along their long side. Each story is placed perpendicular to the previous (so, for example, if the blocks in the first story are pointing north-south, the second story blocks will point east-west). There are therefore 18 stories to the Jenga tower. Since stacking the blocks neatly can be tedious, Hasbro includes a loading tray.
Once the tower is built, the person who built the tower moves first. A move in Jenga consists of taking one and only one block from any story below the highest completed story, and placing it on the top-most story in order to complete it. Only one hand at a time may be used to remove a block. Both hands can be used, but only one hand may be on the tower at a time. Blocks may be bumped to find a loose block that will not disturb the rest of the tower, but any block that is moved out of place must be replaced (still with one hand) before examining the tower further. The turn ends when the next person to move touches the tower, although he can wait 10 seconds before moving for the previous turn to end.
The game ends when the tower falls in any significant way -- in other words, if any piece falls from the tower, other than the piece being knocked out to move to the top. The loser is the person who made the tower fall (i.e. whose turn it was when the tower fell). The winner is the person who moved before the loser.
The game in its current from was invented in the 1980's by Leslie Scott. It grew out of a childhood game created around a present of wooden building blocks purchased from a local wood craftsman in Ghana.
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