The rules that come with my copy of Jenga state that on each turn, a player should "remove a block from anywhere below the highest completed layer."

I played Jenga for the first time in years yesterday and one of the players involved insisted on what sounded to me like an unusual interpretation of this rule. They asserted that blocks always had to be selected from a level that is lower than the top level of the original tower, not whatever the highest level is currently.

I'm curious if others interpret this rule in this way. To my reading, the "highest completed layer" is the highest layer that currently contains three blocks. It seems to me that if the rule were dependent on remembering the height of the original tower, there would be some easy way to remember where that was.

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What is the tallest Jenga tower ever created? Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 6:34
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    @ToonKrijthe I don't think this question is a dupe. Your dupe target is about the highest Jenga tower ever built. This question appears to be about how to interpret the rules term "highest completed layer" and where a player is allowed to pull a block from.
    – Malco
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


The rules as of 2018 don't refer to the "highest completed layer", but older versions and variants (like Jenga Quake) do refer to it.

The highest completed layer is the highest layer that has had all three blocks placed on it. Recall that when you remove a block, you must place it on the top level until it has three blocks. After three blocks are placed, the next block is placed on the next level.

The current iteration of the rules corroborate this by referring to "the one below an incomplete top level" where older rules would say "the highest completed layer" (emphasis mine).

Moving in the game Jenga consists of:

1) taking one block on a turn from any level of the tower (except the one below an incomplete top level), and

2) placing it on the topmost level in order to complete it.

  • @ikegami I'm not seeing the semantic difference between the two. Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 2:52
  • It's not possible to remove blocks from the highest complete layer, so it's not possible to remove them from the highest completed layer, anyway. Semantic or not, any difference doesn't matter.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 3:06
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    The rules as quoted seem inaccurate. Read literally, you should be able to take a block from the very top level, whether that top level is incomplete or complete.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 15:55
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    @GendoIkari Yes, it does look like the rules would allow for taking from the top level. But since the game would stalemate if players just took a block from the top level and put it back, I'm sure that isn't the intention. Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 16:37

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