Players take turns firing shots (by calling out a grid coordinate, for example B4) to attempt to hit the opponent's enemy ships. There are five ships.
On your turn, call out a letter and a number that identifies a row and column on your target grid. Your opponent checks that coordinate on their ocean grid and verbally responds "miss" if there is no ship there, or "hit" if you have correctly guessed a space that is occupied by a ship.
Mark each of your shots or attempts to fire on the enemy using your target grid (upper part of the board) by using white pegs to document your misses and red pegs to register your hits. As the game proceeds, the red pegs will gradually identify the size and location of your opponent's ships.
When it is your opponent's turn to fire shots at you, each time one of your ships receives a hit, put a red peg into the hole on the ship corresponding to the grid space or if you play with drinks, take the drink which sits on that spot. When one of your ships has every slot filled with red pegs or there are no more drinks on that ship, you must announce to your opponent that he has sunk your ship. In classic play, the phrase is "You sunk my battleship!" It is, of course, illegal to change the hiding position of your ships once play has begun.
The first player to sink all five of his opponent's ships wins the game.