|Table of contents||Table of diagrams
Two handicap stones
Three handicap stones (black's perspective)
Four handicap stones
Five handicap stones
Six handicap stones
Seven handicap stones
Eight handicap stones
Nine handicap stones
Andrew Grant: It is a fallacy that Japanese rules do not allow free handicap placement. In fact the official Japanese rules say nothing at all about handicap placement. It's true that the fixed pattern is universally used in Japan, but this is just a tradition, nothing more.
In all cases the weaker player plays Black, and there is no komi (or it is just 0.5, to prevent a draw). After handicap stones have been placed, it is white's turn to play.
There is no specific placement for one stone, since this would be equivalent to dictating black's first move. Black plays first as in a non-handicap game, but benefits from the absence of komi.
Joshual000: I believe upper left is left open for 'polite-ness' shown by Black to White (Black's 1st move is the one held by tradition - not White's)