The advances in genotyping technology provide an opportunity to use genomic tools in crop breeding. As compared to field selections performed in conventional breeding programmes, genomics-based genotype screen can potentially reduce number of breeding cycles and more precisely integrate target genes for particular traits into an ideal genetic background. We developed a whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array, RICE6K, based on Infinium technology, using representative SNPs selected from more than four million SNPs identified from resequencing data of more than 500 rice landraces. RICE6K contains 5102 SNP and insertion–deletion (InDel) markers, about 4500 of which were of high quality in the tested rice lines producing highly repeatable results. Forty-five functional markers that are located inside 28 characterized genes of important traits can be detected using RICE6K. The SNP markers are evenly distributed on the 12 chromosomes of rice with the average density of 12 SNPs per 1 Mb and can provide information for polymorphisms between indica and japonica subspecies as well as varieties within indica and japonica groups. Application tests of RICE6K showed that the array is suitable for rice germplasm fingerprinting, genotyping bulked segregating pools, seed authenticity check and genetic background selection. These results suggest that RICE6K provides an efficient and reliable genotyping tool for rice genomic breeding.