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Rating: 6.4 Fair
Difficulty:Very easy
Players: 2-2 players
Playing time: 10 minutes

Created by: (Uncredited), (Uncredited)

Published by: (Public Domain), Adrenaline Brush Ltd, Alga

Alternate Names: Arcana, Awélé, Badari, Bantumi, Carcara


Mancala is an ancient family of board games and there are numerous variants. Mancala is generic name for a group of games that all share the same game mechanics.

The boards and rules differ among regions, but the strategy is basically the same.

The basic game, known as two-rank Mancala, is also known as Kalah and is for two players.

Depending upon where the game is played, the game has been given many names names that refer to the manner of winning, the mode of play, the board used or the counters used.

Players move alternatively in a series of "laps". During a turn, a player removes all of the stones from one cup or hole and then places them one by one in the cups around the board in a clockwise direction.

The long holes at the ends of the board are called mancala and each player owns one of them.

A player can place a stone in his mancala but never in his opponent's mancala.

To capture stones, you need to place the very last stone of your turn into an empty cup on your side of the board which then captures all stones that are directly across on your opponents' side are then captured and placed in your mancala.

The game ends when one player has no stones on his/her side of the board. The oppenent then places all stones that remain on their side in their own mancala.

The biggest positive to this game in my mind is the ease of play. From young to old and never played before, the game is very easy to pick up and play.

The player's strategy is dependent upon ability to reason and count. Winning is based upon a player's ability to claim or capture an opponent's game counters.

Even while it is easy to play, there are still many layers of strategy to this game. Can you set your self up to keep getting extra turns or do you go for trying to capture your opponents pieces by landing in an empty hole on your side? Either way you will be doing a lot of counting in your head to try and figure out how to win!

Regarding tactics and strategy, this game does a fantastic job of introducing the two concepts in a way that is easy to grasp.

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Mancala is a name given to a large family of "Pit and Seeds" or "Count, Sow and Capture" games - one of the oldest games known.

There are about 300 different Mancala games, some versions are simple like Kalah or Oware but others like Omweso or Bao can be very complicated as they are played on two boards and sometimes played in a reverse direction.


  • Folding Wood board with 2 rows of 6 pits (holes).
  • 48 colored stones


  • Players sit opposite to each other with the game board in between. The Mancala-board is made up of two rows of six holes or pits. The six small holes on your side of the game board belong to you. …

Mancala games are often won with the smallest margin. One extra stone in your mancala can make the difference to win or to lose.

Opening Moves

As the first player, you should start with the 3rd hole as opening move as your last stone will land now in the mancala. This not only scores you a point but gives you a second move.

Now, play from your rightmost or second-rightmost hole. Either of these moves will drop a stone into your opponent's third hole blocking him to make the same opening move. …

Mancala is, in every sense, a game of pure skill and strategy. Each sowing must be calculated in terms Of how it affects your ability to capture the stones in your opponent's cups and in terms of how it affects your opponent's ability to capture the stones in your pits.


Flight is a relatively simple move used to defend your stones from capture. If you determine that your opponent is in a position to capture the stones in one of your cups, you can prevent capture simply by emptying that cup and sowing. the stones. …

Our candidate for the ideal opening is the sequence CF, which leaves the board configured as:

This opening has the following strengths:

  • It empties pit F early in the game, allowing Player1 to play a single stone from F into her mancala each time a single stone lands there.

  • It empties pit F at a time when at least two of the stones from F (those landing in J and I) will likely eventually come back around the board to Player1's side. Furthermore, if Player2 makes the defensive G play, all 5 of the stones from G are ultimately likely to wind back up on Player2's side. …


  • Mancala board
  • 48 multi-colored animals
  • Instructions

Object of the Game

Collect the most animals by the end of the game.


Refer to Illustration 1 as you set up and play the game.

Place the gameboard between both players as shown. The 6 pockets in front of you make up your playing area. The large pocket- called the Mancala - to your right is yours.

Place 4 animals (colors do not matter) in each of the 12 smaller pockets.

Beginner's Version: Play Mancala by starting out with just 3 animals in each pocket. …

Links for Mancala

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