Mancala is an ancient family of board games, and there are numerous variants. This is a version of the basic game, known as two-rank Mancala and also known as Kalah.
Time Required: 15 minutes
- The Mancala 'board' is made up of two rows of six holes, or pits, each. If you don't have a Mancala board handy, an empty egg carton can work.
- Four pieces -- marbles or stones -- are placed in each of the 12 holes. The color of the pieces is irrelevant.
- Each player has a 'store' to the right side of the Mancala board. (Cereal bowls work well for this purpose if you're using an egg carton.)
- The game begins with one player picking up all of the pieces in any one of the holes on his side.
- Moving counter-clockwise, the player deposits one of the stones in each hole until the stones run out.
- If you run into your own store, deposit one piece in it. If you run into your opponent's store, skip it.
- If the last piece you drop is in your own store, you get a free turn.
- If the last piece you drop is in an empty hole on your side, you capture that piece and any pieces in the hole directly opposite.
- Always place all captured pieces in your store.
- The game ends when all six spaces on one side of the Mancala board are empty.
- The player who still has pieces on his side of the board when the game ends captures all of those pieces.
- Count all the pieces in each store. The winner is the player with the most pieces.
- Planning ahead is essential to victory in board games like Mancala. Try to plan two or three moves into the future.
What You Need