Mancala Rules: How to Play Mancala Game?

 Kevin Brown
  Feb 26, 2019

What is Mancala Game?

Mancala is known as the oldest game and it is named to a large family of “Pit and Seeds”. On average there are about 300 different Mancala games.


  • Collect 48 colored stones.
  • Wood board that can also be folded with 2 rows of 6 holes.

Preparation for the Game

  • This game can be with 2 players.
  • Players need to sit opposite facing to each. The game board will be in between them.
  • This game board consists of two rows of six holes or pits. Make sure that the six small holes are by your side.
  • In each hole there should be 4 different color stones.
  • That’s all you are ready to start the game.


The main motive of the Game.

The main motive is to collect more stones than the opponent.

How to play Mancala Game?

  • According to the turn of the respective player, they play stones or seeds.
  • There will be couple of rules that will be based on the strategy of the player.
  • In order to have a turn, the player needs to firstly select one of the holes from the six holes then collect all the stones that were placed in it.
  • A player needs to put one stone into the next hole in an anticlockwise direction; this will be continued until the stones run out. This step is known as “sowing”.
  • If the last stone ends up landing in an empty cup that is on your side of the board then you will get a chance to collect the stones.
  • One can also collect all the stones that are present in the cup near your side and then place them all on the board.
  • As a result, the game keeps going on and makes it exciting for the players from the start of the game till the end.
  • If in case a player reaches at the end of the row then still sowing continues in anti-clockwise direction in next row.
  • A situation, where the player picks a hole with many stones that it starts getting lap then the 12th stone or 23rd stone is not played in the originating hole.
  • The hole, in the beginning, is then skipped and the respective seed should be played in the next hole on.
  • The stones will be captured when the last stone is placed in the opponent’s row and the hole finishes with 2 or 3 stones. But if the hole that comes after the last hole also contains 2 or 3 stones then, in fact, these will also be collected and so on till the hallow is found where there is no stone or the end row is reached of the opponent.
  • Advice for opening move.

Are you going first? Then please do start from the third hole and thank us later. It is the best way for the opening move. This will help you to win by making your last piece land in the Mancala zone and scoring a point. It will also help you to have a turn before the competitor.

Rules for the end of the Game

  • A player when ends up by not playing the game because there was not even a single stone in the holes then the opponent wins the game in the beginning itself.
  • But in reality, it is not allowed to play passively with intensity in order to create this situation – in case the competitor’s holes are empty then a chance should be given on the opponent’s side of the board if possible.
  • A type of play in which a player will capture all the stones of the competitor and leaving the player with no move this play is known as Cutting off the Head.
  • When a player has collected 25 stones then he/she is the winner and the game ends.

A game will be considered drawn if both the player's score is 24 or very rarely when by observing the situation that the last stone on the board with no chance of winning.

Mancala Rules: How to Play Mancala Game?

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is a journalist at his own start-up, born and residing in Seattle, Washington. He has a knack of reading up newspaper articles and coming up with summaries and points of view, hence taking up a profession similar to his interest. Simply covering events and activities is something he can do as good as a professional, but he seems to enjoy writing on events that need viewpoints and suggestions.

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