How To Play Mancala And Win In 2022

How To Play Mancala Game in 2022

Mancala is an exciting board game that has attained massive popularity amongst Africans and in the Midwest. The game is very old and has been in existence since the 7th century, yet retained its relevance in this hugely technological world. In this article, I’ll explain what the game entails, as well as how to win Mancala since it is now in demand in the United States.

How Do You Play Mancala

The objective of the game is to collect as many seeds as you can from your store, and the winner of the game at the end is the player with the most seeds in his or her store. Seeing how the game has become very popular in recent times, it won’t be a bad idea for folks to know what the game is about.

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The name Mancala is derived from the Arabic word ‘Naqala’ and the meaning is to move and is usually demonstrated as a game where players sow and capture seeds. Despite how old the game is, it remains relevant and in high demand. Mancala can be found in tourist attractions, museums, and homes, among others. Also, one major catch is that the game is easy to learn.

How to Play Mancala in 2022

The prerequisite for the game of Mancala is a Mancala board. However, if you don’t have one, an empty egg carton would suffice. Do you see? Even the means to play the game are readily available. You can proceed by gathering 48 playing pieces and this could be stones, beads, or any uniform materials you have, as well as the partner to play with.

How to set up the game

how to play mancala

Image Credit: Mancala”, by TW Collins licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

To set up the Mancala game, you must start by placing four seeds in each of the six pits on your side of the game board. The person you are playing against should also do the same. Meanwhile, note that the colors of the seeds have no bearing or effect on the game. If the game is shorter, you can opt to play with three seeds in each of the pits.

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Mancala Rules

The Mancala game has basic rules that each player must understand. Find the basic Mancala rules below:

  • Play moves to the right; Around the board in a counter-clockwise circle.
  • The store positioned on the right is yours and it is where you keep the seeds you win.
  • The six pits near you are yours.
  • You should use only one hand to pick up seeds and put them down.
  • If you touch the seeds that are in a pit, you will be required to move them.
  • Your seed should be kept in your store, and not in your opponent’s store.

How to win Mancala

  • A decision must be made on who will start the game with a coin flip or any other method. Note that there is no major advantage in starting first or last.
  • The game is started by you picking any pocket that contains seeds from your side and placing them one at a time in a counter-clockwise direction to the other pockets. If a seed is passed across one of the Mancala holes, deposit seed in there until all your seeds are exhausted, It is now the turn of your opponent.

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  • If you have an encounter with your opponent’s store, skip over the Mancala. Meanwhile, if you have enough seeds to pass across your Mancala, deposit the seeds and continue on the other side pockets.
  • If you have just one see left and it falls into your Mancala, you can take an extra turn.
  • If your last seed drops in an empty pocket on your side, capture your seed and other seeds that are directly opposite the pocket.
  • Once a player’s six pockets are empty, the game comes to an end and the one with the most pieces emerges as the winner.

More Tips and Strategies on how to win Mancala

  • To enhance your chance of an extra turn, go for the sixth cup from your Mancala as your first move. With this step, you’ll have an extra turn and a shot to one playing piece in your Mancala.
  • If you want to get more seeds, your last seed should be dropped into an empty pocket on your side of the board. This will ensure that you can reach across the board and capture the seeds of your opponent that are in the opposite pocket.

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Conclusion

Seeing how the game is structured, one is required to adopt strategic moves to enhance winning chances in Mancala. The game requires some planning and a little mathematical knowledge of the movement of seeds. 

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