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Ways to play mancala

Rules of the Game #1

Place the board between you and your opponent so that you each have six egg-hole in front of you (the two mancalas should be to the right and left of each player. See How to make your own mancala board.) The one to your right will be your mancala and you will control the six wells or egg-holes directly in front of you.

Object: To have the most mancala beads when the game is over.

How to proceed: Begin with four beads in each egg-hole. There should be no beads in either mancala to start. Determine who will go first by playing Paper-Scissors-Rock or your favorite "it"-determining game. All play moves counter-clockwise.

Taking turns:
In a turn you may choose the beads in any well that you control. Choose them by picking ALL of them up and moving them one at a time to the immediately adjacent well. On the first move you should drop the last bead in your hand four wells from where you started. You will never place ANY beads into your opponents mancala though often you will place beads into his/her wells on your way around the board.

Making the game interesting or giving it a twist:
(1)If the last bead in your hand is placed in YOUR mancala, you take another turn.
(2) If the last bead in your hand reaches an empty well that you control then you remove it and the beads directly accross from it--in the well that your opponent controls--and place all of them into your mancala.
(3) The game is over when all six well on one side, wither yours or your opponents, are empty. The remaining beads in the other player's well belong to him/her and will be placed in his/her mancala.
Well now the game is over, count your beads and determine who won.

Rules of the Game #2

This version is for the younger kids. To give you an idea of how much younger we're talking about: my elementary school students came up with it on their own.
In this version you want the board to be between you and your partner longways so that your mancala is closest to you. Object and Procession of game are the same as #1.

Taking Turns:
Whoever goes first picks up all of his/her marbles out of one well he chooses and moves them around the board in a counterclockwise direction. If the last bead lands in a well with marbles, he/she picks up the marbles from that well and continues moving them one at a time around the board in the same direction. If she/he lands in an empty well on either side, his/her turn is over, however, if he/she lands in his mancala, he/she gets to take another turn. A player may only start his turn by moving beads from one of the wells he/she controls, never from the opponents wells. As you can see this game is easy to learn and easy to win if you take the first turn, but it can be challenging for a first-time player.

BE CREATIVE. DEVISE YOUR OWN RULES IF YOU WISH (but please share them with everyone)

How to make a mancala board

Start with an egg carton that uses to hold a dozen eggs. Carefully remove the lid and the little flap that holds the lid shut. If you like cut the lid down the middle shortways not longways and attach one to each end (an end being the side with only two egg holes not six). These attachments are henceforth to be known as mancalas. Each player will have his own mancala during play. Now all you need to do is collect 48 small, possibly round items such as pebbles, beads of a manageable size, or marbles and go check out Ways to play mancala

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