Basic Gameplay in Mancala

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Learn the basic gameplay for a game of mancala, with rules, instructions and strategy for how mancala is played, from a board game expert in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play Mancala
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Video Transcript

Today we’re talking about the basic tips of playing the fabulous game Mancala. Now when you’re playing this game, let’s now talk actually how to play the game. As I mentioned earlier, 2 player game and what we’re doing is we’re sowing the seeds in a counterclockwise motion. The object of the game is to get the most stones in your larger bins at the ends here. So we’re going in a counterclockwise motion. I’ve advanced a few of these stones just to demonstrate a few of the tips here. Basically what you’re doing is you get to choose out of these 6 compartments on your side to start off with. You pick whichever one you want to start with and you take all of the stones out of the smaller compartment and you take those stones and you sow them, basically one after the other. Each of the smaller compartments gets one stone and you have to follow it in order, you can’t skip a spot of anything like that, you keep going in order. Now what happens is when you get to your component, your compartment at the end here, you put the stone in there as well. So if we went 1, 2, 3, 1 will go in the end here. Now for instance, we’ve got a whole bunch of stones in our last compartment here. We put one stone in our larger compartment and then we go up to our opponent’s side and start sowing the seeds, one in each of the compartments. Now the thing to keep in mind is, when you make your way around the board and you get to your opponent’s larger storage container, you skip it. So then you go around to their side, sow the seeds on their side of the board, skip their larger storage spot, but then start sowing the seeds into your spot just like that. So the board is kind of divided in half, this would be your side. As you can see here, your smaller component there, your storage spot, and then this would be my side of the board here working my way into my larger storage component and then into your smaller ones in there. So you just have to keep that in mind when you’re thinking about sowing the seeds or the stones.

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