Ideal Opening Sequence for Mancala

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Learn about ideal opening sequences when playing the game mancala, with rules, instructions, directions, moves and strategy for how to play mancala well, in this free instructional video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Win at Mancala
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Video Transcript

Hello! My name is Melissa Schenk, today we’re discussing strategy techniques for playing the game Mancala. Now, our next technique is a big one. I’m going to give away a really big secret. This next technique is called an ideal opening sequence; this is a really good one. We talked that in this game we’re playing with 48 stones, 4 stones in each of the bins. This next strategy technique is an ideal opening sequence when you’re playing with 4 stones in each of your smaller Mancalas. Okay, so the ideal opening sequence goes a little bit like this. We’re going to start off, of course, my side is A-F, so this my Mancala, and G-L is your Mancala. I’m going to begin and I’m going to start off with C, taking these 4 stones, putting them into D, E, F, and end up with one stone in my larger Mancala. Therefore, I get another turn. My next sequence, my next move, is going to by taking all of the stones out of bin F. Putting one into my Mancala, one into yours, G, H, I, and J. Now, you might have wondered why I did these or made these various moves, but these moves actually have some really great strengths. For one, it empties bin F out early on in the game. We talked about in an earlier segment, some earlier clips, emptying bin F as often as possible as well. More importantly, it puts you, my opponent, into a defensive position on your very first move of the game. As you can see here, if I am going around the board, I already have C empty and F empty. If any of my stones fall into C or F, I am going to rage, so this puts you in a defensive position right off the bat for when you are starting your very first move when playing the game Mancala.

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