How to Play Beads

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An African bead game, also known as Mancala, is a two-player game in which each player has six baskets and a point basket. Get as many stones as possible to win Mancala with tips from a gaming specialist in this free video on board games.

Part of the Video Series: Board Games & Card Games
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Hi, my name is Windy and this is how to play the African bead game it's also known as Mancala. It also goes by various other names. It's one of the worlds oldest games, originally played with just pits dug into mud and stones used to go into the pits. Each person faces the board, it's a two player game and they have six bucket/baskets in front of them and a point basket to their right. So each persons point basket is always on the right. You start off with four stones per basket, per smaller basket. An easier game version for children who are learning to count and this is an excellent game to learn to count, is to play it with only three per which makes a shorter game. So the rules are fairly simple, you pick a cup on your side and you pick anyone that you want and then you drop them sequentially, you drop the stones sequentially into the baskets. The point is to try to get as many of the stones to end, to end up in your basket. You don't need to end your turn in your basket for you to get points. The points that you'll get at the end of the game are the beads that are in your point basket at the end of the game. The strategy is that if you end your turn by placing a stone in your point basket, then you get to go again. So you want to do that as much as possible. You go, the play continues counter clockwise around the board. If you had beads and you go past your opponents point basket, you don't drop a bead in their point basket you just skip it and keep going. The smaller baskets don't belong to anyone, only the point baskets belong to the players. The rest of the stones are held in common. So the two strategies are to end, to count the stones so that you know that when you're done you'll end in your point basket or to end in such a way that the last stone placed is in an empty basket across from a full basket, because if you, last stone that you play on your turn is an empty basket across from a full basket you get to take all the beads across from it and put them all into your point basket. Play continuous until all the beads have ended up on the ends of the boards in either players point basket. Then you count up the stones and see who whoever has most, they win. And that's how you play Mancala or African beads.

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