Fritz Dooley's
How to Play Mancala - and WIN!

Exhibit 1:  Mancala Game Rules

Set Up

Unlike games such as roulette or monopoly, Mancala is a game for two players.   

The board is placed between the two players with the long sides facing them.  The six cups nearest each player belong to him or her and their larger scoring cups or mancala is to the right.  Four gemstones are placed in each of the 12 cups.


Each player attempts to collect as many pebbles as possible before one of the players clears his or her side of pebbles.


Players alternate turns.  In his or her turn each player picks up all the pebbles from one cup on his or her side of the board and places them one by one in the cups around the board in a counter-clockwise direction, including his mancala, but not in the opponent’s mancala.  If the last pebble is placed in the player’s own mancala, that player goes again.  If the last pebble is placed in an empty cup on the player’s own side, he or she may take all the gemstones from the opponent’s cup directly opposite that cup.  All the pebbles captured including the capturing pebble are placed in the players own mancala.

To Win

The game is over when a player has no more pebbles in any of the cups on his/her side.  The remaining player then takes all the pebbles left on his/her side and places them into his/her mancala.  The winner is the player with the most pebbles in his/her mancala.



(c) 2008 by Fritz Dooley