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Mancala Instructions

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The object of the game is to collect more stones in your Home Pit than your opponent. Your Home Pit is located to the far right on your side of the board.

Board ready for play


Place the desired number of stones in each of the 12 pits (3 to 10 depending on the level of difficulty desired). The board is now ready for play.


Possible first move

Flip a coin to see who starts. The first player starts the game by removing ALL the stones from any pit on his side. Moving in a counter-clockwise rotation, place one stone in every pit, including your Home Pit, until all stones have been distributed. DO NOT place any stones in your opponent's Home Pit or the original pit you started from. Caution: Once you touch the stones in any pit for any reason, you must play them next.


First move with free turn

You can earn an extra turn EVERY time your last stone lands in your Home Pit. It is possible to obtain many consecutive extra turns by continuing to land your last stone in your Home Pit.


When your last stone lands in an empty pit on your side, except the original pit you started from, you capture all of your opponent's stones in the opposite pit on his side. Place captured stones in your Home Pit. A Capture ends your turn.



When the six pits on either side of the board are empty, the game is over. Your opponent gets to put ALL stones left in his pits into his Home Pit. Note: It may not always be to your advantage to empty your pits first.


Be aware of Extra Turn and Capture move possibilities on both sides of the board. Look for blocking moves.

Always try to set up Extra Turn situations.

Force your opponent into moves to avoid a possible Capture.

Do not empty all your pits until you have control of the majority of stones in your Home Pit. You may have to avoid an Extra Turn or make a move to prolong the game.

Copyright Maple Landmark, Inc., Middlebury, VT 05753