Mancala Game – How To Play

How to play Mancala game for kids

Basic Mancala Rules are shared here for kids and teenagers. Mancala is from a family of board games played worldwide in different versions. It is famous in different parts of the world as Mancala, Kalah, Oware and Congkak. 

We have shared here rules of Mancala for the version played most commonly. Macala is an average difficult board game which doesn’t take too long to play. This is a two player  turn based strategy game.

Most of the variants of this board game follow general play. It involves players beginning to play by placing a specific number of seeds in the holes of the board. 

Players play games by counting their seeds and removing all seeds from the hole and sowing them in following holes in some sequence. If you are a lover of brain teasing board games, you can check our posts for Farkle rules, Scrabble Rules, Jenga rules too.

How To Play Mancala

The game is played by two players with a Mancala board and 48 game seeds. 

Each player owns six holes and one mancala of his side on the board. I think the Mancala rules are followed to play this game. See how to play following Mancala rules.

  • At the start of the play, sit at the opposite sides of the board. Place 4 seeds in each of the holes of the board (but not in the larger ones or in the mancala holes). Decide who will play first between the two players. The player who starts can start playing from any of the holes.

  • Play consists of picking up all the seeds from one hole one by one into the other hole on the board. Remember that four pieces of only one hole are to be played at one turn as per Mancala rules. You can place seed in your larger hole i.e. Mancala but not in the larger hole of your opponent. The pieces are to be moved counter clockwise. Contents of the first hole are to be distributed among the next holes evenly. Once you finish placing all the four pieces of your single hole, the other player gets to play in a similar way. 

Rules of Mancala game

Here are some Mancala rules and instructions to follow while you play this board game:

  • When you run into your own side of the Mancala board, you have to deposit one piece in it. But when you run into your opponent’s store, you can skip it.
  • If the last piece of the four pieces is dropped in your own store, you get to play an extra turn.

  • If the last piece dropped by you is dropped in an empty hole on your side, you can capture that piece also any number of pieces in the hole posed directly opposite on the board. The captured pieces are to be placed in your stores or your side holes.

  • The Mancala game ends when all the six holes on one side are completely empty.

  • Player, who has pieces left in holes of his side, captures all those pieces when the game ends as per Mancala rules.


  • The one who has the maximum number of pieces in his store, wins the game.

  • To be a winner in a Mancala board game, you just need to be a little thoughtful. The winner is determined by counting the seeds in their Mancala at the end.

  • We are sure Mancala rules are now clear to you and you will enjoy playing it with your friends. Mancala Rules allows winning through Count and Capture. Moving your seeds in a way that allows you to capture your opponent’s pieces will make you win the game.

Our blog contains rules for a host of other card games, board games and stacking games. Some of the most popular ones are Monopoly rules, Chess rules, Checkers rules, and Cribbage and Phase 10 rules. If you know any additional rules followed by you and your friends to play these games, you can share them with us using the comment box. Keep visiting us to know the rules of interesting games played with boards and cards.