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What are popular versions of Mancala that are played by board game fans?

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You enjoy playing Mancala Adventures, based on the Mancala board game. But did you know there is a family of Mancala board games with many variations played worldwide?

Here are some of the most popular versions of the Mancala board game that are played:

Kalah board game

  • There are 12 small and two large store pits on a Kalah board.
  • Players scoop seeds from one of their pits and distribute them counter-clockwise. Landing the last seed in your store gives you an extra turn, and capturing happens when you land in an empty pit on your side.
  • It is trendy in the US due to its simplicity and straightforward rules.

Oware board game

  • An Oware board has 12 small pits and no store pits.
  • Players distribute seeds and capture them by landing seeds in opponents' pits containing specific numbers of seeds. The game ends when a player can't move, and the remaining seeds go to the opponent.
  • Oware is widely played in Ghana and other West African countries. It is renowned for its strategic depth and offers players a challenging and engaging experience.

Bao board game

  • A Boa board typically has 32 pits. The Boa board features four rows of eight holes each.
  • It is known for its elaborate and strategic gameplay. Players distribute seeds in multiple cycles and capture them based on specific configurations.
  • Popular in Tanzania and Kenya, it is often considered one of the most challenging Mancala games.

Congkak board game

  • The board has 16 pits, 7 per player and two store pits.
  • It is similar to Kalah but with regional variations. Players scoop, distribute, and capture seeds by landing in empty pits.
  • Congkak is played in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, often in a cultural context.

Pallanguzhi board game

  • A Pallanguzhi board has 14 pits, with seven pits per player.
  • Players scoop seeds from one of their pits and distribute them. Captures happen when the last seed lands in a pit with even more seeds.
  • Pallanguzhi is popular in Southern India, particularly in Tamil Nadu.

Gabata board game

  • Usually, two rows of 6 or 7 pits are on a Gabata board.
  • People playing Gabata scoop and distribute seeds. Captures and additional rules vary by region. The board usually has three rows of six holes, plus extra storage holes at each end. 
  • It is played in various parts of Ethiopia, with regional variations.

Ayoayo board game

  • There are 12 pits, with six per player on an Ayoayo board. The Ayoayo board consists of two rows with six holes each, using 48 seeds in total. At the start, each hole contains four seeds.
  • Each player distributes seeds and captures them by specific configurations.
  • Ayoayo is a board game widely played in Nigeria, often as a social game.

Omweso board game

  • An Omweso board has 32 pits, equally split between two players.
  • It involves complex sowing and capturing mechanics, requiring strategic planning.
  • Omweso is widespread in Uganda and is known for its complexity and deep strategy.

Toguz Korgool board game

  • There are 18 pits, 9 per player. The game is played on a board with two rows of nine holes each, and two "kazna" between these rows to collect each player's captured stones. At the start, each hole (excluding the kazna) contains nine stones, requiring a total of 162 stones.
  • Players distribute seeds and capture them based on landing in specific configurations. It is unique in its regional flavor.
  • This board game is often played in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan as a traditional game.

Kotu Keliya board game

  • The board often has seven pits per player.
  • Players scoop and distribute seeds, capturing them by landing in specific pits. Rules may vary by region.
  • Kotu Keliya is enjoyed mostly in Sri Lanka.

These variations highlight the diversity and cultural significance of Mancala games worldwide. Each variety or version of Mancala has unique rules and strategies, reflecting the local traditions and social contexts in which they are played. 

What about mobile games? Are you new to Mancala mobile games? Discover why people enjoy playing Mancala Adventures, the mobile board game, in countries across the world. DOwnload Mancala Adventures today.

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