Awale Rules

Awale is an African strategy and tactics game. Originally from South Africa, it is played by two players, each of whom will distribute their seeds in order to finish their race in an opponent’s alveolus and take the latter’s seeds.


To finish the game with the maximum number of seeds.


  • A box divided into 2 territories.
  • Each territory is divided into 6 cells.
  • 48 seeds.

Set up

Stand on each side of the box.
Distribute the seeds until you get 4 seeds per cell.
The first player is chosen at random.

Let’s play!

  • Always start in your territory.
  • Choose a seed tray and take all the seeds in it.
  • Counterclockwise, distribute the seeds one by one in the other trays,
  • including those of your opponent.
  • Your turn is over if :
    – You end up in one of your cells.
    – You end up in an empty opponent’s tray.
    – You end up in an opponent’s tray with more than 3 seeds.
  • You win some of the opponent’s seeds:
    – You end up in an opponent’s alveolus containing 1 or 2 seeds.

Take your opponent’s seeds

  • Take and set aside the opponent’s 2 or 3 seeds.
  • Go back one step.
  • If the previous cell also contains 2 or 3 seeds, you can take them and set them aside.
  • Do this until you can’t take any more of the opponent’s seeds.


  • If you take seeds that allow you to go around all the cells, skip the starting cell.
  • You still have to feed the opponent.
  • If the opponent’s cells are empty, you have to distribute your seeds.
  • You must not starve your opponent.
  • You can’t empty all his cells in one go.
  • If this happens, you are not allowed to take the seeds.

End of the game

  • If a player cannot feed his opponent, he takes and sets aside his own seeds.
  • If a player gives up.

Keeping score

  • Take your winnings.
  • Put back 4 seeds per cell as at the beginning of the game.
  • Count how many seeds you have left.
  • The player with the most seeds left wins.


  • To place your seeds better, start from the cell you want to take the seeds from.
  • Count backwards until you stop at the cell with the same number of seeds.