Mancala – the official rules

Mancala is a strategy and tactics game for 2 players, from 7 years old. The game consists of distributing your stones in order to capture the opponent’s stones. The aim of the game is to capture the maximum number of stones at the end of the game.


  • 1 Mancala board,
  • 48 stones.

Set up

  • A Mancala board is divided into two sides. Each player occupies one side.
  • One side consists of 6 picks and at the right end is a pocket called Mancala.
  • Each player stands on either side of the Mancala board.
  • Place 4 stones in each drawer.
  • Designate a first player.
  • Move the stones clockwise.
  • Be careful! A player can only start with stones from his or her deck.

How do you play?

  • The first player chooses a deck on their side of the board.
  • Clockwise, he must place a stone in each deck he passes.
  • If he passes through his Mancala, he can leave a stone there.
  • If he passes through his opponent’s Mancala, he jumps it.

Passing the hand

  • The player passes the hand if :
  • His run stops on one of his opponent’s pieces.
  • His run stops on one of his still filled picks.

Play again

  • The player gets an extra turn if his run ends in his Mancala.

Capturing opponent’s stones

  • To capture an opponent’s stone :
  • The player must stop on an empty deck on his side.
  • The opposite deck is filled.
  • The captured stones are placed in his Mancala.

End of the game

  • The game ends when one side of the Mancala is empty; all of the decks are empty.
  • The remaining stones on one side are placed in the corresponding Mancala.
  • Proceed with the countdown.
  • The player who has captured the most stones wins the game.