Mancala World
Bao Arabica
Inventor: Matthias
Kumpernaß, 1998
Variant of Oware
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Germany

Bao Arabica is a modern Oware variant, which was invented by Mattias Kumpernaß in Bonn, Germany. The game was published in 1998 by Hiku-Spiele. The game can be played by two, three or four persons. The three-person variant is not recommended as it is possible to form unfair coalitions. If the game is played by four, two players should be a team.


Bao Arabica is played on a circular board, which is composed of 12 holes.

The game can be played by two, three or four persons. If two play, each player controls three succeeding holes diagonally opposite each other. If three play, each player has four continous holes. If four play, each player has three continous holes. Additionally, each play has a store for his captures.

At the beginning of a game, every hole contains four counters in the two-person game. In the three-person game, every hole has five, in the four-person game six stones.


Initial Position (Two-person Game, Schematic)

The game is played in turns. When three or four people play, it must be decided, whether they alternate each other clockwise or counterclockwise, before the game starts.

On his turn, a player distributes the contents of one of his holes, one by one, into the following holes. He may sow them clockwise or counterclockwise.

If the starting hole contained so many stones to make a full circle, it will get a stone again.

It is not permitted to move stones back and forth so that a previous board position of that player is repeated as long as the stones in these holes remain the same.

If the last stone falls into a hole of another player, making its contents two or three, he captures these stones. He also captures the contents of any hole containing two or three stones behind it (opposite to the direction of the last sowing), as long as they form a continous chain of holes belonging to another player.

The captures are put into the player's store.

The game ends, when a player has no stones in his holes (in the two-person variant) or, if two players have no stones in their holes (in the three- or four-person variant). If three or four play, it is possible that one player can't move. Then this player must pass until he can play again.

The remaining stones are won by the player who owns their holes.

The player (or team) who captured most stones wins the game.

External Links


Adapted from the Wikinfo article, "Bao Arabica", used under the GNU Free Documentation License.