Mancala World
Four-rank Diffusion
Inventor: Mark Steere,
Variant of Kalah
Ranks: Four
Sowing: Single laps
Region: USA

Four-rank Diffusion is a variant of standard Diffusion, which was designed by the American game inventor Mark Steere in February 2006. On the average, a game takes about 260 moves. As with the two-row version, draws and ties cannot occur in this game.


The game board consists of four rows of eight small pits and a large pit at either end. The board is divided into two 4x4 blocks as highlighted in the first diagram. Each player owns the block to his left.

At the start of the game each of the holes in the outer rows contain four stones and each of the holes in the inner rows have five stones.


Initial Position

Players take turns making moves.

You begin your turn by scooping out any one of the 32 small pits which contains stones. You conclude your turn by distributing those stones into pits adjacent to and surrounding the newly emptied pit.

The distribution pattern is identical for all of the pits in a given row.

For the inner row below center, start distribution at the lower left and proceed counterclockwise around the emptied pit, skipping the emptied pits row.

For the inner row above center, start the distribution of stones at the adjacent pit to the upper right and proceed counterclockwise around the emptied pit, skipping the row of the emptied pit.

The distribution patterns for the two outer rows are the same as those in 2x6 Diffusion.

The maximum stone count in each small pit of the outer rows is 5 and for each small pit of the inner rows it is 6. If the addition of a stone to a small pit would increase the number of stones in that small pit to a larger number, you must add that stone to one of the large pits instead. Then resume distributing the remaining stones, starting with the next small pit in the counterclockwise direction around the emptied pit.

Players cannot pass on their turn. There will always be at least one move available.

If, at the conclusion of a turn, one of the two blocks is completely vacated, the owner of that block wins. Draws and ties cannot occur.


Steere, M.
Diffusion Addendum (4x8). Palo Alto, CA (USA) 2006.


© Wikimanqala.
By: Ralf Gering
Under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.