Mancala World
Other Names: Caille, Casitas, Casitas de
Mate, El Hoyito, Mate
First Description: Víktor Bautista i Roca,
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: Dominican Republic

Hoyito (also known as El Hoyito, Casitas or Mate) is the generic term used in the Dominican Republic for many different mancala games. Hoyito means "little hole". The games were first described by Víktor Bautista i Roca, who together with Salvador Cases i Majoral interviewed Dominican expatriates in Catalonia (September 2004), and then conducted a field study for three weeks in the Dominican Republic (January-February 2005).

The general cultural background is given here.

Hoyito II is a more difficult Hoyito variant, especially when played on larger boards.


The rules are identical to Hoyito I except for the following:

Hoyito played in Villa Jaragua (February 2005)

  • Only the last distributed counter effects a capture (no capturing en passant).
  • After the contents of the last hole sown into were captured, the player also wins any fours in preceding holes, which form an unbroken sequence of holes containing four pieces.
  • If a player has made a capture, he plays again.

The game can be played on a board of 12 holes each row, which makes it more challenging.


Initial Position (Most Challenging Set-up)


Bautista i Roca, V.
Africa Hidden Inside A Small Hole. Paper presented in the VIIIth Board Game Studies Colloquium. Oxford (England) April 2005.

See also


© Wikimanqala.
By: Víktor Bautista i Roca with some minor additions by Ralf Gering.
Under the CC by-sa 2.5.