Mancala World
Variant of Cups
Inventor: Frank Stark,
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Germany

Kariba is a mancala game, which was invented in 2006 by Frank Stark in St. Georgen (Black Forest), Germany. It is named after a town in Zimbabwe. The game is a close variant of 2x4 Cups or BohnDuell. Another idea was taken from games of the Mancala Bohnanza family (e.g. Banan-Cala and Glass Bead Game).

Kariba is sold together with Kalak, a game of manual dexterity, by Clemens Gerhards Holzwaren.


The game can be best described by explaining what is similar to Cups and what are the differences.


  • Kariba is played on the same board as 2x4 Cups (two parallel rows, four holes and a store at the right).
  • Initially the board is empty. The counters are stored outside the board.


Initial Position

  • A sowing is only on the player's own side of the board, from left to right.
  • On his turn a player either distributes 1-4 stones from his storage into the holes starting in the leftmost hole, or he picks up the contents of one of his holes and sows them, one by one, to the right including the store on the right end.
  • The contents of the opposite enemy hole are captured, if the last stone falls into an empty hole. However, there are are exceptions.
  • The player who, at the end, got most points in his store wins. The counters which are still in the holes are not counted.


  • Each player has initially 20 counters, which are worth 1 point, 2 Wächtersteine ("guard stones") worth 2 points and 3 Schatzsteine ("treasure stones"), which are most precious and count 3 points. (However, Arthur and Wald Amberstone also suggested a Cups variant with stones of multiple values.)
  • The contents of a hole can be distributed, even if the last stone wouldn't fall into the store.
  • If a player has still several counters of different value left, when he reaches his store, he must put the counter with the lowest value into it.
  • The counters, which are left over after reaching the store are put back into the storage outside the board.
  • The contents of holes which have a guard stone cannot be captured, unless the guard stone is the only counter in the hole.
  • The game ends, when a player has no counters left.
  • The victorious player gets as many points as he has collected in his store. The loser has as many points as he has points in his store minus the points that are still in his storage.
  • If both players have the same number of points, he who has more treasure stones in his store wins. If both players have the same number of treasure stones, he who has captured more guard stones wins. If each player has captured the same number of guard stones, the game is a draw.


Since 2008 Clemens Gerhards Holzwaren sells an enlarged game board with 2x6 holes.

See also


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