Mancala World

See also Mangala III (critical views).

Inventor: (?), 2009
Variant of Dakon
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Turkey

Mangala is also the name of a modern mancala variant. It was designed in 2009 to give Turkey a national mancala game. Mangala is marketed by the nationalist Üç Renk Organizasyon. A tournament was held at the "Czech Open 2010" in Pardubice, Czech Republic. It was won by Muratbek Nurzhanov, Kazakhstan. There were also numerous tournaments in Turkey.

The game was inspired by the Kazakh Toguz Kumalak and the American Kalah (itself a variant of Dakon).


Mangala is played on a board of two rows, each consisting of six holes that have a large store at either end. A player owns the six holes closest to him and the store to his right. The game starts with four stones in each hole.


Initial Position

Players take turns moving the seeds.

Play is counterclockwise. The stones are distributed one by one in the pits and the players own store (but not the opponent's store). The first stone of the lap is put back into the hole from which it was taken.

A singleton is sown into the ensuing hole.

The game is played with single laps.

If the last stone falls into the player's store, he must move again.

If the last seed makes the content of an opponent's hole even, these seeds are captured and placed into the player's store.

If the last seed falls into an empty hole in the player's own row, he captures all contents of the opposite hole together with the capturing piece and puts them in his store. If the opposite pit is empty, nothing is captured.

A capture ends the move.

The game ends when a player has only empty pits (even temporarily). The remaining pieces are captured by the player with the empty row. The player who has captured most pieces is declared the winner.


"Castle Rule" ("Kale kuralı"): A player who makes a three in an opponent's hole, captures this hole, which is then called a "castle". However, the sixth hole is immune and can never become a "castle". Every stone, which is sown into a "castle", is captured by the player who owns it.

A player is permitted to make only one "castle" throughout the game.

In the Castle variant, no stones are sown into the store. For that reason the game can be considered to be a simplified Toguz Kumalak variant.

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