Mancala World
Other Names: La'b Madjnuni (?)
First Description: Adnan Güllü,
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: Turkey

Mangala is a still popular pastime in Gaziantep, Southeast Anatolia. The game might be related to the Syrian La'b Madjnuni and could even be identical, since Culin didn't give playable rules and obviously made many mistakes in his description of the Syrian mancala games.

The Mangala of Gaziantep was first described by Adnan Güllü in the Turkish newspaper "Elbistan Kaynarca Gazetesi" in 2007.


The board has two rows of seven holes.

At the beginning of the game, the holes are randomly filled with 98 counters. Then one player hides one or two seeds in his palm and asks his opponent: "Tek mi, Çift mi?" ("One, two?"). If his opponent guesses correctly, he may chose his side of the board.


Possible Set-up

A game the proceeds as follows:

On his turn a player takes the contents of his leftmost hole and sows them counterclockwise, one counter at a time. If that head was empty, the player took from the next nearest hole in his row.

If the last counter falls in an occupied hole with two, four or more counters, its contents are distributed in another lap.

The move ends, when the last counter is dropped into an empty hole or a hole containing one or three counters.

If the last counter ends up in a hole which, after sowing, contains exactly two or four counters, the contents in this hole are captured with those in the hole opposite. Also, if there is a continuous line of holes with either 2 or 4 holes preceding the one where the capture has occurred, all the counters in those and their opposite holes are captured as well.

A player must move, if he can, but passes, if he cannot.

The game ends when all the holes are empty.

The player who captured most counters wins the game.


Güllü, A.
Mangala Oyunu Nedir?. In: Elbistan Kaynarca Gazetesi November 29, 2007.


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