Mancala World
Other Names: Numeracy
Inventor: Sam Nooh K.
Al-Jajjoka, 2000
Variant of Dakon
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: England

Numercy (play on words for "no mercy"), also called Numeracy, was created by the Indonesian Dr Sam Nooh K. Al-Jajjoka who lives in Kingston upon Hull in England. He filed a patent for his mancala game on November 29, 2000, which was granted on February 13, 2002 (GB 2364926). The game is related to Dakon and can be used to teach arithmetics in primary schools.

Al-Jajjoka also wrote a bestselling book on how to pass professional level psychometric tests.


Numercy (2x7)

Numercy is played on an abacus-like board, which has two rows of up to 13 holes. Smaller boards are also permitted.

Each player controls the row on his side.

The space between two holes of each file are marked with a mathematical symbol, either a plus (+), a minus (-), a multiplication (x) or a division (:) sign. Other mathematical operators (e.g. for exponentiation) are also possible. The symbol can be chosen by the teacher or at random.

Each holes contains seven balls at the beginning. If a smaller board is used such as 2x6, the holes may contain just six balls.

The points made by the players are recorded at the left and right edge of the board.

On his turn a player sows the contents of one of his holes, one by one, counterclockwise into the ensuing holes.

If the last ball falls into a hole, which then contains less than six balls, the move ends.

If the last ball is dropped into a hole, which then contains six or more balls, its contents are distributed in another lap until the last ball falls into a hole, which contains at most five balls (together with the last ball).

A player gains points, when the last ball falls into a hole, which then contains two, three, four or five balls.

  • If the the last ball makes a two or four, the points are won by the player himself.
  • If the last ball makes a three or a five, the points are made by his opponent.
  • The points are calculated as follows:
    • The player first counts the balls that are in the hole, where the move ended, and in the opposite hole of the same file.
    • Then these two numbers are added, subtracted, multiplied or divided depending on the mathematical symbol between.
    • Subtraction: the absolute value is calculated (the result is positive).
    • Division: the bigger number is divided by the smaller number and the result is rounded up or down.

The points are recorded on the board or a piece of paper.

If the player wins points, the contents of both holes are removed from the board.

If his opponent gets the points, the balls remain on the board.

A player must move, if he can.

When a player cannot move, the game ends.

The balls that are still left on the board to the player who owns their holes (one ball = one point).

The player who achieved more points is the winner. When the points are equal, the game is a draw.


"The toy will improve the social behaviour of the child and increase interactivity with friends and will not only have substantial play value in the make-believe world of children but also will be a vital factor in avoiding isolation from others.

The toy encourages rivalry and competition between the players as they strive to score higher and win which is vital to the children's development and for their country, especially in today's new competitive environment where economic success depends on surpassing your competitors.

Another object is to provide an erudite numeracy recreation and educational supplement to the class in learning maths. For example, if the teacher has taught addition to the class, the children can set up the Maths Control Bar with all addition symbols and so on.

It will help teachers and parents to encourage learning maths in an easy way.

By continuously playing the game at different cognitive development stages, the basic mathematical principles will be embedded in the child's brain to use in his/her daily life."

Sam Nooh K. Al-Jajjoka (2003)


Al-Jajjoka, S. N. K.
How to Pass Professional Level Psychometric Tests: Contains Practice Tests for IT, Finance and Recruitment. Kogan Page Ltd, London (England) 2001.
Al-Jajjoka, S. N. K.
Educational Game Apparatus (GB2364926). UK Patent Office, London (England) February 13, 2002.
Al-Jajjoka, S. N. K.
Numeracy Toy (AU2002220884). IP Australia, Woden ACT (Australia) June 17, 2003.


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