Mancala World
Pass It On
Inventor: (?), 1978
Variant of Ruma
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: USA

Pass It On is a modern mancala game, which was published by Selchow & Righter (USA) in 1978. Its designer wasn't credited. The game appears to be a late variant of Ruma.

The game could be played by two, three or four players. If more than two play, unfair coalitions can be formed. Therefore, just the two-person game will be described.


[Pass It On is] "a game of wits, a fast moving and challenging game of strategy. Easy to learn and fun to play."

Selchow & Righter (1978)


The board for Two-Person Pass It On consists of two rows, each one with five "sections" and a large pit at the left end of either row called "outbox". Each player controls the sections of his row.

At the start of the game, each section contains three yellow chips, except for the first sections on the left of each row, which have a white chip and just two yellow ones.


Initial Position (Sections containing one white chip marked light grey)

On his turn, a player sows the contents of one of his sections, one at a time, counterclockwise into the ensuing sections and both outboxes.

  • If the section contained chips of either color, they may be distributed in any way desired.
  • However, if the last chip falls into an empty section (or outbox), this has to be a white chip.
  • If (in the latter case) the original section didn't contain a white chip, the move is not permitted.

It is not allowed to begin a move from an outbox.

A player must move when he can, but passes when he has only illegal moves left.

Each time a player passes, he takes a chip from any outbox, which is counted as a "penalty point".

A player may pass up to six times.

The game ends when a player has emptied all of his sections or has collected six penalty points.

The game is won by the player whose opponent got six penalty points ("Win by Default") or who has emptied his sections first.

A player who emptied his sections gets 50 points for the victory plus 5 points for each penalty point of his opponent, plus 5 points for each chip still in his adversary's sections, minus 5 points for each of his own penalty points. If a player wins by default, he gets 25 points.

Ties and draws are not possible.

In a match, the player who gets 500 points first, is declared the winner.

External Links


Adapted from the Wikinfo article, "Pass It On", used under the GNU Free Documentation License.