Mancala World

Piç → German.

First Description: Osman
Sinayuç, 1974
Cycles: One
Ranks: Circle
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Turkey (East

Piç (pronounced "pitsh") is a mancala game, which is played in Oguzkent, a village near Erzurum (Eastern Anatolia), Turkey. It was first described by Osman Sinayuç in 1974.

The game appears to be related to Toguz Kumalak, the national mancala game of the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz.

Both games share the following rules:

  • the contents of holes which contain more than one counter are moved in the same way
  • counters are captured in the same way
  • opponent's holes can be conquered and turned into accumulation holes, if the last counter makes a three

Piç and Toguz Kumalak may have derived from a common ancestor that already existed when the Turks migrated from Central Asia to Anatolia in the 12th century AD.

Piç is a 'boardless' board game played without holes. The counters are either grains of corn or beans.


Piç can be played by two to five players. Initially each player has three heaps of beans or grains of corn, every heap with twelve (or nine) counters. These heaps are called kuy.

On his turn a player picks up all the counters of one of his heaps, which must have at least two seeds, and distributes them clockwise on the succeeding heaps. However, the first counter must be dropped on the emptied place again.

Singletons cannot be moved.

If one player succeeds in making the number three in the other player's heaps with the last counter he has distributed, he owns that heap, and marks it by encircling it with chalk. Every counter put in that heap then is his property. Such a captured hole, which now serves as an accumulation hole, is called piç ("bastard", "illegitimate child").

A player must move, if he can, but passes until he can move again, when he has nothing to move with.

The game ends, when no player can move anymore.

The player who owns most counters (singletons and counter accumulated in his piç) is the winner.


"There is lots of strategy in this game, yet planning cannot be done when the player is playing since the transfer from one hole to another requires very speedy action, so thinking is done when the other player is playing."

Metin And (1979)


And, M. 
Some Notes on Aspects and Functions of Turkish Folk Games. In: The Journal of American Folklore 1979; 21 (1): 44-64.
And, M. 
Çocuk Oyunlarinin Kül Türümüzde Yerrý Ve Önemý. In: Ulusal Kültür Dergisi 1979 (4).
Sinayuç, O.
Oğuzkent'te Zihinsel bir oyun: Piç. In: Türk Folklar Araştırmaları 1974; 29 (6).


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