Mancala World
Inventor: Roland Siegers,
Variant of Kalah
Ranks: Two or four
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Belgium, Germany,

Pyramidis was designed by the Belgian game inventor Roland Siegers. It was published in 1988 by Iron Crown Enterprises and Flying Turtle Games, and in 1991 by Ravensburger. Pyramidis can be played by two or four players. The larger variant can lead to unfair coalitions, so that only the two-person game will be described. Similar to Rondell, Pyramidis is a stacking game and, at the same time, a mancala game.

The number five plays an important role in the game as it does in philosophy and religion. According to Taoism five elements form the basis of the universe. There are five elements according to the Ionian philosopher Empedocles (ca. 450 BC). Islam has five basic "pillars" and Muslims pray to Allah five times a day.

In 2006, Pyramidis was a discipline of the "U-Con Abstract Games Tournament" in Ann Arbor (Michigan, USA), which was organized by Clark D. Rodeffer.


The two-person game is played on a board of 16 squares. The starting points of the red and yellow player are at opposite ends of one row, while their goal squares (marked with an X in the diagram below) are at the same end of the other row.

Each player has eight pyramids of one color, either red or yellow (or green and blue (in some editions: white)). Initially the pyramids are stacked onto their starting points.


Initial Position (dark squares - Red; light squares - Yellow)

Red starts the game.

He moves in a clockwise direction, Yellow counterclockwise.

On his turn a player chooses a stack, which has a pyramid of his own color on top.

Then he picks up all of its pyramids unless the stack is on the starting point. In this case he takes just one to five pyramids from the top.

Afterwards these pyramids are distributed, one by one, on the ensuing squares in the particular direction (as specified above) of the player:

  • The distribution begins with the bottom pyramid and then proceeds to the stack's top.
  • When the square is already occupied, the new pyramid is stacked on top of it.
  • A square, which is already occupied by five (or in case of the starting point of even more pyramids), is omitted.

Passing is not permitted.

When a stack reaches a goal square, all the pyramids belonging to its color are removed from the game. The other pyramids are continued to be distributed in the normal way.

Depending on the color of the goal square, enemy pyramids or the player's own pyramids can be captured.

The player who has captured five of his own pyramids is declared the winner. A player also wins when his opponent has no valid move at his turn.

Draws or ties are not possible.


If a player has no valid move, he must pass until he can move again. A player can only win by capturing his own pyramids. This changes the game's strategy considerably.

External Links


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