Mancala World

Hi Ralf -- we are excited to have Mancala World as part of the Wikia community! We will get your content imported here as soon as possible. If you have any questions, the Wikia Community Team is here to help! Even though this isn't a brand new wiki, you might find our guide to getting started or Advice On Starting a Wiki useful. We also have an FAQ that answers some common questions. If you need help (which trust me we ALL do) you can access our full in-depth help at Help Wikia, or email Wikia's staff through our contact form. You are also welcome to contact me either by email or on my talk page here. Good luck with this wiki! Angela (talk) 09:32, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi there![]

I'm Richard1990. I'm a Helper who specializes in Gaming Wikis. I want to cheer you on for having started a new gaming-related wiki, and see if there is anything I can help a fellow Wikian with. So if you need help with any thing, don't hesitate to ask!

I've got some tips for you here:

  • Main Page protection – Wikia has a general policy of not protecting the Main Page unless it is the target of recurring heavy vandalism. For more info, check out Help:Main page on Wikia Help.
  • Main Page title – You will notice that the Main Page of your wiki (the page that appears when you click on your wiki's logo) will be "<subject> Wiki". This is to improve your wiki's Google rank, so it is recommended that you do not change the name of that page. For more info, check out Advice:Raising your wiki's Google ranking at Wikia Help.
  • Logo - If you need help making logos for your wiki, you can ask for help at this forum thread. For the Monaco and Monobook skin you can upload a 135 x 155 pixels image to Image:Wiki.png.
  • Your user page – Use your user page to introduce yourself to other new visitors, so the wiki has a more personal feeling to it and luring visitors to stay and become involved. People without a userpage do not get listed in the "Featured users" listing no matter how active they are, so make sure you add something to your user page to appear in there!
  • Wikia Gaming IRC – There is a Wikia gaming IRC channel, #wikia-gaming, where you can hop on, ask for help from users of other gaming wikis, or offer your own experiences. You can access it from, or connect to it by your own client at irc:// Different people may be on sporadically, though you're free to ask them for any help.

Again, if you have any question for anything at all, don't hesitate to ask me!--Richard 16:35, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi, Richard. This wiki was first hosted by scribblewiki. However, this wikifarm is down for two weeks or so. I was invited by Angela to transfer our wiki to wikia, which isn't yet done completeley. You're very welcome to join us. Thanks for your nice welcome. Mr Mancala 06:07, 1 October 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for fixing the vandalism on my user talk page.

I play Mancala with my daughter. We started playing on Club Penguin. She kicks my butt regularly. I am excited to find out that there's a wiki about mancala so that I might have a fighting chance haha.----Jimbo Wales 02:52, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Mancala suggestions[]

If you have specific suggestions for interesting and/or underrepresented Mancala games to implement, please leave them on my talk page. I'm a newcomer to Mancala games, so suggestions would be appreciated, since I don't know how any of the games play yet.--Wtanaka 09:44, November 13, 2009 (UTC)


Hello Ralf. Sorry if I confused you with my edits, I'm new to the world of mancala, so I can't tell Kalah from Oware and vice-versa. Thanks for fixing it anyway, I'll try to not do the same thing again.

Mancala game from the Hamar people in southern Ethiopia[]

Hi, I was wondering if you or someone else could help me identify the mancala game I have been taught.

My Father-in-law was born in the Hamar region of southern Ethiopia. He taught me how to play "Woog" shortly after I married his daughter. I read on the box that the board came from that it was called mancala. A quick search landed me on and I found that there are hundreds of versions of this wonderful game! But after searching through many, many of the ethiopian versions I could not find the exact game that we have been playing. Here is how we play:

The board is setup on a 2x6 board with 2 large pits on either end. Each player owns the row closest to them and the large pit to their right. Each of the smaller pits starts with 4 peices.

The first player starts by taking the 4 peices from any of his/her small pits and distributes them one at a time counter-clockwise, skipping the large pits. He/she then takes all of the peices from the last pit used and starts distributing those peices. The turn ends when the [last peice is placed in an empty pit] OR [if the last pit played ends up with 4 peices in it and it is on the oppenents side]. When the last pit played has 4 peices and it is on the opponents side you are to say "Woog", and you have now captured that pit. A woog cannot be played and distributed. However if your opponent's last peice lands on your woog, they take that peice + 1 of your woog peices and place them in their store. Also after taking from a woog your opponent moves again. Game ends when all peices are either in a large pit or in a woog. Players then place all of their woog peices in their store. Whoever has the most peices wins.


Capturing woogs can be good or bad. If the woog is at the beginning of your opponents pits that is good as they would have to cross over your entire side in order to land on it, not very likely. But if you capture a woog at the end of your opponents pits... They can have mutiple chances to land on your woog during a single turn.

Because of this you can set traps for your opponent by trying to keep 3 peices in pits to your right. This increases the chance that your opponent will capture a bad woog :)

I dont think the game is actually called woog. My father-in-law only remembers that the pits captured are called woog.

Thanks for reading, hopefully someone else has come across this version. -- Anonymous User (IP: 00:12, May 16, 2010 (UTC)

Dear unknown friend! Capturing holes are an important feature of many Ethiopian and Eritrean mancala games. They are often called "wegue" (= wound) and "woog" appears to be a linguistically related term. Pankhurst described "Woga Sadiqa" in 1971, a game played by the Walamo in South-Central Ethiopia. Sadiqa actually means board game. I don't speak Hamer, but I guess there might be a similar name for your game. You could ask your father-in-law what "woog game" would be called in his language.--Mr Mancala 05:47, May 16, 2010 (UTC)

Ad free[]

Hi! Would you like this wiki to be ad-free? I'm looking for wikis to be part of a new program which would remove all ads from the wiki for $19.95/month.

If you are interested, please be visit here to sign up. Let me know if you have any questions! - sannse (help forum | blog) 20:07, June 2, 2010 (UTC)


As you asked for...and I promised to do... I didn't forget... your Christmas present... a translation. I enjoy Oriental thought... one by the past, other by the present and another by the future.

Dracula represent the past ... the games we played and the Suicide Checkers I enjoy to play

Have a nice and warm Christmas with all your family

miceu tavares

Alemungula in portuguese[]

Dear Ralf,

With my best and sincere wishes of a Happy and Wonderful New 2011 Year...with a lot of luck, more students, new games, a new love... a lot of good projects and challenges... health for you and to your parents... I present the translation of Alemungula game to portuguese language.

Take care with you.

miceu tavares

Eson Korgool in portuguese[]

Dear Ralf,

When reading about this game, I think it could be an interesting game of mancala for the group of younger children (5-6 years). These two groups of children with this age group have been practicing Conglak and some of them with surprising results (it's a very intuitive game for these ages, really interesting).

Soon I will provide all the information and images of what I have done around the Toguz Kumalak.

With best regards and sincere wishes full of happiness and tranquility.

miceu tavares



I am researching mancala games so that I might teach them to others. I came across the picture of Mangala at Turkish Cafes c. 16th century that you added to the Mangala II page. I was wondering if you knew what document that the picture came from as I tried the source link and it was broken. 17:23, July 11, 2011 (UTC)Muirgheal

The photo was given by Metin And, an outstanding Turkish scholar who died a few years ago. You could find more about him on Turkish Wikipedia.--Mr Mancala 18:59, July 11, 2011 (UTC)

Minor edit?[]


I was looking at the references for the Oware page, and the reference to Akinyemi's article is slight inaccurate. The accurate link is, meaning that both the link and the volume number in the reference could use an edit. 22:19, July 12, 2013 (UTC)

Had done an email purge a while back and lost your contact info. After some minor rules tweaks Bag of Bones has become Pile o' Bones and has been released on The Game Crafter for purchase. Feel free to check it out if you'd like. The rules are available on the website. 03:00, November 20, 2013 (UTC)Joshua Conroy


Hi Ralf,

I recently bought a Bao board (I went on vacation in Zanzibar) and was very pleased to finally found your pages describing the rules of Bao la Kiswahili. Indeed, the other rules I found are either incomprehensible or incomplete whereas yours seems to be the most complete available and, by far, the most comprehensible ones. However, I have 4 points I would like to confirm:

1) In the Namu stage, when a capturing move ends in a nyumba, the player can choose to stop sowing *only* if capture is not possible at the nyumba?

2) In the Mtaji stage, *all* nyumbas cease to be nyumbas as soon as a capture occurs whatever the hole in which the capture is made and whatever the player who is capturing? Note: this rule is not mentionned in your rules but seems to be applied in your rule test.

3) In the Mtaji stage, the only "nyumba-specific" rule that is still applied is that it can't be takasiaed?

4) I did not find any other reference than your site regarding the following part of the takasia rule "[...] unless it has been reached in the first lap from a nyumba.". Where did you find it? Is it a regional variant?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Regards, Julien. 11:10, March 3, 2015 (UTC)

1)-3) is correct. 4) I need to check. -Mr Mancala (talk) 18:46, March 3, 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a lor for your quick answer! Would you be interested in a French translation of your rules (including the above clarifications)? -Julien

Hallo Herr Gering,

ich arbeite für das internationale Kinderhilfswerk Plan International und schreibe für unser Spendermagazin einen Artikel über das Spiel Oware.

Bei der Suche nach ansprechenden Bildern bin ich auf Ihr Bild

Ori (1).jpg[]

gestoßen und würde es gern nutzen. Würden Sie uns das Bild gratis in einer hohen Auflösung zur Verfügung stellen? Selbstverständlich würden wir Sie als Fotograf nennen.

15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)15:52, March 23, 2015 (UTC)~~

Jens Raygrotzki

Koordinator Schulen


Plan International Deutschland e. V. 

Bramfelder Straße 70

22305 Hamburg   


Tel.: +49 (0) 40 - 611 40 206

Fax: +49 (0) 40 - 611 40 141


Vorstandsvorsitzender: Dr. Werner Bauch

Vereinsregister: Amtsgericht Hamburg VR 11978

Plan International Deutschland ist mehrfach als transparente Spendenorganisation ausgezeichnet worden. Das Kinderhilfswerk erreichte 2012 in diesem Bereich zweimal den ersten Platz: beim Transparenzpreis von PwC und in einer Analyse des Wirtschaftsmagazins Capital. Plan arbeitet als eines der ältesten unabhängigen Kinderhilfswerke in 51 Ländern Asiens, Afrikas und Lateinamerikas und finanziert über Patenschaften, Einzelspenden, öffentliche Mittel sowie Firmenkooperationen nachhaltige Selbsthilfeprojekte. Mit der Kampagne „Because I am a Girl“ macht sich Plan für die Rechte von Mädchen stark und erreichte bei der UNO die Anerkennung des Welt-Mädchentages am 11. Oktober. Plan International Deutschland trägt das DZI-Spenden-Siegel und erhielt 2011 für sein Engagement den Walter-Scheel-Preis des Bundesentwicklungsministeriums.

Dieses Bild stammt nicht von mir. Bitte wenden Sie sich direkt an den Fotografen, wie unter angegeben.Mr Mancala (talk) 18:34, March 23, 2015 (UTC)

Hello Ralf

I am working in a project that will allow to play all mancala games in the world. I would like to discuss some topics with you. Please get in touch.


Kalah(6,6) is a win by two![]


Just wanted to add that I have quantified the win in Kalah(6,6).  Using the "empty capture" rule, it is a win by 2 for the first player.  It took a long time to compute, even with the 34-seed endgame database.  I added some details to [Computer analysis of Kalah(6,6)].  I plan on adding a lot of information to this wiki in the near future.

Regards,  Mark Rawlings

Thank you. Just a pity that you have chosen a non-standard variation. Will you research the standard game too? BTW, while it may appear strange, the game ends as soon as one row was completely emptied, the remaining seeds being awarded to the player who owns their pits. I don't like this rule but this how Champion made it. --Mr Mancala (talk) 07:33, November 21, 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I plan to do that! (I had thought that the "empty capture" variation was the most popular, which is why I incorporated it.)  It's only a very minor program change to take out the "empty capture" rule, but it will take some time to re-create the endgame databases. I'll keep you posted.  Also, if you're curious about the results of any particular mancala positions, etc., you can contact me at the gmail address mancala66. - Mark Rawlings

That's great, Mark. I am particularly interested in two things: (1) How does a rather small rule change affect a game? Are the same opening lines still valid? I believe up to now nobody did any research which would allow us to compare two variants of a game that appear to be rather similar. Maybe the results are quite different. Who knows? It is very exciting that your research will answer that. (2) The best players use the pie rule to make the game fair. It was a big question among us, which first player moves result in a fair play. Thank your work we know it for the empty pit variant, hopefully we will soon know it for the standard game too (at Christmas?). If you can make it happen this will open completely new horizons for the game playing community. We shouldn't see that kind of analysis not as a threat to humanity ("oops, a computer who always wins - let's invent a new game"), but as a revolutionary new chance to understand the games we love much better than we have ever dreamed of. BTW, if you are looking for other non-trivial mancala games that could be solved, games with unusual features, I could tell you a few more. -Mr Mancala (talk) 16:54, November 21, 2015 (UTC)
Hi Mr Mancala-
I modified my program to use the standard rules (no "empty captures") and, so far, have created the 20-seed endgame database (all positions with 20 or fewer seeds).  I'm working on the larger databases now.  Interesting result:  It looks like Kalah(6,4) (which I usually refer to as 4-seed mancala) with the standard rules is a win by 8, compared to a win by 10 using the "empty capture" rule!  As far as I know, I don't think anyone has ever quantified the 4-seed result using the standard rules!  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Regards, Mark  (signed up as MarkR27)
Indeed quite interesting. - --Mr Mancala (talk) 20:40, November 26, 2015 (UTC)
Hi Mr Mancala-
I've finished computing the endgame databases (all positions with 34 or fewer seeds) for the standard version of Kalah (empty captures not allowed).  Kalah(6,4) is a win by 8 and Kalah(6,5) is a win by 10.  The search tree is much deeper using the standard rules compared to the "empty capture" variant!  I'm currently putting together a more detailed description of the results.  Quantifying Kalah(6,6) with the standard rules will definitely take some time...  - Mark (MarkR27)
Added information on Computer Analysis of Kalah(6,4) for both the standard rules and for the "empty capture" variant to  Will add to this wiki when I get time.  Also, a similar page on Computer Analysis of Kalah(6,5) will be coming soon.  - Mark (MarkR27)

Hi Ralf,

perhaps you remember me, I'm Yernar Shambayev. Long time ago we talked about shortest games in Toguz Kumalak. I would like to tell you about a new Android application for Toguz
kumalak: Thank you.

Hi Ralf -  As you know, several years ago I quantified the results for each opening move for Kalah(6,6) with the "empty capture" rule, and also proved that Kalah(6,6) with the standard rules is at least a win by 4.  At that time, I did not have enough computer power to complete the proof for Kalah using the standard rules.  The good news now is that I recently purchased a computer with 64GB RAM and have generated the 35-seed endgame database, so I am now working on proving the results for each opening move for Kalah(6,6) using the standard rules.  This will take some time, though.  I'll keep you updated on my progress.  Regards,  Mark Rawlings 

MarkR27 (talk) 18:16, July 21, 2018 (UTC)