Q:

How do you play mancala?

A:

A mancala board, or an empty egg carton makeshift board, is required to play mancala. Place four game pieces, ideally marbles or stones, in each of the 12 holes. Place two small bowls to the right of the mancala board to represent each player's store. Players deposit stones in each hole in a clockwise manner. The game ends when all holes on one side of the board are empty. The player with the most pieces in his store wins.

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To begin the game, one player must take all of the stones from one hole and deposit one stone into each hole in a counterclockwise manner. Deposit one stone into your store if you run into it. If you run into your opponent's store, skip it. If the last piece is dropped into your own store, you receive a free turn. If the last piece is dropped into an empty hole, deposit that piece and pieces in the opposite hole into your store.

When the game ends, the player with pieces remaining in his holes captures all of the pieces. Plan two to three turns ahead to excel at mancala. In general, start with your third hole if going first. Empty the rightmost hole first as it is next to the mancala zone. Since mancala is one of the oldest known games, it has many different strategies and game variations.

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