Mancala FAQ

Main Page

What is Mancala?
Mancala is an ancient African game which is part of that tired easy-to-learn- but-hard-to-master category.

What are the rules of Mancala?
Mancala is a very simple, easy-to-learn game. Each player begins with a vertical row of holes or pits filled with a certain number of stones. At either end of the board are the players' home pits, which are used to keep score. (In this case, the human player has the left row and the bottom home pit.) A move is made by typing the number corresponding to the hole you wish to move from. The stones are then picked up and distributed, one to each hole, moving downward until your home pit is reached, and then moving upwards through your opponent's row, bypassing his/her home, and moving back downwards in a circle, until all the stones have been distributed.

If the last stone is placed in your home, you receive an extra turn. If the last stone lands in an empty hole on your side, you 'capture' the stones in the opposite hole on your opponent's side, moving them to your home.

The game ends when one player cannot play (ie. there are no stones on his/her side of the board. The player who has the most stones on his/her *side* wins.

Where can I get the source code for this Mancala implementation?
Mancala in C is currently only distributed as source code. The code compiles nicely on Windows as well as Linux/BSD, but it will be a while before I can package the code nicely for any platform but *NIX. You can download the source code here.

Are there other implementations of this game?
There are several others listed on Sourceforge. The most promising appears to be QKalahari -- or at least it is the only project that seems to have released working files besides this one. The site also has a good alternate explanation of the rules of mancala.

Logo Maintained by Kevin Riggle [ Project Page] [e-mail]