How to Play Mancala? – Learn To Boost Your Cognitive Skills

Have you ever thought about how to play Mancala while watching someone else play this ancient game? We intend to explore techniques that help strengthen your thinking skills. For that reason, let’s learn its introduction first.

Origin Of Mancala

The word Mancala, by its origin, is derived from the Arabic word “Naqala,” meaning “to move.” So, Mancala can be traced back to one of the historical games in Asian and African countries. Mancala gameplay goes back to ancient Egyptian civilization in 3600 B.C., which then advanced to Sudan and Ghana. Now you can see people from all over the world engaged in playing mind games. So, if you are looking for an indoor game that you can play with your housemates, then this is for you.

What Is Mancala?

Before we tell you about our comprehensive discussion on playing Mancala, let’s get its overview first. It is a board game wherein each participant has the chance to collect as many stones as possible before their opponent. Therefore, you must capture more stones than your opponents. The items you need to gather to play your game with a Mancala board are about 48 marbles, pebbles, or other collectible items. Being its vigilant gamer, you will learn to set up your game.

How Do You Play Your Mancala Game?

Each player will set the game up in the opposite direction facing the long side of the board. The board has six pockets on each side with large divots at each end called stores. Each one will have access to its pockets or pits to put four stones into each hole closest to them. Mancala stores are placed at the right of the store. When you start your gameplay, leave your store empty and disperse your 48 stones equally in 12 pockets. You can decide to start playing the game with the flip of a coin. Each gameplay can last for 5-10 mins. As soon as you initiate your game, I’m sure you will enjoy playing with your family or fellow mates.

Set Up Your Mancala Game Against Your Opponent

It is pretty easy to play Mancala. First, you need to let people take the four stones out of their pockets. Then, go counterclockwise around the board, dropping one stone in each pocket or store on their scooping turn. To be more specific, as players drop stones along different paths, they are not permitted to drop stones in the stores of their opponents. If players drop stones in an empty pocket on any side of the board, then you are done. Now it is the turn of your opponent to grab its pebbles and put them into his assigned pockets, including the mancala store.

You can continue dropping your stones in a pocket if you get your turn to put in your specific sockets. On the contrary, if you put the last stone in your mancala store, you can get yet another chance to pick up a pebble, then go ahead. However, if you pass over your opponent’s mancala store, you don’t put your stones in its store. Instead, skip over it while piling it in your pockets.

The Mancala gameplay lasts until one of the players empties all six pebbles from his pocket into his assigned Mancala store. If you get more stones in your store, you are the winner of the game. Eventually, your opponent will scoop out all the remaining pebbles and put them in his Mancala store. The winner will have the most stones in his Mancala store.

How do you win over your opponent to strategically play Mancala?

Sometimes, initiate your Mancala gameplay strategically to get an edge over your opponent. As already educationally acclaimed, consider Mancala boosting your strategic planning while anticipating your opponent’s moves. You also need to use careful observation to look ahead while keeping watch on game-ending spaces.

You can adopt different strategies that help you win over your opponent. For example, think strategically to get your free turn or collect more stones to increase your gameplay against your opponent.

  1. If your last falling stone pits on your Mancala store, you’ll get a free turn. For that, you can initiate your dropping turn from the third pocket. It helps you acquire another chance in your favor.
  2. Another way to gain more stones against your opponent is to place the last stone in your empty pocket. It will allow you to grab the stone from the opposite pocket of pebbles. That’s how you can reach out to your opponent while improving your winning chances.

That’s how you can enjoy your Mancala gameplay. Contemporary students should adapt to mathematical subitizing and multiplicative skills. For example, it helps build a natural ability to count objects by looking at the number of objects in a set. You can even help your children develop a natural ability for strategic thinking.

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