Bohnenspiel is a traditional German game for two players that belongs to the Mancala family of games.  It originated in Persia and was once popular among Baltic Germans in what has become Estonia today.  A similar game is still played in Turkey, where it is known as Mangala.


Bohnenspiel  ("Bean Game") is played on a special board having two rows of 6 small pits and two big pits called storehouses.  The player's side is the bottom row of the small pits and the player's storehouse is on the right side.

At the beginning of the game 6 seeds (usually beans) are placed in each small pit.


A player wins the game if he accumulates more seeds in his own storehouse than the opponent.


Players take turns sowing their seedsSowing is performed the following way:

  • A player picks all seeds up from one of the pits on his side.
  • Starting from the next pit in the counter-clockwise direction, the player drops one of the taken seeds in each pit (skipping the storehouses;  in German known as "treasure caves").

Below is an example of sowing:

A player takes seven seeds from his pit
and sows them counter-clockwise.

  • If the last sown seed in a pit brings the total number of seeds in the pit to two, four or six, all the seeds in that pit are captured and placed in the player's storehouse.  If the previous pit (previous in the sowing direction) also has two, four or six seeds, those seeds are also captured and placed in the player's storehouse.  The captures are repeated until the previous pit has some number of seeds other than two, four or six.

A player takes three seeds from his pit and sows them
counter-clockwise.  The last sown seed lands
on the opponent's side and brings the total number
of seeds to two.  The total number of seeds
in the two previous pits is also brought
to two, four or six.  All seeds from these three pits
are captured and moved to the player's storehouse


  • If a player doesn't have any seeds on his side on his turn then his opponent moves all of the remaining seeds to his storehouse and the game ends.

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