Hawalis

Overview
Hawalis is a two-player game that belongs to the Mancala family of games. This game is played in Oman.

Board

Hawalis is played on a special board having four rows of 7 pits.  A player's side is the two bottom rows of pits.

At the beginning of the game 2 seeds (or marbles) are placed in each pit.

Objective
A player wins a game if he captures all of the opponent's seeds.

Play

Players take turns sowing their seeds.  The sowing is performed the following way:

  • A player picks all seeds up from one of the pits on his side that contains 2 or more seeds.
  • Starting from the next pit in counter-clockwise direction, the player drops one of the taken seeds in the following pits all around player's two rows.
  • If the last sown seed  lands in an occupied pit then the player picks all these seeds up (including the one that just landed in the pit) and continues sowing them in counter-clockwise direction starting from the next pit.

Before the sowing from pit "h"

After sowing all 3 seeds from "h", the last seed lands in the occupied pit "k".
All seeds are taken from "k" and the sowing continues:

After sowing all 3 seeds from "k", the last seed lands in the occupied pit "n".
All seeds are taken from "n" and the sowing continues:

After sowing all 2 seeds from "n", the last seed lands in the occupied pit "b".
All seeds are taken from "b" and the sowing continues:

After sowing all 2 seeds from "b", the last seed lands in the empty pit "d" and the sowing ends.

  • If the last sown seed lands in an empty pit  then the turn ends.  If this empty pit is in the inner row and the opposite pit on the opponent's inner row is occupied then all the seeds in the opponent's pit are captured by the player and removed from the board.  In addition, if the opposite pit on the opponent's outer row also contains seeds then all those seeds are captured too and removed from the board.


After sowing all 3 seeds from "h", the last seed lands in the empty pit "k".
The opposite pit "K" in the inner opponent's row is not empty, so all the seeds
from that pit are captured and removed from the board.  The opposite pit "D"
in the outer row is not empty too, so all the seeds from that pit are captured too
:

 

  • A player is allowed to pick up a seed from a pit containing only a single seed only if no pit on the player's side contains more than one seed.  In this case a player is not allowed to move a single seed to an occupied pit.
  • If a player doesn't have any seeds on his side then the player loses the game.

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