Kalah

Overview
Kalah (also called Kalaha or Mancala) is a two-player game that belongs to the Mancala family of games.

Board

Kalah is played on a special board having two rows of 6 small pits and two big pits called Kalah.  A player's side is the bottom row of the small pits and the player's kalah is on the right side.

At the beginning of the game 3 seeds (or marbles) are placed in each small pit.  Other variants of the game use 4,5 or 6 seeds per each pit.

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

Play

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

  • A player picks all of the 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, including the player's own kalah but skipping the kalah of his opponent.

Below is an example of sowing:

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

  • If the last sown seed  lands in the player's kalah, the player gets an extra turn.  It's possible to make a series of moves if each time the last sown seed  lands in the player's kalah:

A player takes one seed from his pit and sows it
to his kalah getting an extra turn
.

A player takes four seeds from his pit and sows them
counter-clockwise.  The last seed lands in the player's
kalah so the player gets yet another turn
.

A player takes one seed from his pit and sows it
getting yet another extra turn.

A player takes two seeds from his pit and sows them
getting yet another extra turn.

A player takes one seed from his pit and sows it
getting yet another extra turn.

A player takes six seeds from his pit and sows them
getting yet another extra turn.

 

  • If the last sown seed  lands in an empty pit on the player's side and the opposite pit on the opponent's side contains seeds, then both the last sown seed and the opposite seeds are moved to the player's kalah:

A player takes two seeds from his pit and sows them
counter-clockwise.  The last sown seed lands
in an empty pit on the player's side.  All seeds from
the opposite pit are captured and moved
to the player's kalah:

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

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