Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Question about Mancala

MM's been playing Mancala at camp a lot and they play this way:

Your turn starts when you pick the stones from a cup. You put one stone in each cup you pass including your own (but not the other person's) mancala. If your last stone goes into your Mancala, you go again. If your last stone lands in a full cup, you pick up all the stones from that cup and keep going until you hit an empty cup. Then your turn is over.

Over the weekend, I bought Mancala for us to play at home ($4.99 at Target). It came with some printed rules. They are as follows:
Your turn starts when you pick up the stones from a cup. You put one stone in each cup you pass including your own (but not the other person's) mancala. If your last stone goes into your Mancala, you go again. If your last stone lands in a full cup, your turn is over. If it lands in an empty cup on your side of the board, then you can take the stones in the cup opposite and put them, and your last stone, into your mancala. Your turn is over.

My question is this: How did MM's day camp start to play with different rules? Their mancala sets are identical to ours at home (except that they've replaced the slippery clear glass half-marbles with less-slippery and more visible stones from a "gem-mining" field trip).

At home, we stick to the rules that come with the games. Variations tend not to be fair to the "away" team, as it were. Is the summer camp version a version in common play elsewhere?

5 comments:

Magpie said...

If I were home, I would read the instructions and tell you what our instructions say. But my kid? She makes up the rules, to suit herself. They are idiosyncratic, to say the least.

Magpie said...

PS - Many variants here: http://www.greenmountainblocks.com/gamerules.html

liz said...

Ooh! Thanks!

Jasmine said...

never even heard of the game....weird.

liz said...

Here's a video of it being played.