If you have not learned how to play Oware you are in in for a treat. It is a game with simple rules and complex strategies. Oware is a Mancala style game that is very popular in Ghana and parts of the Caribbean. So whether you play with a friend, online, or in one of the international tournaments, it is time to try Oware.
How to play
•Players place 4 stones in each of the 12 pits of the board.
•To decide who goes first, one player holds a seed in there fist. If the opponent correctly guesses which fist holds the seed, the opponent starts.
•The players take turns taking all the seeds from a pit in the row nearest to him or her, and start to drop one seed at a time into the neighboring pits in a counter clockwise direction all the way around the board until they run out of seeds.
•When a player picks a pit with so many seeds that he or she an complete a full lap around the boar, the original pit is skipped and the stone is played in the next pit. This means that the pit the player took the seeds from remains empty at the end of the turn.
•If the last seed is sown in the opponent’s row ( the row closest to the opponent)and that pit now has 2 or 3 stones, those stones are captured. If the pit that immediately precedes it also contains 2 or 3 stones, these stones are also captured and so on until a pit is reached that does not contain 2 or 3 seeds or the end of the opponent’s row is reached.
•If a player cannot play because all six pits are empty, the game ends and all the seeds on the other side of the board are captured by the other player. However, if the opponent’s pits are all empty at the end of his turn the other player must play so that at least one stone is sown onto the opponent’s side of the board if possible.
•A player may capture all the opponents stones thus leaving the player with no move and therefore also capturing all the remaining stones in the there row.
•The player that captures twenty five stones is the winner.
•The game is drawn if both players accumulate 24 seeds or very occasionally in a stalemate situation when it becomes clear that the last remaining seeds are just being moved around the board with no chance of capturing.