Sungka

Sungka
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photo courtesy of keyven.tumblr.com



When the weather gets cold, we like to stay in and catch up on some reading, do some writing and play board games.  One of our favorite games to play is the catch and capture game of sungka.

Sungka is a Philippine mancala game very similar to its African version.  You'll notice right away the Philippine version of the game has seven holes per row, where the African version has six.  Sungka is played counter clockwise and the first move by either players are simultaneous.  OK.  Lets get playing.

There are seven holes or "houses", on either end of the board is a large pit or "head" or "mother".  If you are playing counter clockwise, your mother pit is on your right.  If you are playing clockwise, your mother pit is on your left.

Begin distributing all 49 seeds or shells evenly amongst the pits, leaving the heads empty.  Both players play a round simultaneously, then alternate.

Player 1 takes out all the seeds of the pit on the left of the board facing them.  They then distribute one seed into each pit, including their own head pit and skipping their opponent's head pit, moving counter clockwise.

  • If the last seed is dropped into one of Player 1's pits, they get another turn.

  • If the last seed is dropped into an empty pit, the turn is over.

  • If the last seed is dropped into a filled pit, Player 1 picks up all the seeds and gets another turn.

  • If the last seed is dropped into one of Player 1's empty pits, Player 1 removes the seeds from their opponents pit across from their own.


Player 2 repeats.

The game ends when the small pits are completely empty.  Whomever has more seeds in their head wins.  This is a game of speed that's loads of fun.  If you're like me, you need to watch an example before you can get started, so I found a little video to help us all out.  Happy playing!


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Diana

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