Trysse, a traditional mancala variant
This rendition of the rules by D. Elson.
A mancala variant that is popular around here is Trysse.
The concept is similar but the rules are simpler, more like the original mancala.
Here they are in point form.
- 12 holes, 6 on each side of the board.
- Game starts with 4 stones in each hole.
- Move by picking up the stones in any hole on your side of the
board and seeding anticlockwise. Move may not be continued,
each player only seeds one hole per turn.
- Capture stones by landing on the other (opponent's) side of
the board where the final hole contains 2 or 3 stones. If the
previous hole also contains 2 or 3 stones they are captured as
well, and so on back to the last hole that finished with 2 or
3 stones, or the last hole on the opponent's side of the board.
Captured stones are removed from the game.
- If you commence your turn with no stones on your side of the
board, the game is a draw. If you commence your turn with
no stones on the opponent's side of the board, and you have
a move that will put stones there, you must make that move.
- First person to capture 21 stones wins.
- At no time may you count the stones in any hole by pointing
at them or touching them in any way. You may count by looking
I haven't seen this game in any reference source, I learned it
by word of mouth. For a reference to other games of this type,
see "Medieval Games" by Sallamallah the Corpulent, Raymond's
Quiet Press (don't have their address, sorry).
[Ken: Michael Keller suggests that this variation is more commonly
known as Wari and makes the following changes to the rules as
- You need 25 stones (1 more than half) to win, not 21.
- A player who begins his turn with no stones on the
opponent's side must make a play, if possible, to
put stones on the opponent's side. But if this is
not possible, the game is NOT drawn; rather, all of
the stones remaining belong to the player whose side
they are on.
He also forwards the address for the book mentioned above
and one other of interest:
Salamallah the Corpulent
Raymond's Quiet Press
6336 Leslie NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
"A more detailed book is "Mancala Games" (1984) by
Laurence Russ, which has rules to a large number of versions.
His book is out of print at the moment, but he is selling
paperbound photocopies for $12 plus postage (inquire for rates):"
613 Hudson Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Rules rendition by D. Elson, somewhere in Oz
May 2, 1994
The Game Cabinet
- Ken Tidwell