Awari - a Game from Africa

Ready-made awari games seem to be popular in game stores these days. The following is a description of how the game was played traditionally in Africa before it became commercialized.

Two parallel rows of 6 holes are made in the ground and 4 beans put in each hole. Two players sit opposite each other, and each player makes an extra hole on their right to serve as a store. The object of the game is to capture the most beans.

The first player takes the beans from any one of the holes on their side and, moving anti clockwise, sows one bean into each succeeding hole, until they have used them up. The second player now takes the beans from any one of their holes and does the same. When a player drops their last bean into a hole on their opponent's side that contains only 1 or 2 beans (making a total of 2 or 3), they may take all the beans from that hole and put them in their store.

They may also take the beans in holes immediately before the emptied hole if they now also total 2 or 3. Players do not take beans from their own side. The game ends when one player has no beans left in the holes on their side. The winner is the player with the most beans in their store.

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This page last updated July 2nd, 1999