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Oware (Ayò, Ayoayo, Awalé, Wari, Ouri, Ourii, Uri, Warri, Wall, Adji, Ncho, Okwè, Awale, Awari)DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Western Africa

Category Board, Sow, Two rows


Oware is two-row mancala-style game originating and very popular in West Africa. It is also widely played in the Caribbean. It is played on a board with two rows of six holes, sometimes with a larger hole on both ends.


2x6 board, with a storage hole on either end. The game starts with four counters in each hole. A player picks up all of the counters in one of the holes in their row and sows them one-by-one in a counterclockwise direction in consecutive holes from the hole the pieces originated. The starting hole is always left empty, even if a player sows in a complete circuit of the board, the original house is skipped and sowing continues in the next hole after it. Players capture counters when the final counter is sown in the opponent's row and the hole containing it has two or three counters (counting the counter just dropped into it). If the hole before it also has two or three counters, these are also captured and so on until reaching a hole without two or three counters or one not belonging to the opponent. A move which would capture all of the opponent's counters is not allowed. If an opponent's holes are all empty, the other player must make a move placing counters in the opponent's row. If not possible, the player captures all the counters in their row. Play continues until all of the counters are captured. The player who has captured the most counters wins. If the game continues in a repeating loop, the players can agree to end the game and capture the counters remaining in their row.

Bennett 1927: 382-385.

These rules were taken from the Wari ruleset.

All Rulesets

Observed rulesets
Wari Rules reported by G. Bennett.

Suggested rulesets
Awari Rules used by Computer Olympiad.


West Africa

Ludeme Description



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Murray 1951: 181–182.

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Bennett, G.T. 1927. 'The game of Wari.' In Rattray, R. S. ed. Religion and Art in Ashanti. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 382–390.

Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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