Oware Canada


Oware Rules

by Adisa S. Oji - MACPRI Abapa Version (Ghana) Adisa S, Oji (c) 2009 

The game is designed for 2 players. It is played with 48 seeds, stones or marbles. To begin the game, 4 seeds are placed in each of the 12 holes (also referred to as “cups or pits,” depending on which culture the game originates). Each player has 6 holes on his/her side. 

Each player takes turns collecting all the seeds from any of the 6 holes on his side and sows one seed in each hole going around the board in a counter-clockwise manner, ensuring not to place any seeds in the hole started from. Each player can only play from one of the 6 holes on his/her side. 

When the last seed in the player’s hand is placed in a hole on the opponent’s side, when after placing that seed, the seeds in the hole add up to 2 or 3, the player wins the seeds in that hole. The player then scoops up the seeds from that hole and starts a winning pile in front of him/her. A player can only win seeds on the opponent’s side. 

If the hole(s) immediately behind the hole your last seed landed in also has 2 or 3 seeds, you also win those seeds as well. The player can win the seeds in up to 4 more holes BEHIND the one the last seed is placed in provided there is an unbroken sequence of 2 or 3 seeds in all the holes. 

You are not permitted at anytime to win the seeds in all six holes on the opponent’s side. If a play results in you placing your last seed in the 6th or far most hole on your opponent’s side and there are 2 or 3 seeds in all six holes, the player must forfeit this play so that the opponent can stay in the game. 

If one of the players no longer has any seeds on her/his side and it is the opponent’s turn, if possible the opponent must make a play to feed seeds to the other side so the opponent can stay in the game. 

When it is no longer possible to feed any more seeds to any side, the game is over; the player with the most seeds wins the game. Having 25 or more seeds wins the game.