From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Board and table games (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is part of WikiProject Board and table games, an attempt to better organize information in articles related to board games and tabletop games. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the importance scale.


I'm not sure if anyone is interested in the standard version of Kalah(6,7) (i.e. with 7 seeds in each bin), but I ran a deep search with the 34-seed endgame database (about 8 days and over 6 trillion nodes searched!). The result is trending towards a win for the first player. When I have time, I'll run a deep search of the "empty capture" variant. -Mark

Kalah(6,6) Update[edit]

I updated the results of Kalah(6,6) standard version (2/4/2016). Of the 10 possible first player moves, 2 are proven wins, 2 are proven losses, one is trending towards a win, and the rest are probable ties. To make further progress, I'll need a computer with 64GB of RAM so I can compute the 35 and 36-seed endgame databases. Hopefully, I'll have one in the coming months. -Mark

07/21/18: Finally purchased a computer with 64GB RAM! I have already computed the huge 35-seed endgame database (13.3GB) for the standard version of the game. Currently working on the proof for Kalah(6,6), standard version. (Looks like this will take some time, even with 52GB of endgame databases loaded in RAM...)

Correct description[edit]

A correct description with sample games, problems, detailed history and a longer bibliography can be found at --- (talk) 08:04, 18 May 2015 (UTC)


Added info on computer analysis of Kalah(6/6). This is one of my first edits and I can't seem to get the tables formatted correctly. I'll be back later to fix the tables after I figure out how. MarkR27 — Preceding unsigned comment added by MarkR27 (talkcontribs) 22:14, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Clarification needed. The rules currently aren't clear as to: (a) when the games ends (presumably when either player clears their side of seeds), and (b) if PlayerA has cleared his side and the game is ended, then what happen to PlayerB's seeds still on-the-board (ie, are those seeds moved to PlayerB's pit and along with those that he's captured?

First player advantage? Can someone explain the reason the first player to move has such a great advantage over other, more traditional Mancala games? Also, if someone can do a mathematical explaination of the game -- similar to the math behind the article Go, I think the community would appreciate it. Thanks. ~~Stexe

Reply to the above statements[edit]

  • The game ends as soon as one row is emptied. (standard rules by Champion)
  • The remaining seeds are moved to the store of the player who owns their pits.
  • Can we expect to have the standard game analyzed too? The empty capture variant is non-standard, less deep and not much played.
  • It is not correct that it is unusual for traditional mancala games to not have a significant first-move advantage. Dakon/Sungka/Congka is even a win in the first ply of the game. Toguz Kumalak also has a first move advantage. In Kalah (6,6) the first player can capture two seeds, while the second player can capture only one seed. In addition, the first player got the initiative and can maximize this advantage in the following moves.- (talk) 07:27, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Kalah(6,6) with the empty capture rule is only a win by 2 for the first player, which is not much of an advantage considering how long the game is. I doubt that a human moving first could secure a win against my program. Kalah(6,6) is just too complex (even though I have posted 10 ply or so of perfect play). If anyone would like to try, I'd be glad to play. It would be an interesting experiment! Also, analysis of the standard rule game has been posted for Kalah(6,4) and Kalah(6,5). I'm still working on Kalah(6,6) with the standard rules. So far, I've proven that it is a win by at least 4 for the first player. A full proof like I did for the empty capture variant might not be possible with my current hardware (32GB RAM). With an upgrade to 64GB RAM, I could add the 35 and 36-seed endgame databases, which should make it solvable. - Mark

In what year did Willie finalize the rules that are more or less the same as we know today?--Sonjaaa 15:02, 4 April 2007 (UTC)


I removed the last weblink as it 404'ed. Regarding the mathematical explanation: I haven't found any deeper research in Kalah so it would be hard to back anything up without good sources. (talk) 08:53, 4 February 2009 (UTC)


I understand that that is not the game's original name, and I am not proposing that anything on the page is changed.

However, there is a page redirect from Bantumi that points here, and yet not a single mention of that word on the page. It seems a little odd to redirect wiki users and then not explain the link between what they searched for and where they ended up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:35, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

The first section says that the traditional game starts with 4 stones per pit. The following section implies that the traditional game starts with 3 per pit. I don't know which is correct, but this should be fixed. (talk) 00:18, 10 April 2017 (UTC) Thad

Broken Links[edit]

Both of the external links in this article appear to be broken. Sbj42 (talk) 03:23, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 2 external links on Kalah. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 07:56, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

As played in Denmark...[edit]

In Denmark, "Kalaha" is usually played in the (6,4) or (6,6) version with all or some of these three variant rules (even if printed rules may agree with the standard rules given in the article):

  1. When the last seed ends in a house that contains seeds, the turn continues by sowing all these seeds. This rule may be limited to the player's own houses, but usually does not have this limitation. With perfect play, it tilts the game even further towards a 1st-player advantage.
  2. A player does not empty the opposite house when ending in an empty house of one's own (probably making the game a little less tilted).
  3. At the end of the game, the remaining seeds go into the store of the player who has emptied all stores rather than into the opponent's store (improving a bit on the chances for a player who is far behind).

E.g., rule 1 and 2 are assumed here: "How to win every time", where as rule 3 is unspecified but irrelevant as the article explains how player 1 may score more than half the sseeds in the first round of the (6,6) game!

Now, if these variants are Danish only, they probably do not deserve to be mentioned in the article. But does anyone else know these variants? And perhaps even have sources (more appropriate than the newspaper article I link to)?-- (talk) 10:34, 1 July 2018 (UTC)