How to Play Mancala on iMessage?

Alongside sending Apple Pay exchanges and making Memojis, the console in your iPhone’s Messages application likewise gives you the choice to mess around with your contacts.

However, as long your iPhone is refreshed to iOS 11 or higher, which it unquestionably will be, except if you’ve been putting off updates since 2017, you can download various diverse iMessage games to play with your companions. These games are basic and are intended to be played turn-by-turn. You go ahead, you trust that your contact will proceed, etc. It’s totally directed altogether through iMessage messages.

If you have tried all the games and you are now looking for something new, Mancala can be the right option for you. Mancala is usually played on a board, and you might have played this before. But the interesting thing is that you can now play the game on your iPhone.

Play Mancala iMessage

The game’s goal is to capture more stones than your opponent by picking up all pieces from one place and distributing them counterclockwise. The player with the most pieces at the end of the game wins.

Here you will get to know how you can play Mancala on iMessage.

How to get Mancala in iMessage

Mancala is not actually available in the iMessage App Store. To play it, you have to follow the following steps.

  1. Go to the Messages app and open any iMessage conversation, the existing or open a new one.
  2. Tap the App Drawer icon on the left of the messaging textbox.
  3. The app drawer will appear beneath the existing toolbar. Click the ‘App Store’ icon from the app drawer to open the App Store for iMessage.
    Play Mancala on iMessage 4
  4. Tap the ‘Search’ icon and search for ‘GamePigeon’ in the App Store.
  5. Tap the ‘Get’ button to install the app.
    Play Mancala on iMessage 3
  6. Close the App Store and return to Messages app. The GamePigeon app will appear in your app drawer. Swipe left or right on the app drawer to navigate through the apps. Tap on the icon to open the GamePigeon.
  7. The list of available games will be displayed. Tap on ‘Mancala’ to play Mancala on iMessage with the other person in the conversation.
    Play Mancala on iMessage 2

Mancala setup

The game equipment includes one board and 36 to 48 stones. The board has 2 rows, each containing 6 small holes called “pockets.” Two large holes called “mancalas” or “stores’ are located on the ends of each side of the board.

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Each player owns a full row with 6 pockets and one mancala. The 6 pockets can contain 3 to 4 stones each. Please note that the color of the stones does not matter.

Mancala rules

When learning how to play mancala capture, you should adhere to the following rules:

  1. When playing, choose stones from one pocket and distribute them in all the other pockets. Each pocket takes one stone.
  2. If the last stone you drop is in a pocket with other stones, pick them up and distribute them.
  3. If the last stone you drop is in an empty pocket on your side, you have won any pieces in the pocket directly opposite, the opponent’s side.
  4. The won stones should be stored in your mancala.

How to Play Mancala On iMessage?

On iMessage, you can play mancala between two-players using two types of modes. One is Capture and the second is Avalanche. The rule to play mancala in both the modes is somewhat the same with some variances. To start the game, you have to choose the game mode and difficulty level and then send it to the person with whom you want to play it.

While playing the game in iMessage, you can play with the person in one stretch of time, or you can also stretch the game over a long time. Whatever mode you choose, the basics of the game will still remain the same.

You will see 36 or 48 stones in the game that are divided evenly in the pockets. That means each pocket has 3 or 4 stones, with both the mancalas empty. Now you have to put stones from your side to your mancala until the end of your row. At last, whoever has more stones in mancala, will win the game.

These steps explain how to play Mancala on iMessage:

  • Clicking holes with stones from your side
  • Complete moves by depositing stones to Mancala
  • In order to earn an extra move, your last stone must be in your store

How to Play Mancala Capture Mode?

This game starts by tapping on one of the pockets. The stones will then be dropped in the next pockets counterclockwise. Thus, you will have to take the stones to the mancala on your side by tapping on the pockets one after another. You and your opponents have to do so until there are no stones left.

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When you drop the last stone, you will get another free turn, or else your opponent will get their turn. Now the difference that comes in the capture mode is that when you drop the last stone into an empty pocket, then that stone and all the stones in the adjacent pocket will be deposited in your mancala. This is called capturing.

If you drop the last stone in your mancala, you get another free turn, or else your opponent gets to play their turn.

Capturing can increase the chances of your winning dramatically, especially if there are a rather large number of stones in your opponent’s pocket.

Your turn ends even if you capture some stones. The game ends only when one of the rows empties, and the player with the most stones in their mancala wins. When the game ends, all the stones still in the other person’s pockets go to their mancalas. So, if after that, they end up with more stones than you, they’ll be the winners.

How to Play Mancala Avalanche Mode?

Playing mancala in avalanche mode has the same mechanism that you played in the capture mode. There are a few differences that you will experience. There is no capturing process in the avalanche mode. Like the capture mode, you have to tap on each pocket one after another to drop the stone in the mancala.

But the main difference in avalanche mode is that the turn in the game will end when you drop the stone in an empty pocket. The longer your turn continues in Avalanche mode, the more stones you’ll drop into your mancala. And the chances of you winning will be better.

Now, like the Capture Mode, the player taps one of their pockets to move the stones. The game then drops the stones one by one into the neighboring pockets in the counterclockwise direction.

The turn only ends when you deposit the stone into an empty pocket. For example, if you tap the third pocket in your row, it deposits the stones in the fourth, fifth, and sixth pocket on your side, then in your mancala, then in the opponent’s pockets, and so on. But if you drop the last stone into a pocket that has more stones, then the turn will continue. It doesn’t matter whether the non-empty pocket was yours or the opponent’s; the turn continues either way.

The turn will keep going until you drop the last stone into the mancala or an empty pocket. When passing over from the opponent’s side to your side, the game skips your opponent’s mancala.

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If you drop the last stone into your mancala, you’ll get a free turn. Or else, your opponent gets to play their turn.

The game ends when one of the two rows is empty. And the player with the most stones in their mancala wins. When the game ends, any stones still in the other player’s pockets go directly to their mancala. These stones contribute to determining the winner at the end.

In the iMessage Mancala, you don’t have to move the stones yourself. The game moves the stones for you. You only need to tap the pocket you want to move the stones from to begin the move.


While understanding the rules is vital, mastering the tricks helps in controlling the game. Making a smart first move, hoarding stones, and setting traps are some of the best strategies in Mancala.

If you are going first, starting with your third hole is generally considered to be the best opening move. This will land your last piece in your mancala zone, not only scoring you a point, but immediately giving you a second move before your turn is over.

When all six pockets on one side are emptied, the game ends. Each player will count the number of stones in their store. The player who has the most stones in their store wins.

Mancala is a classic game of math and strategy for 2 players. To win, you need to move your stones around the board more effectively than your opponent. Once you have learned the rules, start out each game with the best move, then develop a strategy for capturing your opponent’s stones. Plan your moves carefully, and you may end up controlling the board.

GamePigeon is an iMessage extension that features games like 8-Ball Poker, Sea Battle, Anagrams, and Gomoku. Its success can probably be best attributed to its excellent iMessage integration. If you embrace texting your pals and want to spice things up a bit with a rousing match like the 8-ball, mancala, mini golf, checkers, or a ton of other classic party games, you just have to send them a request from the  GamePigeon App and then get to playing!

By downloading GamePigeon on iMessage, you can play Mancala easily with opponents from your contact list. Start playing as soon as you get familiar with the rules. Just make sure to have more stones in your row and mancala in the end to win!

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