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Tampoduo Rules

A traditional Ghanaian version of Oware played by children

Tampoduo: A Twi word (language spoken amongst the Akans of Ghana) meaning, "to collect a big bunch of seeds" is descriptive of the nature of play in this version of the game. This version of Oware is also played all along the West African Coast. It is also known in Nigeria as Ayo J'odu (amongst the Yoruba). A variant of it is also played in Somalia called Layli Goobaly this game has a few extra rules but the principal is the same. These games are played with the same principal as Mancala (3 seeds), Sungka and Congkak (7 seeds) but with varying number of seeds. Another difference is that in later three games mentioned the end houses are an integral part of the game.

Arrangement of board at the beginning of each game or round

Four seeds are placed in each house on a board that is made up of two rows of six houses making twelve in total. Each row of six houses is the territory of the player sitting nearest to them. The end houses, if the board has any, are used to store captured seeds.

Object of the game

The object of the game is to capture as many seeds as possible.


Each player takes it in turns to start. The player must then choose a house from their own territory, from which all the seeds are scooped.

Sowing seeds

The seeds are sown in an anticlockwise direction placing one seed in each house as one travels, around the board. If the last seed drops in a house with seeds in it, all the seeds are scooped up and then sown until ones last seed lands in a house, which is empty on either side of the board. If at any point in the game one player does not have any seeds, the other player must sow seeds from a house that would provide the opponent with seeds to continue playing the game. If this is not possible then the game comes to an end, with the remaining seeds going the player who has the seeds on their territory.

Capturing seeds

Seeds are captured when the sowing of seeds by either player lands in an empty house on their side. If the opposite house on the opponent's territory contains seeds these are captured along with their last seed. If there are no seeds in the opposite house nothing is captured. Note that if a player's last seed lands on an empty house on the opponent's side and the opposite house on their own side has seeds in it, no seeds are captured.

End of game

The game ends when there are only two seeds left, one on each side of the board, or when there are too few seeds for any meaningful game to continue, or when one player has captured 25 seeds or more.

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