//Hus

//Hus is four-row multiple lap version of the Mancala family that is played by the Namaqua and Berg-Damara people of Namibia. It called Otjitoto by the Hereros of Namibia. The // refers to the click sound of the Khoisan languages. It is usually played in holes scooped from the ground. The counters may be seeds or stones. //Hus has the characteristic that captured seeds are re-entered into play and not removed from the board.

//Hus board
Figure 1: //Hus board

Rules

//Hus is played by two players on a board of four rows of 12 holes. Each player starts the game with 36 seeds arranged as shown in Figure 1. Each player puts two seeds in each hole of his outer row and in each of six rightmost holes of his inner row.

The players take turns. Each player picks up the contents of any hole in his two rows (the two rows nearest him) which contains two or more seeds and then places one seed at a time in each hole in a counter-clockwise direction from the start hole in the manner of sowing seeds. The player must only place the seeds in holes in his own two rows.

If the last seed is placed into an occupied hole, the contents of this hole and the seed just dropped into the hole are picked up and the sowing process is repeated.

Capture

However, if the last seed is placed into an occupied hole in the player’s inner row and his opponent’s inner row hole directly opposite is also occupied, the player picks up the contents of both his opponent’s opposite holes (from the inner and outer rows) and continues sow these stones onto his own side of the board beginning with the next hole following the hole into which he dropped his last seed. If only the hole of the opponent’s inner row is occupied, but not the hole in his outer row, only the contents of the inner hole are captured and sown.

If the last seed is placed into an empty hole in the player’s outer row his turn is over and his opponent plays.

The game continues until one player has reduced his opponent to single seeds.