The funtabulous guide to playing Sungka
Sungka (pronounced soong-KÂ) is a traditional Filipino Game played by two protagonists. The object of the game is to amass stones or cowrie shells in your home base (ulo) by continuously distributing the shells around lesser holes (bahays) until you run out of shells to distribute. The person who collects the most shells in his/her ulo wins.
- The game is played with 98 shells or stones. To setup the game, all 14 of the smaller holes are filled with 7 stones each.
- A player can choose to start from any bahay on his or her side.
- The game can be played either clockwise or counterclockwise (depends on what rules you grew up with).
- The first two turns of the game are played simultaneously by both players.
- During these first two turns, the first player to finish his turn becomes the first player to play after the second player finishes his turn.
- After the first two turns, the game is turn-based.
How to play Sungka - rules of the game
- A player picks up all the shells from one of the bahays on his side of the board and distributes them, one at a time, into each bahay or ulo he passes, except for his opponent's ulo.
- If your last shell is distributed in your own ulo, you can continue your turn from any of the bahays on your side of the board.
- If your last shell is distributed into a bahay that already had shells in it, you can pick up every shell in that bahay and continue your turn.
- If you drop your last shell into a bahay that is empty, then your turn is over. If this happens in one of your own bahays, then you can capture all the shells in the bahay directly opposite and distribute them into your own ulo.
And the winner is...
- The game is played over multiple rounds.
- A round ends when neither of the players can play on.
- After each round, players fill their seven bahays in front of them with shells they captured in the last round.
- Bahays that cannot be completely filled with seven pieces may not be used during that round, and any pieces remaining are returned to the player's ulo before the round begins.
- Any bahays that are not filled with seven shells become unavailable for this round and cannot be used by either player.
- The game continues for as long as there is at least one bahay in play on both sides of the board.