Mancala board dimensions (Size guides)

When it comes to strategic board games, it’s worth keeping mancala on top of the list. It lets the kids think strategically to get all the game pieces in his grab.

It’s played on a compact-sized board that isn’t a tough task to take on the go. Moreover, foldable mancala boards keep the game pieces safe inside. The board can be 17.5 to 23 inches long and 4.5 to 6 inches wide.

However, there is something more you need to know about these boards. We’re here to have an in-depth discussion about the mancala game board.

What is the dimension of a mancala game board

One needs a regulation-size game board with 14 hollow spaces, to play a mancala board game. But how big the board should be? Regulation-sized game boards measure 17.5 to 23 inches long, and 4.5 to 6 inches wide.

However, the board size differs a lot depending on whether it’s foldable or not. You will get to know more about foldable boards in one of the following sections.

Mancala board Dimensions 
Length 17.5 to 23 inches long
Width 4.5 inches to 6 inches long
Hollow space 1.4 to 2 inches in diameter
Distance between hollow spaces (Center to center) 2 inches
Mancala space (If round-shaped) More than 2 inches
Distance between hollow space and mancala space 2 inches
Thickness (Unfolded) 0.65 to 1 inches

Length and width of the board

If you need a compact game board, going for something within 18 inches long and 5.5 inches wide is ideal. Also, it will be great the board folds down. The length of a folded board becomes half of the original.

However, a slightly larger board seems to increase the fun level a bit. That is to say, people tend to choose 23 inches length and 6 inches width for DIY mancala game boards. Well, adding a foldable option entirely depends on your preference.

Hollow spaces diameter on the board

Again, there’s something more important you need to know about the board that is the measurement of the hollow space. In a mancala board, you will have a total of 12 circular hollow spaces.

Typically, these spaces are 1.4 to 2 inches in diameter and depend highly on the board measurement. However, 6 of these hollow spaces are yours, and the rest six are the opponents.

The bigger space, the easier it becomes to hold the game pieces. You need to keep 4 game pieces in each space at the start of the game. And as the game progresses, one or two more game pieces will stay here.

Therefore, a 2 inches space seems to do the job perfectly here. Choosing the size according to the game pieces size is a wise thing for sure.

Hollow mancala spaces measurement

Except for the 12 circular hollow spaces or holes, the board contains two larger spaces known as mancala space. Each of these holes is placed at the end of the board. It is used to place the collected game pieces.

Typically, the mancala pieces are oval-shaped to provide a larger space to the users. However, if it comes round-shaped, it must be bigger than the other holes on board.

A large mancala board can come with up to 2 inches diameter holes. Therefore, the mancala space should always be larger. Also, keep in mind that it can accommodate all the collected game pieces.

How thick is a mancala board?

The thickness of a mancala game board differs depending on whether it’s foldable or not. Typically, an unfolded board is 0.65 to 1 inches thick. But folding it up can increase the board’s thickness.

For example, a 0.65 inches thick board becomes 1.3 inches thicker when it’s folded. In the same way, a 1-inch board’s thickness rises to 2 inches after folding it up.

The durability depends a lot on the thickness of the board. People, who need lightweight boards love going for thinner boards. On the other hand, thicker boards can ensure long-lasting service.

Are foldable mancala boards smaller?

Well, foldable mancala boards are not really smaller. However, you can save a lot of space while storing it by folding it up. The measurements are related to the foldable design including length, width, and thickness.

  • Transforms the board’s original length in half.
  • The width remains unchanged.
  • The thickness becomes double after folding.
  • A foldable design is necessary for giant boards.
  • Keeps the game pieces safely locked inside.

When you fold down a board, the length becomes half of the original. The two parts of the board become one and it decreases the overall length. For example, a 23 inches longboard becomes 11.5 inches long when it’s folded.

Again, the foldable design comes in handy whenever you have less space to store the board. On the other hand, the foldable design has no impact on the board’s width.

The width remains unchanged even after folding. Whoever needs to have mancala gaming on a giant board should go ensure having a foldable design. It can transform a giant board into a compact-sized one.

Meanwhile, the board’s thickness becomes double when it’s folded, and we’ve already told about this in the previous section.

The foldable boards don’t only provide a compact design to the board, but also keep the game pieces safe inside. Whenever you are done with the game playing, you search for a safe spot to keep the game pieces.

However, a foldable board itself is a safe spot that keeps all the game pieces inside. Also, you can have easy access to the pieces whenever you want to play mancala.

How big mancala game pieces are?

Typically, mancala game pieces are 10 to 15 mm in diameter. The game pieces are also known as mancala stones. The size of these stones is closely related to the size of the board.

A larger board has larger hollow spaces, which accommodate the stones properly. Therefore, users tend to choose the stone size depending on the board size. 10 mm stones are most suitable for compact size boards.

These boards can be either foldable or not. However, giant boards are foldable to let one conveniently store them. Following the large space on these boards, 15 mm stones will go perfectly fitted here.