Ayo is played by two people, facing each other, over two rows of six pockets, or holes in the ground. Each player places four seeds or stones in each of their six pockets and the players then take turns of picking up all of the pieces from one of the pockets and dropping one of them into another pocket one by one. The first player to empty all of the other player’s pockets wins the game. The Ayo game has become in recent decades an important 'mind sport game'. Tournaments are held every year in Western Africa, many European countries, and in Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean.
Whilst Ayo is often played with a board, and great care is taken to craft a board with its twelve carved out circular pockets and often elaborate carvings on its sides. Ayo can also be played by simply marking out two rows of six pits in the ground, making the game more accessible to poorer people, especially children who can then simply play anywhere with sand or soft ground and a handful of stones or pebbles for playing pieces. Below is a short video of two kids playing Ayo / Awale. After you've played this traditional African Ayo game, why not check out and play our other African games, we've got the very best online!
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