In *Abalalà*, as in most other *Gobeta* games, the play is in what might inadequately be described as a
counter-clockwise direction. The opponents face each other across the narrow width of the boards, and each places his
winnings in the single large pocket to his right. The boards are divided into two playing fields, each player owning half
the total number of holes^{1}. As demonstrated in Diagram 1, each player has a whole row and a half row, considered as his
territory. Player A owns all the pockets on his side (numbered 10 to 15) and, in addition, half of the center row
(numbered 16 to 18). Player B's half is made up of the entire row nearest him (numbered 1 to 6) and the other half of
the center row (7 to 9)^{2}.

In initiating a play, a player may begin anywhere on his own half of the boards, but not on his opponent's. A play consists of his picking up all the beans from any hole on his own side and then redistributing them by dropping one bean in each pocket succeeding, in the sequence shown by numbers in Diagram 1. If player B chooses to start his play from hole number 4, he takes all the beans from that hole, drops one in hole 5, one in hole 6, one in 7, one in 8, one in 9, one in 10, etc., until his last bean falls. If the last playing piece falls in a hole that contains one or more beans, he continues the play by picking up all the pieces from that hole and proceeding as before. If his last bean falls into an empty pocket, one of two things occurs - either his play is finished, or he wins pieces from his opponent.

If a player's last piece falls into an empty pocket on his own side of the boards, and if the hole, or holes, on his
opponent's side in the same vertical row contains beans, then the player has made a "take." He removes the pieces from the hole,
or holes, of his opponent's side of the vertical row in which his last bean has fallen, and places them in his reservoir for
winnings, the large single pocket to his right. He then has another turn, moving the last bean dropped in the previous play,
and continuing as [**Page 22**] before until he makes another "take" or until his play comes to an end. Each time he takes pieces
from his opponent he has another turn.

When a player's last piece falls into an empty pocket on his opponent's side, his play is ended. Or when his last piece falls into an empty pocket on his own side and no "take" is possible because there are no pieces on his opponent's side of the same vertical row, his play is ended. His opponent then plays until such time as his turn ends.

The initial set up requires three beans in each hole. The game begins with both players starting simultaneously from the left corner pockets on their respective sides. Player A starts from hole number 10. Player B starts from hole number 1. If the opponents move at the same approximate speed, their last beans will eventually fall into empty pockets at the same time. This ends the initial play. One of the players then takes his turn, beginning anywhere on his own side of the boards. When his play is ended, the other player takes his turn, etc.

If at any time one player's side of the boards is totally vacated of pieces, his opponent wins all of the remaining pieces.

One clearing of the boards may be considered a complete contest, or a series may be played. In the latter case, the setup of
the boards for a second game is governed by the total number of pieces possessed by the loser of the first game. For example:
There are in all 54 pieces. If after the first game player B possesses only 23 pieces instead of 27 (which would be half),
he nevertheless sets his side of the boards so that all pockets on his side have playing pieces in them. This means that some of
the holes have less than 3 pieces. Holes 1 to 6 have three beans apiece. Holes 7 and 8 will have two pieces each. Hole 9 will have
one bean. (See Diagram 2.) Player A sets his side up in the same way, and has some left over in his pocket for winnings^{3}.
The game commences as before, and a player's winnings fluctuate until the contestants decide to stop, or until one of them has
taken all the pieces from the other.

**Notes**

- This is when two persons are playing. It is possible for three or four persons to participate, each taking his turn.
- This numbering is purely diagrammatic and only for explanatory purposes. Gobeta boards are not normally numbered.
- It appears that as many pockets as possible are set up to contain three pieces, as many as possible thereafter to contain two, and the rest, one.

Last update January 8, 2010