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Either boys or girls, usually age’s seven to ten, play the two-person game of O an quan liêu (literally: Mandarin Square Capturing). They draw a rectangle on the ground và divide it inlớn ten small squares called “rice fields” or “fish ponds.

“They also draw two additional semi-circular boxes at the two ends of the rectangle, which are called”mandarin’s boxes,” hence the game’s name. Each person has 25 small pebbles and a bigger stone.

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Each player places the stone in one of the mandarin’s boxes and five sầu small pebbles in each of the other squares (see diagram above). Then the game begins. The first player takes up the contents of one square on his or her side of the board (but not a mandarin’s box) và distributes the pebbles one by one, starting with the next square in either direction. (Since each square contains five pebbles at the beginning, the first move will distribute five sầu pebbles lớn the left or right).


After the last pebble is distributed, the player takes the contents of the following square and repeats the distribution process. But if the following square is one of the mandarin’s boxes, the turn ends và passes to lớn the other player.

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If the last pebble falls inlớn a square that precedes one empty square, the player wins all the contents of the square following the empty square and removes these pebbles from the board. If this square is followed by another empty square, the player wins the contents of the square after that, và so on. However, if there are two or more empty squares in a row, the player loses his or her turn.

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Once a player has taken pebbles from the board, the turn is handed to lớn the other player. If all five sầu squares on one player’s side of the board are emptied at any time, that player must place one pebble he or she has aside baông chồng in each of the five squares so that the game can resume.

The game continues until the two mandarins’ boxes have sầu both been taken. At the kết thúc of the game, the player with more pebbles wins, with each of the large stones counting as ten points. If each player retrieves an equal number of points, then the game is a tie. O an quan lại remains deservedly popular aước ao older children since it requires good counting skills and forethought in order khổng lồ win.


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