CONGKAK - Secret Steps To Win

by Roshidan Rashid

AMONG the ancient games that have evolved through time, congkak was played by digging holes on ground and using tamarind seeds for points. Congkak was found in Jordan back in 5000BC and is played under different names in India and Ethiopia.

In Malaysia, congkak is believed to have originated from the Malacca Malay Sultanate more than 600 years ago and has spread throughout the region as foreign traders leaving Malacca port brought home the popular game to their loved ones. 

Congkak is believed have originated from the word congak, which in old Malay means to count (mental calculation). 

Congkak boards are made of wood and are shaped like a traditional Malay fishing boat. As the congkak board is shaped like a boat, it is believed to be based on the legend of a fisherman. Unable to go to the sea in rainy seasons, he created the game to pass time.

Congkak is a very simple game that can be played alone, or usually, with friends.

The congkak board has 14 pits in two sets of seven, with an additional pit (home/store) for each player to place their winnings.

Each player controls the seven pits on their side of the board, and his score is the number of seeds at the end of the game. The aim of the game is to capture more seeds than the opponent. The player who empties all the opponent's pits and captures the most seeds in her home at the end of the game wins.

At the start, seeds are distributed equally into all pits except the two end pits (home/store), one of which belonged to a player. The player who starts the game will take all the seeds from one pit and distributes them one by one in each pit, going clockwise and dropping one into his/her end pit. When the last seed in hand is dropped into a pit containing other seeds, he/she picks all up and starts the distribution again. He/she loses her turn when the final seed drops into an empty pit as the game progresses. Then the second player starts his/her turn.

How To Beat Your Opponent

Here are the secret steps how to beat your opponent when playing congkak until your opponent has nothing left. These steps were thought to me by my grandfather through his experience of practicing by playing alone for many years. The numbers shown is the pit number that we have to start collect the seeds and distribute. The last seed of every step should finished at our end pit before we could go to the next step. Be very careful in distributing the seed, because you may drop the seed in a wrong pit and may result an error.

However since it is still hold as a secret, a further instruction on certain point (number) is unexposed. Unless you are really interested to know, please let me know.

Please try the 5 vs 7 situation, which has no further instruction to see for yourself, the proof that these steps are winning steps.

7 vs 7


7 vs 6


6 vs 7


7 vs 5


5 vs 7


7 vs 4


7 vs 3


7 vs 2


7 vs 1

4 -stab (tikam)-1-2-4-2-5-4-3-1-6-2-1-2-4-5-2-1

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