Ever since online casinos first started to appear over twenty years ago, those that have thrived have had one thing in common; all have been innovative and forward-thinking. By introducing new games and ways to play, successful online casinos have kept players interested and motivated to stick with them.
One of the most effective ways of doing this has been to frequently introduce new slots games with different themes and prize structures. These have ranged from games in which the search is on for the lost treasures of Ancient Egypt to ones that feature superheroes from the Marvel Comics franchise.
But, when it comes to table games, the options have been a little more limited. Yes, the best casinos offer a wide range including blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat as well as giving full instructions about to play them. But they now also offer an increasingly wide number of variants on these games, as well as the chance to play them in a “live” casino with a real dealer running the game.
One area that few land-based casinos have looked into so far is introducing new games specifically aimed at players in a specific country or region. With the growing popularity of online casinos in Rwanda and throughout Central Africa, there is a feeling that one of the region’s most popular indigenous games could well be converted into an online gambling game too.
Igisoro is a game of strategy and skill that has been popular for generations. The game shares some features with another title that many people are also surprised has not become popular with online casinos; backgammon.
One of a group of games given the generic name, mancala, Igisoro is unbelievably popular in Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi. For those unfamiliar with it, this is a two-player game played on a table with 32 pits in which are distributed 64 seeds. The object of the game is for each player to take turns in moving their seeds around the board – the Igisoro, until one is unable to make any further moves, as all of their seeds have been captured by their opponent.
The origins of the game are uncertain but there are a number of clues that suggest that it was first played in rural areas. Firstly, there is the use of seeds as playing pieces. Secondly, individual seeds are referred to as inká, or cows.
Another peculiarity of the traditional game is that it is simply not done to be seen actually counting the seeds that are in play – and the very best players are said to be able to play it blindfolded. Admittedly, some adaptations might need to be made to convert it into an online casino game. But, in a world where computers can play poker, and win, that shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
So, keep a lookout for the first online casino that you can find adding the game to its selection, and get ready to put your own Igisoro skills to the test!