Board games are one of the best ways of having fun with family and friends, but did you know that a lot of the board games we played growing up were invented centuries ago in different countries around the world? Read on to know five of the very popular board games from around the world.



Mancala is believed to be a game originated from Southern India (where it is called Pallankuzhi in Tamil) but this “sow the seeds” type of board game also has other origins from Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia. To play this game, two players will have to place one pebble on each hole until all the pebbles are inside the “base holes”. The player whose base hole has the most pebble wins. 

Mancala is called Wari, Bao or Adi in the African regions. On the other hand, it is called sungka in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines.


Chinese Checkers

Though it’s named Chinese Checkers, this game has nothing to do with the Asian giant nor it has any similarities with the actual Checkers game. In fact, there is no concrete evidence as to where Chinese Checkers originated from but is actually of German origin. Regardless of its origins, this is one of the most popular board games from around the world. 

This game, which was originally known as Stern-Halma, takes place on the board with a six-pointed star. The goal of the game is to transfer your group of pegs to the opposite side. The first player to get all their pegs across wins the game.

boardgame go


Go is one of the oldest board games in the world that most probably originated in China some 4,000 years ago. Go is played by two players with each player has a set of chips (black and white). The goal of this game is to get as much territory by having your coloured chips dominant on the board. To pin down your opponent, trap your opponent’s chip by surrounding the chip on two sides. Once your opponent loses all his chips then you are the winner.

Don’t you know that board games help in boosting mental health? According to psychologist Ferdinand Gobet provided information that board games like Go aids in preventing mental decline as people age.



Another old board game, Backgammon is believed to have originated from the Mesopotamia’s region (where modern day Iraq is located). Not only did it survive throughout the centuries, it also became one of the most popular games in the entire world.

Backgammon is an ancient game known for its ability to hone the player’s strategy and decision-making skills. At the same time, it is also a game of luck that is why Backgammon betting is still a thing that players find entertaining.


We have included chess a number of times on our board game articles, just goes to show how popular this board game is all over the world. Chess is one of the most popular board games that originated in the Eastern regions of India.

Did you know that the original Chess pieces did not include knights and bishops? The original chess used pieces such as adviser, elephant, horse, chariot and food soldier. The pieces were then changed into what it is now today when the game was adapted by other cultures.

These are just some of the most popular board games from around the world. If you have an affinity for board games, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog or join our Box of Frogs Board Games Night Club.

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