How To Play Ludo

The board game Ludo has a history dating as far back as India in 3300 B.C.E.  Ludo is a variation of the game of the ancient game Pachisi, the national game of India, and known in the west as Parcheesi.  With its solid historical roots, Ludo has inspired its own unique and international following.

As suggested, playing Ludo is very similar to playing Parcheesi or the game Sorry.  The square board is divided into a cross-shaped pattern with paths leading from each of the colored corners, or starting bases, to the center area.  The object of playing Ludo is to move all four of the player's pieces into the center area.  Like Sorry, the pieces and starting bases are color-coordinated, usually red, green, yellow and blue.
Movement in Ludo is governed by throwing a single die and therefore, moving 1-6 spaces per turn.  Rolling a six will allow a player to move a piece from the starting base or simply continue moving a piece already in play.  As an added bonus, rolling a six gives the player another turn, thus making a six an even more coveted throw.

While in play, if a Ludo player is able to land on an opponent's piece, the opponent's piece gets bumped back to the starting area where it must wait for a six in order to emerge again.  However, if a player rolls a number that places their piece on another of their own pieces, that move is invalid and cannot be played.  In rare cases, a player will roll a number that allows no valid moves for their pieces in play and must pass the die to the next player.

If a player completes one full circuit of the board, they can move their piece safely to the center area, where it cannot be caught and sent back to the starting base.  Moving all four pieces to this center area wins Ludo.

Many different variations of Ludo exist, but the essentials described here remain the same.  Playing Ludo involves a certain amount of strategy with a strong foundation of luck on your side.  Deciding when to release your pieces from the starting base or when to strike an opponent back to their starting base can easily mean the difference between victory and defeat.


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