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Home > Traditional Games (Parlor Games) > Board Games > Ludo Rules and Free Ludo Game Board

Ludo
Rules and Free Game Board

Ludo is a simple board game with the straightforward objective of racing the player's 4 tokens from start to finish with dice throws. Similar to the brand-name board "Sorry!" marketed by Parker Brothers, Ludo shares similarities with the game Pachisi (or Parcheesi), which in turn originated in 6th century India.

Gameplay takes place on a specially designed 4-sided game board that allows up to four players to play, and uses 4 tokens per player. Playing dice is also required.

Let's Play Ludo! (2 types of Ludo Game Board)

Ludo is played with colorful game boards!

 
 

What's Needed to Play a Game of Ludo:

* 2 - 4 Players

* a Ludo game board

* 8 - 16 playing pieces (tokens) in 2 -4 colors (4 per color)

* 1 - 3 pieces 6-sided playing dice

 

Objective of a Game of Ludo:

* Players race against other players in advancing his/her 4 playing tokens from start to finish with successful die rolls. Each player has four specifically-designated finishing positions -- "squares" (which in some game board designs are drawn as circles). The winner is the first player to successfully rest his 4 tokens on his designated finishing spaces.

 

The "Circles" Style Ludo Game Board

Ludo Game Board Diagram (with captions)
Diagram 1: Movement of Playing Pieces (Tokens):
The game board layout is a "Cross", and the playing pieces (tokens) move along the border of the cross in clockwise direction. A playing piece must successfully travel 1 whole revolution around the game board before it can permanently rest on the 4 finishing spaces allotted for each player.

What's Needed to Play a Game of Ludo:

* 2 - 4 Players

* a Ludo game board

* 8 - 16 playing pieces (tokens) in 2 -4 colors (4 per color)

* 1 - 3 pieces 6-sided playing dice

Objective of a Game of Ludo:

* Players race against other players in advancing his/her 4 playing tokens from start to finish with successful die rolls. Each player has four specifically-designated finishing positions -- "squares" (which in some game board designs are drawn as circles). The winner is the first player to successfully rest his 4 tokens on his designated finishing spaces.

About the Ludo Game Board:

Refer to Diagram 1: The Ludo game board is laid-out as a "Cross" (having 4 arms). Each arm contains 4 colored "resting spaces" -- also called Home Spaces, which are the destination spaces for a player. These home spaces are bordered by the spaces along which the tokens are intended to travel.

At each corner of the board are the 4 colored Starting Zones, where each player's tokens sit at the start of the game awaiting entry into the game board proper. A successful die throw of 6 is required for a token to jump from the starting zone onto the starting square (or circle).

Lastly, the single colored space between the Starting Zone and the Home Spaces is the Starting Space where each token starts its journey toward the Home Spaces.

Moving Tokens in a Game of Ludo:

The playing pieces are meant to travel in a clockwise direction along the cross-shaped path (refer to Diagram 1). Each playing piece is required to travel 1 full rotation around the game board before it can move into the player's Home Spaces. A die throw is used to determine the number of spaces by which tokens may advance.

 
 

At start of Play: The game begins with each player's 4 tokens resting in the circular Starting Zones located at the 4 corners of the game board. In order to exit the Starting Zone and enter the game board proper, a player needs to roll a 6. On a successful throw of 6, the player then places a token at the colored Starting Space.

Moving One's Tokens in Ludo:

The player has choices: Provided the player rolls enough sixes, he can have all four tokens in play. Thereafter, he can choose to move any of his tokens on any valid die roll. Conditions for valid moves:

* The destination space should be empty, or,

* The destination space is occupied by another player's token. If so, this token is "Captured" and gets sent back to its Starting Zone.

Capturing tokens: Landing one's token on a space occupied by another player "Captures" the opponent's token. The captured token is then returned to its Starting Zone, where it must remain until a successful die throw of 6 makes it possible to be returned to the game board.

Forced Pass: A player is forced to pass his turn if his die roll results in no legal moves.

Landing on the Home Spaces: A player needs an exact die roll in order to land on a vacant home space. Tokens that are already resting on home spaces can no longer be moved.

Rule Variations for Faster Games:

* Throwing Multiple Dice: To make a game proceed faster, each player can roll 2-3 dice at the start of the game and keep throwing multiple dice each turn until he rolls a 6. He then uses the results of the multiple dice throw to move his piece. In subsequent turns, the player should only roll 1 die to move.

Rule Variations for Faster Games:

* Throwing Multiple Dice: (continued)

For example, if a player rolls "6-1-2", he can place 1 token on the Starting Space, then move it 1, then 2 places on the game board. Thereafter, he can only roll 1 die each turn, and must roll a 6 before he can place any other token at the Starting Space.

On the other hand, if the player rolls "4-4-2", then all his tokens remain in the Starting Zone, forcing the player to pass his turn. On his subsequent turns, he can throw 3 dice until he gets a 6, thereby allowing him to place a token on the gameboard proper. Thereafter, he should throw only 1 die.

* Rolling Sixes: Under this rule, a player is allowed to roll again whenever he rolls a six. This way, a truly lucky player can have all four tokens advancing toward his Home Zone in record time.

 
 

The "Squares" Ludo Game Board
The Standard "Squares" Ludo Game Board
Diagram 2: The Standard Ludo Game Board

Arrow Pointing Left

Some Gameplay Variations on the "Squares" Ludo Game Board:

Refer to Diagram 2: The "Squares" Ludo game board is still laid out as a "Cross" (having 4 arms). This time, however, the Home Space, is the exact center of the game board, which means all 4 tokens must reach the colored "Arrowtip" by means of an exact die roll.

The 4 colored Starting Zones are located in the same place. The single Starting Space is designated as the tail end of the colored Arrow pointing towards the center. All other rules on the "Circles" Ludo game board apply.

An interesting note: The Standard (Squares) Ludo board requires playing pieces to travel a great distance before reaching Home.

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Animated GIF FreeFree Printable Ludo Game Board
(download, print and play!)

With this Free Printable Ludo Game Board, some 6-sided dice, and playing tokens, you and up to 3 friends are set to play an all-time favorite classic board game!

Loads of Free Stuff !!

 

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