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Home > Traditional Games (Parlor Games) > Board Games > Snakes and Ladders Rules and Game Board

Snakes and Ladders
Rules and Strategy

Snakes and Ladders is a simple board game with the straightforward objective of racing the player's token from start to finish with dice throws.

Similar to the brand-name board "Chutes and Ladders" marketed by Milton Bradley, Snakes and Ladders owes its inspiration to a similar game in 16th century India.

Gameplay takes place on a specially designed 10x10 grid game board (some versions use 8x8 or 12x12). There is no limit to the number of players. Playing dice is required.

Playing Tokens for Snake and Ladders

The Classic Board Game of Moving up Stairs and Sliding down Snakes (or Chutes).

The original Indian game meant to teach spiritual virtue. The ladders going up pertain to moral values; the snakes going down pertain to base vices; the destination square represents salvation.


What's Needed to Play a Game of Snakes and Ladders:

* 2 + Players

* a Snakes and Ladders game board

* 2+ distinct playing tokens

* a 6-sided playing dice


Objective of a Game of Snakes and Ladders:

* Players race against other players in advancing his/her playing token from start to finish with successful die rolls. Players throw dice in turn. The winner is the first player to successfully reach the FINISH square (#100).


Snakes and Ladders Game Board
Diagram 1: The Snakes and Ladders Game Board:
Players start at square 1 and advance numerically as decided by dice rolls.

About the Snakes and Ladders Game Board:

Refer to Diagram 1: The Snakes and Ladders game board is a 10x10 grid game board numbered from 1 to 100. Players are meant to advance numerically from outside the game board, to the Finish Square (#100) via lucky dice throws.

Starting Position: The imaginary starting position is Square ZERO, just outside the game board. The lucky player who rolls a 1 lands at the foot of a ladder, and gains a fantastic lead at the very start of the game.

The Ladders: Landing on a square with the foot of a ladder lets players ascend to destination squares that are the equivalent of 3, 5, or as much as 9 dice throws away. For example, landing on square #9 lets players advance to square #31 in just one die roll.

The Snakes: Landing on a square with the mouth of a snake forces the player to be thrown back a good distance in squares. A player loses ground this way. For example, landing on square #54 demotes the player to square #34.


Winning the Game:

Exact Dice Roll: An exact dice roll is needed to land on square #100. Example: A player has just landed on square #99. In order to win the game, he needs to roll a 1. Any roll higher than one cannot be used by the player, and he has to pass his turn.

Note: Landing on square #80 is another way to win the game since it has a ladder that automatically elevates the player to square #100.

Alternate Rules:

Easy Ending: Rather than require an exact dice roll to win the game, any roll that leads the player to square #100 or beyond is enough to win the game.

Faster Movement: On rolling a six, the player moves his token and is allowed to roll again. This allows game play to proceed faster where a lucky player can move his token farther and farther by throwing consecutive sixes.

Fast and Easy, but with a Twist: As an interesting variation, a player who rolls 3 consecutive sixes is thrown back to imaginary Square ZERO, meaning that he has to start the game over.


Draconian Penalty for Too Much Luck: Providing an even further twist, a player who is thrown back to square ZERO after rolling 3 sixes needs to roll a six before he can re-enter the game board. Once he rolls a 6, he can then re-roll and use the new number to re-enter the game board.

Play Snakes and Ladders as an Adult Party Game:

Find Adult Party Game Versions of Snakes and Ladders Board Game. Play Snakes and Ladders as a Drinking Game (Drunken Snakes and Ladders), or as a Stripping Game (Strip Snakes and Ladders), but the best way is to combine elements of both Drinking and Stripping -- let's call it Drink and Strip Snakes and Ladders, a Board Game that's sure to stimulate and entertain. Game on!

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

You can download, print and play Snakes & Ladders with this Snakes and Ladders Game Board. Just use a 6-sided dice and some playing tokens, and you and your friends are set to play!

Loads of Free Stuff !!


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