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The Sorry Board Game Rules: How Do You Play the Sorry Board Game?

Similar to Parcheesi, Sorry is a game involving pawns, a board, an altered deck of cards (no 6’s or 9s), and a Home-zone. The object is to get all of your pawns across the board into the Home space, which is a safe zone. The first player to get all of their pawns Home wins.

The game comes with a board, a deck of cards, and four sets of pawns, four of each color. It also comes with an instruction manual, but since you’re here, I’m guessing that your dog (or your toddler) ate it.

How to Play Sorry:
Choose a player to go first (high draw or youngest player will work). Play continues clockwise.

Shuffle the deck of cards and place them in the center of the play area. At the beginning of your turn, draw a card from the draw pile. If you draw a 1 or a 2, move a pawn from the “START” area onto the board. If you don’t draw a 1 or a 2, you cannot move a pawn onto the board. If you already have a pawn on the board, you may move according to the number rules for that card (see below).

If you have any legal move, you must move a pawn, even if you’d prefer not to.

Discard the card next to the draw pile to create the discard pile.

If the deck runs out of cards, shuffle the discard pile to create a new draw pile.

What would a race be without a little jumping and bumping? You may jump over a pawn (yours or an opponents) that is in your path if you have sufficient movement points. However, two pawns can’t occupy the same spot on the board, so if you land on a space that contains another pawn, bump it back to it’s “START” space.

Slide Zones:
The Slide Zone looks like a thermometer with a triangle on the top. If at any time you land exactly on the triangle of a Slide Zone that does not match your pawn’s color, slide to the end of the Slide Zone, bumping off any tokens in your path.

Safety Zones:
Safety Zones look like Slide Zones, but they are larger. Only you may enter your Safety Zone. All normal rules apply. Note, you can’t move backwards into your safety zone, though you can exit a safety zone with a backwards move card. That pawn would be able to reenter the safety zone on a subsequent turn.

Start Zone:
One a 1 or a 2, move a pawn out of the “START” circle onto the first space beneath it ( a smaller circle at the end of a Slide Zone). Both a 1 and a 2 move the pawn onto the outer starting circle, but a 2 card allows the player to draw a second move card. Remember, two pawns may never occupy the same space, even the outer starting circle.

The Cards:

1—Move a pawn onto the outer starting circle, or move a pawn one space forward.
2— Move a pawn onto the outer starting circle, or move a pawn two spaces forward. Draw again, even if you could not move a pawn.
3—Move a pawn forward three spaces.
4—Move a pawn backward four spaces.
5—Move a pawn forward five spaces.
7—Move a pawn forward seven spaces, or split the movement between two pawns. 7’s can’t be used to start a pawn. If a 7 is used to move on pawn home, the remainder of the movement total must be used exactly by another pawn or it is not a legal move.
8— Move a pawn forward eight spaces.
10—Move a pawn forward 10 spaces, or move a pawn backward one space.
11—Move a pawn forward 11 spaces, or switch the position of any one of your pawns with any one of your opponents pawns. Note, you do not have to switch positions if there is no other legal play. This is the exception to the aforementioned rule. Also, you cannot switch with pawns in the “START”, “HOME”, or “SAFETY ZONE” areas. Remember to slide and bump if your switch lands you on the starting triangle of a Safety Zone.
12—Move a pawn forward 12 spaces.
Take one pawn from your “START” position and move it to any legal space occupied by an opponent (no “HOME”, “START”, or “SAFETY ZONE” spaces), and bump the opponent back to their “START” space. If you have no pawns in the “START” space, or there are no legal pawns to bump, end your turn.

Miscellaneous Odd Rules:
The 4 and 10 cards move you backwards. If you are able to move a pawn backwards at least two spaces past the start zone, you may move your pawn into your own Home zone without moving all the way around the board on another turn.

If at any time you are unable to move, your turn ends.

If you have any legal move, you must take it.

Teams Variation:
If you have exactly four players, you may play a team variant. Red and and Yellow partner together, as do Blue and Green.

Bumping rules and all other rules still apply, even if it would be harmful to the team. Note these following exceptions:

Any partner may move either theirs or their teammates pawn.

Sorry! cards must be used, so if there are no legal switches with an opponent, you must use it on your teammate.

7’s can be split among both yours and your teammates pawns.

1’s and 2’s may move either yours or your teammates pawns.

Winning occurs when all of the pawns belonging to one team (8 pawns) are in their respective Home zone.

Point Variation:

If you have all adult players, you can play for points. In this variant, begin with one pawn in play on the outer start circle and the remaining three pawns in the “START” zone. Shuffle the deck and deal five cards to each player. Players play one card on their turn and move accordingly. Place the played card into the discard pile, and draw another card from the draw pile.

If at any time you are unable to move, discard a card from your hand, draw a replacement, and end your turn.

The first player to get all four pawns “HOME” wins the round and scores in the following manner:

Score 5 points for each opposing pawn not in their “HOME” zone.
Score 25 points if no opponent has more than two pawns “HOME”.
Score 50 points if no opponent has more than one pawn “HOME”.
Score 100 points if no opponent has any pawns “HOME”.

Choose a set number of round or points to play to prior to starting the game.

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