Ludo Game Rules

by Doug Vintage

Ludo is a simple board game for two to four players, and is similar to Indian Pachisi. Ludo was created for children in 1896. Players take turns rolling a die and moving their game pieces around the board in a clockwise direction. The game ends when a player has moved all of his pieces into the home square.

The Board

The board used in Ludo is divided into four identical sections. Each section is identified by a color that corresponds to a player's pieces. The traditional Ludo colors are red, green, yellow and blue. The corners of the board contain the starting grids for each color. A path of white spaces runs around the board, tracing the edges of each starting grid. Arrows along the path dictate the direction in which game pieces are allowed to move. The center of the Ludo board contains the home square that is connected to the main path by colored spaces connected to each starting grid.

Starting the Game

Each player rolls the die to determine the playing order. Once the order has been decided, each player takes turns rolling the die. In order to move a playing piece from the starting grid, a 6 must be rolled. If a player fails to roll a 6, the turn passes to the next player in the playing order. If a player rolls a 6, a playing piece can be removed from the starting grid and placed into the playing field. Rolling a 6 also earns the player an extra turn.

Moving Around the Board

Once a playing piece has been removed from the starting grid and added to the playing field, it becomes an active piece. When a player rolls the die, the number dictates how many spaces an active piece may be moved. If the player rolls a 6, another playing piece can be added to the playing field, or an active piece may be moved ahead six spaces. Rolling a 6 earns the player an extra turn. Once an active piece travels around the board and returns to the starting grid, it may be moved into the colored column that leads to the home square. When an active piece reaches the home square, it can no longer be moved.

Movement Rules

Players are only allowed to roll a 6 twice in a row. If they player rolls a 6 for the third time, the die passes to the next player. If a player's active piece lands on a space occupied by an opponent's active piece, then the opponent's piece is returned to the starting grid. Players cannot place more than one active piece on the same space. The exact number of spaces between an active piece and the home square determines the value that must be rolled to move the piece onto the square.

About the Author

Doug Vintage has been a writer since 2008 and holds a bachelor's degree in computer science. His professional writing experience includes the research and creation of internal technology articles for several law firms including WilmerHale, Crowell & Moring and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.