Sorry Board Game Rules and How to Play Sorry Board Game

Whether you are a kid or an adult, you have undoubtedly passed many lazy afternoons around some kind of board game. A fun board game, enjoyed with friends, leads to a lot of laughter and a world of entertainment. Things might also get heated up when a player starts a losing streak.

But that is what makes board games so amazing. The friendly competition that it creates is definitely a fun factor towards any game. When you are cooped up at home and bored, maybe it is time to invite a few friends over and whip out an old board game.

Sorry is one such game that will guarantee a fun afternoon at home instead of being bored. The rules are simple, and the requirements are low, and people of all ages can enjoy it together. It does not involve a lot of skill, just some luck, and a little bit of strategy is all you need to have fun while playing it.

In this article, we will take a look at the Sorry board game rules to teach you how to play it properly. So, without further delay, let us dive in.

Getting Started with Sorry Board Game

The first step to playing the game is to set up the board. You can play the game between just two people. However, in our experience, having four players will give you the best experience with the game. As long as you have two to four players, you can get started with the game.

The sorry board game comes with a board, four pawns of different colors, and a deck of cards. Open up the board and take a look at the layout. You will notice that there are four start points in the four corners in different colors. The colors correspond to the color of the pawns you get with the board.

Starting Point

Each player chooses four pawns of the same color and places it on their respective start points. You will also find a circle beneath the start point, and an arrow that goes through it starting from the start point. That is the direction your pawn will follow when you move across the board.

You will also find a position on the board that says “Place Pack Here.” That is where the cards go. Take the pack of cards you got with your board and shuffle them well before placing them in the proper position.

Make sure the deck is facing downwards. We will go through each of the different cards to give you an idea of what they do in a later part of the article.

When you are done setting up the board, you need to decide who goes first. It can be done in many ways. Toss of a coin is an option if you are playing between two. Other ways to decide are drawing a stick or rock paper scissors. The turn moves to start from the first player to his left.

Card Values of Sorry Board Game

Before getting into the game, let us first take a look at the cards of the sorry board game. There is a total of 11 different types of cards. That means you get four of each variant in a pack making a total of 44 cards. We have mentioned how each of the card functions in the following section.

  • 1 – If you have no pawn in play, you can move one pawn out of the start box. However, if you already have a pawn on the board, you can move it forward one space.
  • 2 – The same as one, but in this case, you get to move two spaces forward. Furthermore, you have to pick another card.
  • 3 – Move a pawn three spaces if it is on the board. If not, you forfeit your turn.
  • 4 – Same as three but move four spaces
  • 5 – Same as three but five spaces
  • 7 – You can either move a single pawn seven spaces or split it between 2 pawns. If you decide to split, one pawn goes forward three spaces, while the other moves 4.
  • 8 – Same as three but eight spaces.
  • 10 – Either move a pawn forward by ten spaces or backward one space.
  • 11 – Either move forward by 11 spaces, or you can trade places with an opponent. If it is not possible, then you forfeit your turn, or if you are playing with a partner, switch places with his pawn.
  • 12 – Same as three but with 12 spaces
  • Sorry! – This card serves two functions. For one thing, you can move your inactive pawn into play with this card. Additionally, if there is an enemy pawn in play, you can send it to the start position. It can also be saved to use later.

The Rules of Sorry Board Game

The above segment is a simplified rundown of how each of the card’s functions in Sorry board game. But there are still a lot of systems that you need to catch up on before you can play it. We will go over the rules of the board in this section of the article.

The Card Deck

The game requires all the players to draw at least one card on each turn. When you pick a card and follow or forfeit your turn, do not put the card back in the deck. Instead, you need to discard it outside the board. The card that is picked once will not be used until all the cards are used.

Since Sorry is a game that could take some time to finish, it is possible to move through all the cards before the end. If that happens, pick out all the cards from the discard pile and reshuffle them. Then you can put it back on the board and continue playing as usual.

Moving the Pawns

You start your turn by drawing a card from the pile. If it is a one or a two, you can start the game by moving a pawn into play. If you already have your pawn in play, you can move it according to the number of spaces on the card. However, if you draw a card that you cannot use, for example, if you draw a 7 when you have no pawn in play, you forfeit your turn.

As you move along the board, you might draw a card that forces you to land on a space occupied by your opponents’ pawn. In that case, you get to knock it off the board and send it back to the starting place. At no point in the game can two pawns occupy the same space on the board.

The same rules apply for your pawns too. If you pick a card that forces you to land on a space occupied by your pawn, you cannot move it. Instead, you either move a different pawn or forfeit your turn.

However, if your card number allows you to move past your enemy or your pawn, you can do so by jumping over it. Do not knock off the enemy pawn. Just move to your target position and pass the turn to the next player. The turn passes along the players in the left direction.

So, in summary, the following rules apply when you want to move a pawn.

  • Pick one, two, or Sorry! Card to start the game or forfeit your turn.
  • Picking a card and landing on a space occupied by the enemy allows you to knock it off the board.
  • You can jump over your opponents’ pawn if your card allows it.

Slide Triangle 

In the board, you will notice two distinct sections for each of the colors. One of them is the Slide triangle, and the other one is the safe zone. These two sections play a crucial role in the game and allow the players to utilize different strategies while playing.

The slide triangle section is shown with a triangle that directs to a line on the board, ending on a circle. Each side of the board has a slide section that matches the color of the respective side. That means if you are on the red side of the board, you also have a red slide section moving forward from your start.

It can be either a friend or a foe to the players. If you land on a slide that is of your color, nothing happens. You have to continue playing as normal. However, if you land on a slide of your opponents’ color, your pawn moves forward to the circle.

As you move forward, you have to knock every pawn in your way. This includes your pawns as well. So, if you are not careful, you might send your own pawn back to the start point, ruining all of your progress.

Safe Zone

The safe zone, on the other hand, cannot be accessed by anyone other than the player of the same color. It is shown as a grid beside your starting point, going directly to the Home.

If you can move a pawn to this zone, no other players can knock it back to the start. You can, however, bring your pawn back out of the safe zone, if your drawn card allows it.

When in the safe zone, you can either move your pawn to Home or out of the zone. If you draw a card that matches the exact number of steps your pawn needs to move to Home, only then you can proceed with it. Otherwise, you have to forfeit your turn.

However, if you draw a card that causes you to move backward, you have to do that despite being in the safe zone. When all your pawns are in the safe zone, your only option to proceed is to draw a card that either lets you move forward or land in the home zone.

The Win Condition

As we have mentioned already, you start playing with four pawns of the same color. The pawns at the start of the game are inactive. To bring them into play, you need to draw either a one or a two-card. Additionally, you can even draw a sorry card and knock off your opponents’ pawn at the start.

As you play and bring more pawns on to the table, you get to move them along the board based on the cards you draw. Your objective, or win condition, is to lead your pawns safely through the board and inside the home grid. The first one to get to “Home” with all of their pawns wins the game.

Variations of the Game

Now that you know the general way of how to play Sorry board game, it might be worthwhile to learn some of its variations. You do not need anything extra, only a set of rules in addition to the basic ones. We will take a look at two different ways to play Sorry board game in this section of the article.

Team Up or Team Game

In this variation, instead of one vs. one vs. one vs. one, you play as two vs. two. That means you partner up with another player and play against another team of players. When playing this, one team picks red and yellow pawns, while the other picks green and blue. That way, the partners sit on opposite ends of the board.

The win condition in a team game is that both sides of a team must get their pawns to the Home space. All the basic rules apply in this variation, along with a few additions. They are given below,

  • Friendly pawns can and must bump each other back to the start point if the card dictates it.
  • You cannot save Sorry! Card for later. If using Sorry! Card means you need to knock out your partners’ pawn, even then you must do it.
  • The Seven Card can be used to move both you and your partners’ pawn.
  • When you draw one or two-card, you can also move your partners’ inactive pawn back into the board.

The Point Game

Another popular variant of the Sorry board game is playing it with points. Along with the basic rules, it introduces a few other twists in the game. Unlike team up variant, here, all players play against each other. The first player to get all the pawns to the home wins.

Additional rules of the point game are as follows

  • Each player begins with three inactive pawns and one active at the start position.
  • After shuffling the card, instead of putting it all on the board, distribute five cards among each of the players. Then place the remaining cards on the board facing down.
  • The players select a card from their hand and carry out the instruction according to the normal game rule. After the turn, they discard the used card and pick another card from the board.
  • If, for some reason, you cannot use the card in your hand, discard it and pick another card. However, you cannot move your pawn that turn.

If you are wondering how the point system in the game works, check the following section.

  • For each pawn that safely reaches home, a player earns 5 points.
  • The winner earns 5 points for every piece of the pawn that did not reach home.
  • If none of the other players could get more than two pawns home, the winner earns 25 points.
  • If none of the other players could get more than one pawn home, the winner earns 50 points.
  • In case the winner manages to get all the pawns home before any of the opponents’ scores, he earns 100 points.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How many players do I need to play Sorry Board Game?

You can play the game as long as there are more than two players but less than four. However, it is more fun with four players.

2. What happens when you pick a two-card but cannot use it?

No matter which card you choose, if you cannot use it, you have to forfeit your turn and discard the card.

3. How to win when I get to the safety zone?

When you get to the safe zone with one of your pawns, you have to draw a card that matches the exact steps you need to get that pawn to the Home position. This means if your pawn needs to cross four steps to get to home, you need to pick a four-card.

Final Thoughts

The Sorry board game is one of the most interesting and fun board games out there to enjoy with your friends. Despite the game being so simple and easy to understand, you would find that it is quite hard to get all the pieces to the finish line, especially when other players are constantly trying to knock you out.

We hope you found our guidelines on the Sorry board game rules informative. You should now know very well how to play it properly.

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