Ludo is a popular board game derived from an ancient Indian game called Pachisi. It is a fun, family-friendly board game played with 2-4 people. It is easy to understand, but has some complex rules. The goal of the game is to get all your pawns inside the home pocket, which is located in the middle of the board.
Get a Ludo set. You should be able to find a Ludo board game at any children’s store or bookstore that sells board games. It is more popular in Indian and Bangladeshi cultures, but there are Western versions available.
Understand Ludo terminology. There are several terms specific to Ludo and other similar games. Each player picks a color and is control of the four pieces, or pawns. Instead of using a pair of dice, Ludo only requires one die. The game begins by setting up each pawn in their corresponding pockets. Pockets are the big, color-coated squares in each corner. The home pocket is the center square that has one space of each color.
Get a group together. Ludo can be played with 2 to 4 players. Players should be over four years old or have the attention span to count and take turns. Each player chooses one of the four colors represented on the board and on the pawns
Prepare the board. After each player chooses a color, take all of the pawns of that color and place them in the pockets of the same color.
Decide who goes first. Determine who goes first by luck of the die. Let each player roll the die. Whoever rolls the highest number goes first. The order of play will proceed clockwise from the player who goes first.
Start the game. Whoever rolled the highest initial throw has the first attempt to begin the game. To start moving across the board, a player must roll a six to activate a pawn “into play.” If the starting person doesn’t roll a six, then the player clockwise to them rolls. The initial six allows a pawn to leave the pocket.
Follow the roll. After a player rolls an initial six to activate a pawn into play, that player will roll the die a second time to move the pawn. You must follow the number that is thrown. To land in the “home” section, you need to move the exact number rolled. You can’t capture home pockets if you roll a higher number than required.
Understand the rule of sixes. When the player rolls a six they can get a single pawn out off a pocket. Then you roll again and move that pawn the number of spaces corresponding to the second roll.
Capture an opponent’s pawn. You can capture an opponent’s pawn anytime you land on top of one of their pawns. The pawn that is captured goes back to the corresponding player’s pocket. That player then has to roll a six in order to get their pawn out
Play with blobs. A blob forms when one or more pawns of the same color are on the same space. Blobs act as barriers for all pawns, including yours, on the board. When you have two pawns of the same color and an opponent’s pawn lands on the space, it is called a mixed blob. When a mixed blob occurs, all pawns on the space are returned to their respective pockets.
Pair your pawns. This is a double edged sword that can either win you the game or lose you the game. You can pair pawns by simply landing one pawn on top of another with an exact number. When pawns are paired, you cannot separate them until you reach the home pocket or get captured back into your pocket. As long as you are paired and not in a pocket, the opponent cannot pass you or take you out, unless they also have a pair and land on top of your pawns.
Reach the home run. In order to place your pawns into the home run, you’ll need to make a lap around the track of the board. Each pawn starts by going to the right. Once you’ve made a complete lap you can file your pawns into the home run.
Win the game. To win the game, you need to get all your pawns inside the home pocket before your opponent can. You cannot jump pawns in Ludo.