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Sorry Game Rules & Strategies and How to Play

Sorry is based on an Ancient Indian game and takes its name from the main point of playing. If you want to win in Sorry you’ll need to impede another player’s progress. So, you’ll likely be saying sorry a lot if you want to win! But if you want to give this game a go you’ll need to know the Sorry rules, won’t you? 

Like many board games, Sorry can be played with 2 to 4 players. However, you don’t use dice in Sorry movement is done with cards. Sorry might seem like quite a simple game but there is actually quite a bit of strategy involved. Let’s take a more in-depth look at Sorry before we examine the rules more closely. 

What is Sorry?

Sorry is based on the ancient Indian game of Pachisi. It was made in England with the first known patent for the game being registered in 1929. The American version of the game came just a year later and was for a time under the famous Parker Brothers brand. 

Nowadays Sorry is published by Hasbro and while it might not be as famous as some board games like Monopoly it certainly has a fanbase. If you’re looking for a slightly more uncommon game to play at your next board game night then it’s easy to recommend Sorry. 

The game is very easy to get to grips with and it could even be considered a two-player card game. Not a traditional one but it certainly fits the bill in our opinion. Let’s take a more detailed look at how to play Sorry in more detail. And examine the Sorry rules you need to know. 

How to Play Sorry

Another reason Sorry makes a great choice for a board game night is that getting a game set will be simple. Unlike games like Monopoly or Uno with their many variants Sorry usually follows the same design and structure. 

There are a couple of verisions to the standard Sorry board game set but they aren’t nearly as common as the traditional game. The product below is a great example of what to look out for if you’re interested in giving Sorry a try. 

On Sale Sorry

The Sorry Board 

The Sorry board can look a little confusing at first glance. The board features 16 squares at each side and 8 circles can be found in the middle. 4 of these circles are marked as home spaces, while the other 4 are marked as start spaces. 

They’ll be a row of 5 colored squares that lead to the home circle which are known as a safety zone. The circles are split into 4 separate colors normally red, yellow, green, and blue. The start circles hold your 4 colored pawns. 

The aim of the game is to move your pawns around the board and get all of them into the matching colored home circle first. Colored arrows on the board show the direction you move in when playing. 

The Pawns 

Each team in sorry will have 4 colored pawns that they need to move around the board. The design of the pawns can vary but they are usually small and circular in design. The pawns should all be placed in the home circle at the start of the game. 

The Sorry Cards 

Now, this is where Sorry gets interesting because instead of using dice to move you need to draw cards from the deck. The Sorry deck is made up of 45 cards that are marked with numbers between 1 and 12. 

The numbers 6 and 9 aren’t used in Sorry. There is also the Sorry card as well, below we have used a table to outline what each card does. 

1Move a pawn out of the start circle or move a pawn one space forward.
2Move a pawn out of the start circle or move a pawn two spaces forward/ you can also draw another card from the deck at the end of your turn. 
3Move a pawn three spaces forward.
4Move a pawn four spaces forward.
5Move a pawn five spaces forward.
7You can move a pawn seven spaces forwards. The movement can be split between 2 pawns as well. However, it can’t be used to move a pawn out of the start circle. 
8Move a pawn eight spaces forward.
10You can move a pawn ten spaces forward or one space backward. If no pawn is able to move ten spaces, then one must be moved backwards. 
11You can either move a pawn 11 spaces forward, or switch the places of one of your pawns with your own opponents. If you can’t move 11 spaces, then you will either need to make the switch or forfeit your turn. 
12Move a pawn 12 spaces forward. 
SorryYou can take one of your pawns from the start circle and then move it to a square occupied by your opponent’s pawn. This will then send your opponent’s pawn back to its start circle. If you have no pawns in your start circle then your turn is forfeited. 

Sorry Rules and Gameplay 

sorry rules

The Aim of The Game 

The aim of Sorry is to be the first player to get all their pawns to their corresponding, colored home circle. Basically, you need to get all 4 of your pawns around the board first. Because you have to use cards to move this won’t be as simple as it may first seem though. 

There is a lot of scope for strategic play in Sorry. Do you try to move all your pieces around the board together or focus on getting one pawn to the end and then work on moving another? Moving backward is also a very beneficial strategy in Sorry. 

While only a few cards allow you to move a pawn backward they can grant significant shortcuts. For example, if one of your pawns has only just left the start circle then moving backward could allow you to reach home more quickly. 

But before you think about developing a strategy let’s look at how you set the game up. We’ll also be taking a look at the standard Sorry rules so you can ensure you are playing the right way. 

Starting The Game 

To start with every player should choose a color and move their pawns to the corresponding start circle. Players should then choose who goes first, if you can’t decide then everyone should pick a card. 

The lowest number card goes first and then play continues clockwise. During their turn, each player should draw a card from the top of the deck and follow the instructions. Remember that only a 1 or 2 numbered card will allow you to move a pawn out of the start circle though. 

So, if you’re unlucky actually moving around the board could take awhile. Also under standard Sorry rules, two pawns can’t occupy the same square on the board. Although a pawn can jump over another. 

If you land on the same square where there is already a player’s pawn then you can bump it. This means the other player’s pawn must return to its start circle. Player’s can’t bump their own pawns though, which means if you are unlucky enough to land on the same square as one of your other pawns your turn is effectively forfeited. 

Safe Zones

The last 5 squares before a home circle are safety zones. These five spaces will be colored to match the home circle so they are easily identifiable. Only pawns of the matching color can go on these squares. 

Pawns on these squares can’t be bumped and can’t be switched with an 11 or Sorry card. However, they can still be moved backward and won’t be considered safe if they are moved out of the zone. 

Sorry – A Deceptively Simple Board Game  

Sorry is a deceptively simple game that will be sure to put friendships and family relationships to the test! The aim of “Sorry” is simple but you’ll have to be devious and think tactically if you want to win. If you’re looking for a fun strategy game for 2 to 4 players then it would make a fine choice.

Now that you know all the Sorry rules you can go ahead and start playing. Have fun!

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