Ludo (board game)

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Ludo (from Latin ludo, "I play") is a simple board game, similar to Tock and Sorry!, for two to four players, in which the players race their four tokens from start to finish according to dice rolls. The game is a simplification of the traditional Indian Cross and Circle game Pachisi. The game is popular in many countries and is known as "Ludi" in the Caribbean, "Fia med knuff" in Sweden and "Mens-erger-je-niet" in the Netherlands. The German game Mensch ärgere dich nicht is similar. In Poland, the game is known as "The Chinese".



Pachisi originated in India by the 6th century.[1] The earliest evidence of this game in India is the depiction of boards on the caves of Ajanta.[1]

This game was played by the Mughal emperors of India; a notable example being that of Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, who played living Pachisi using girls from his harem[1].

Variations of the game made it to England during the British Raj, with one appearing under the name Ludo around 1896, which was then patented [1].

In Germany this game is called "Mensch ärgere dich nicht" which in English means "Man, don't get irritated", and has equivalent names in Dutch, Czech and Slovak.


A ludo board is normally a square marked with a cross. Each arm of the cross is divided into three columns, with the columns divided into usually six squares. The centre of the cross is the finishing square which is often divided into four coloured triangles. Each coloured triangle is combined with a coloured middle column appears as an arrow pointing to the finish. The shaft of each arrow is a player's "home column" and is five squares long.

To the left of each home column, one square from the edge of the board, is a starting square, also coloured. During game play a piece moves from its starting square, clockwise around the perimeter of the board, and up the player's home column to the finishing square. In the space to the left of each arm is a circle or square to hold a player's pieces before they are allowed into play. Unlike Pachisi, there are no resting squares, but the coloured home column may only be entered by its own player's tokens.

The special areas on the board are typically brightly coloured with yellow, green, red, and blue. Each player uses cardboard or plastic tokens of matching colour.

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