The ancient Indian game of Pachisi was the precursor to the game of ludo as we know it today. It constantly evolved over the years, and different countries developed their variations of the game down to its rules. The word ludo is derived from the Latin word ludus, and when translated into English, it means ‘to play’.
Regarding how to play ludo, the rules and gameplay are pretty straightforward, with an easy learning curve. The game is so simple that even children can get the hang of it. For those on the fence about taking the game of ludo or any other similar game up, The Washington Post gives seven reasons to do so.
Description Of The Ludo Board:
Before getting into the gameplay, understanding the board’s layout is necessary. Knowing where you are safe from attack and how to use the board to your advantage will be possible only when aware of the board’s design.
The ludo board resembles a cross with four smaller portions. Each portion is of a different color, and the middle set of squares is the home column for the four specific colored tokens. Players are safe from attack in this zone as rival players cannot follow them here.
The very middle of the cross has a large square and four triangles which is the finish line for each color.
Gameplay – Traditional Ludo:
- Just outside the counters’ initial position is the first square from where the count begins.
- The players choose from one of the four colors (green, yellow, red, or blue) and place the four pieces of that color in the corresponding starting location. Throwing a single die indicates how many paces to move.
- The starting square or circle, the home zone triangle, and all the column squares correspond to the color of the pieces.
- The game and the tokens move in a clockwise direction.
- If a token lands on a square with a rival’s piece, it must return to its initial position.
- If two tokens of the same color land on a square, it acts as a roadblock, and no opponent’s tokens can cross it.
- Once a piece has rounded the board, it enters the home column and has to reach the triangle at the end.
- To win, the player has to take all four pieces to the triangle, and the first one to do so is the victor.
- The other players continue playing to decide the runner-ups.
Rules – Traditional Ludo:
- A player must roll a six to take a piece out and begin its journey on the board. The player moves six squares and gets to play another turn.
- If the player rolls a six, they can take a new token out or advance a piece already in play, and rolling six nets the player a bonus roll.
- The player’s token cannot progress to the home triangle unless the number on the die matches fewer than or the exact number of steps required.
- While rolling six gets you an additional turn, roll six consecutively thrice, and you will have to skip your turn.
- If only two players are participating, they should sit opposite each other.
Gameplay – Online Ludo:
There are two thrilling modes of Ludo for the players to choose from – Numbers and Dice.
- With numbers, a random number from 1-6 is assigned to the player, and the token moves forward that many steps.
- The Dice version also takes a similar route, except that a dice roll determines the number instead of the AI doing it for you.
- The player gets to move the token according to the number on the die, and each turn will give points according to the number of steps taken.
- Once the player chooses the mode, they are matched automatically with a player of their skill level.
- The game lasts four minutes, during which the players must attempt to take home as many tokens as possible.
Rules – Online Ludo:
- Rolling a six or one will allow you to take your tokens out.
- Capturing the opponent’s token is also an opportunity for scoring extra points.
- The game ends once the allotted moves are complete.
- Grabbing an opponent’s token will also help you score points.
- However, if your token is captured, you will lose points.
- Taking your token home will fetch you additional points.
- Take out all the pieces as soon as possible.
- If a token nears the home triangle, invest larger die rolls on it.
- Ensure you keep all the tokens on the move, lest you get taken out.
- Resist the temptation to take out on an opponent’s token when you can get into the home stretch instead.
- Use the 7-rule strategy and stay seven steps ahead of your opponent.
- Use the passive/aggressive approach to the game, as it is an ideal mix.
Ludo requires players to utilize a mix of strategic and logical reasoning while teasing them by showing how fickle-minded fortune can be. Ludo is a game that needs lady luck to be on your side. The thrill of the chase as you hound your rival’s tokens only to find that the hunter has become the hunted is unmatched.
Online ludo platforms entice players to sign up for their offerings by allowing them to earn cash rewards. With all these bonus features, these applications pose a real threat to ludo’s physical version.
But as we see, the sentimental link to the traditional variant is strong; thus, it is going nowhere and has been able to hold its own against the new kid in town.