Playing Ludo with Sportsmanship: Rules and Pointers on Etiquette

Ludo is one of the most popular board games of all time. The game gets its name from the Latin word ‘ludo’ which translates to “I play”. Ludo traces its origins to an ancient Indian board game called ‘Pachisi’. Over the ages, the popularity of Ludo spread across countries and cultures, where it became known by different names, but this game slowly but steadily became an indispensable part of the lifestyles of the people. The Ludo rules are very simple. To play the game, players are required to race their respective colored tokens from the starting point to the finishing point on the basis of dice rolls. Ludo can be played by a minimum of two and a maximum of four players, and it is the ideal board game to play with family and friends at any time. Thanks to the advancement of technology, Ludo can now be played both in its physical form as well as on one’s computer, mobile phone, or tablet.

Here is a quick rundown of the rules of Ludo:

  • Ludo is played on a board with four ‘bases’ at each corner from where players start their moves and the board features a path around the board on which the pieces must move from the starting point to the finishing point.
  • Ludo is a game that is time-bound, and each player is allotted a limited amount of time to make their moves. 
  • Ludo can be played by a minimum of two and a maximum of four players.
  • Each player is allotted four pieces (which are also known as ‘pawns’) of a particular color - they can select from blue, green, red, and yellow.
  • Each player takes a turn with a dice roll and the player whose roll gets the highest number starts the game by moving the first of their respective colored pieces.
  • Players must move their respective colored pieces according to their turn on the basis of dice rolls. 
  • All the pieces must be moved in a clockwise direction in a single circuit around the board, through the home column, and up to the finishing point.
  • At each dice roll, players decide which of their four pieces they want to move. Each turn allows only one piece to be moved based on the result of the dice roll.
  • If the dice roll results in a ‘6’, the player gets an additional turn. However if a dice roll throws up a ‘6’ three times consecutively, the player loses their turn.
  • If a player’s piece lands on an opponent’s piece (i.e. a piece of a different color), the piece that is landed upon returns to the starting point.
  • If a player’s piece lands on another of their own pieces (i.e. a piece of the same color), it forms a ‘block’. Once a block is formed, no piece of any other color can pass it or land on it.
  • The first player to get all four of their pieces to the finishing point wins the game. The remaining players continue the game to determine their respective ranks.

Now that the rules of Ludo have been covered, it is time to take a look at some tips on playing etiquette that can help to make the game fun and enjoyable for everyone:

Be familiar with the rules

It goes without saying that one should be familiar with the rules of a game to be able to play it properly and fairly. Read the rules of Ludo before playing and familiarize yourself with the terms used in the game.

Make your move as quickly as possible

Ludo is played by turns. To ensure the game progresses smoothly, avoid procrastinating, and make your move as quickly as you can so that the next player can take their turn.

Avoid abandoning the game midway

You may find Ludo boring or unfun after you have already started playing. You may feel tempted to quit, but in the spirit of sportsmanship, do stick with the game until it is finished!

Handle the board and the pieces with care

While playing Ludo, treat the board as well as all the pieces with care, especially if the game is owned by someone else. After all, you would not want someone else to mishandle something you own!

Be courteous and respectful to other players

With all games, there can be only one winner. Regardless of your rank or how the game plays out, be respectful and graceful toward your opponents.

Eliminate distractions as far as possible

When playing Ludo, it helps to have as few distractions around as possible. This will help to ensure the game can be played smoothly and without any disturbances. It will also help to keep all players focused.

Keep food and drinks away from the board

It is well known that accidents can happen, and if food or drinks get spilled on the Ludo board it could damage it. Therefore, if you want to munch or sip while playing, keep it on a separate table or stand which is away from the board.

Be kind towards mistakes by other players

Nobody is perfect, after all. Therefore, while playing Ludo, it is best to always be kind to other players when they make a mistake. Not everyone may be as well-versed with the game as you, so give them the benefit of the doubt wherever possible! With these pointers in mind, you can help to make Ludo fun for everyone!

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