Sorry! is an American board game introduced by Parker Brothers in 1934. Like its European cousin Ludo, it is descended from the Indian game Pachisi (see Parcheesi.)

Sorry! is played on a board similar to Parcheesi. It is a game for four players, each with four pawns (either red, blue, green, or yellow). Whereas the original Pachisi /Parcheesi and the European Ludo use dice, movement of the pawns in Sorry! is controlled by playing cards. The goal of the game is to move one’s pawns clockwise around the board from the color-coded START circle to the (same color) HOME. To move a pawn out from the START circle at the beginning of the game requires drawing a card with a 1 or a 2 on it; once out, pawns can bump other players’ pawns back into their START circles by landing on the square occupied by that pawn. The board has eight SLIDE sections (four of each color) printed on it; if a player lands on the triangle at the beginning of a SLIDE section of an opposing color, s/he slides the length of the colored area (4-5 spaces) and knocks all pawns s/he passes back to their START circles.

The Cards—by number… courtesy of http://www.central

  • 1 : Either start a pawn out OR move one pawn forward 1 space.
  • 2: Either start a pawn out OR move one pawn forward 2 spaces. Whichever you do, even if you couldn’t move, DRAW AGAIN and move accordingly.
  • 3: Move one pawn forward 3 spaces.
  • 4: Move one pawn backwards 4 spaces.
  • 5: Move one pawn forward 5 spaces.
  • 7: Either move one pawn forward 7 spaces—OR split the forward move between any two pawns. Note: -You may not use a 7 to start a pawn. If you use part of the 7 to get a pawn HOME, you must be able to use the balance of the move for another pawn.
  • 8: Move one pawn forward 8 spaces.
  • 10: Either move one pawn forward 10 spaces—OR move one pawn backwards 1 space.
  • 11: Move one pawn forward 11 spaces—OR switch any one of your pawns with one of any opponent’s. Notes: -You may forfeit your move if you do not wish to change places and it is impossible to go forward 11 spaces. -You may only use 11 for pawns in play on the open track—not at START, HOME, or in a SAFETY ZONE. -If your switch landed you on a triangle at the beginning of another player’s SLIDE, slide to the end!
  • 12 : Move one pawn forward 12 spaces.
  • SORRY! : Take one pawn from your START, place it on any space that is occupied by any opponent, and bump that opponent’s pawn back to its START. If there is no pawn on your START or no opponent’s pawn on any space you can move to, you forfeit your move.

Sorry! can be played in teams (red with yellow, blue with green), it can be played for points, it is available in both travel and electronic versions. It has been compared to Milton Bradley’s pop-O-matic dice game Trouble; people have even been known to play this classic slide pursuit game as a drinking game. The setbacks inherent to the game can be maddening, and highly competitive children have been known to throw the board or pieces thereof in temper tantrums caused by being sent back to START. This is not a game about losing graciously. My mother has a simple way around these frustrations; before she will play, everyone has to agree that she can be blue, go first, and win.