How to Play Sorry Board Game

Try Sorry if you are bored of the regular board games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, and Checkers. This is a 2-to-4 player game, and this article will teach you how to play the Sorry board game. 

Sorry is a fun board game based on Pachisi, a “cross and circle” ancient Indian game. You can play this game with an opponent with a maximum number of four players. You can move your 3 or 4 pieces around the entire board. The aim is to get all of your pawns “home” before your opponents do. Instead of using a dice like most board games, the Sorry board game uses cards to determine the moves. The setup time ranges from 1 to 5 minutes.

A game of Sorry is full of twists and like other cross and circle board games, offers great entertainment for family and friends. However, the game is a little bit more complex than most “throw the dice and move the piece” games. Therefore, you must familiarize yourself with the rules and how this board game works before you sit down to play. Once you know the rules, Sorry will be your new hobby over many weekends to come.

Table of contents


What is a Sorry Board Game?

A Sorry board game takes inspiration from an ancient Indian board game of cross and circle known as Pachisi.  The game requires a minimum of 2 opponents and up to 4 players can play a single game. Every player gets 3 or 4 pieces known as pawns, and you have to try getting all of your pieces to “home” before your opponents do.

The game has an oomph of entertainment with uncertainty as the chances of winning are very random, based on the cards you draw. The overall setup time for Sorry is between 1 and 5 minutes.

The Components of Sorry

You get a game board with 12 “Sorry!” pawns. A total of 45 cards come in the box along with the instruction manual. However, you may not need to read the instructions as you are about to learn how to play the Sorry board game.

The Setup

Each player in the game gets three pawns of the same color. You place your pieces on their start area with a matching area. Now shuffle the cards in the box and place them in the center of your board facing down. The youngest player will be the first to go, and the gameplay moves anti-clockwise, meaning the next player to take a turn is on your left.

The Game Play

When it is your turn to play, follow these simple steps.

·         Draw one card from the deck you kept in the middle. Now follow the instructions given on the card.

·         Place your card face up on the board game where it says “DISCARD HERE.”

·         If and when you run out of cards that you can draw from, pick up the cards from the discard pile. Now reshuffle them and place them back in the middle of the board game facing down.

A forward move card can help move your pawn out of the start area. The pawns always move in a clockwise direction across the game board unless a card you draw instructs you to do otherwise. If a pawn is in your way, you may jump over an opponent’s or your own pawn, counting that slot as 1 space.

However, if you land on a box with an opponent’s pawn, the pawn owner will have to pick up the pawn and start all over again from the start area. Remember, only one pawn can take any space on the entire Sorry board game, with the exception of the “start” area.

In case you doubt that a possible move may result in you landing a space already occupied by another of your own pawn, then you can forfeit your turn. If you cannot move your pawn at any stage of the game, you forfeit the turn. However, if you can make a move, you must, even when it does not give you an advantage over the opponents.

The Rules of Sorry

Like any other board game, there are certain rules that you must follow.


At any point during the game, if you land on a triangle at a slide’s beginning with your color, you can slide ahead to end while bumping any pawns sitting in the way, including your own. This will send all the pawns you bumped back to their start areas.

On the other hand, landing on a slide of a different color does not require you to slide. All you need is to place your pawn on the triangle.

Safety Zone

The only safety zone you can enter is your own color. However, you cannot enter a safety zone through a backward move. You can move a pawn out of the safety zone through a backward move.

Safety Zone – Entry Space

When you are moving the pawn outside the track, you cannot move the pawn forward past the entry of the safety zone of your color. However, drawing a 4 or 10 card allows you to pass the entry space in a backward move.


You will have to bring all of your three pawns home through exact count. Once your pawn is home, you do not move that one again for the rest of the gameplay.

What does Each Card mean?

Here is a short description of each card in a Sorry board game pack.

·         Card with no. 1  - you can move the pawn forward by 1 space

·         Card with no. 2 – you can move the pawn forward by 2 spaces

·         Card with no. 3 – you can move the pawn forward by 3 spaces

·         Card with no. 4  – you can move the pawn backward by 4 spaces

·         Card with no. 5  – you can move the pawn forward by 5 spaces

·         Card with no. 7 –   – you can move the pawn forward by 7 spaces, or you can split the move and use it to move two different pawns. If you have used a part of seven to get one pawn home, you must use the remaining balance to move another pawn. There are no exceptions, and you cannot forfeit the move.

·         Card with no. 8 – you can move the pawn forward by 8 spaces

·         Card with no. 10 - you can move the pawn forward by 10 spaces or move a pawn backward only by 1 space.

·         Card with no. 11 – you can move a pawn forward by 11 spaces or you can switch a single pawn of yours with an opponent’s pawn. You can also forfeit the move if you do not wish to change place or when it is not possible to move 11 spaces forward. You can only switch a pawn with an opponent’s pawn on track, not when it is at the start point, home, or in a safety zone. If the switch lands you in a triangle at the start of the slide with your color, you will have to slide to the end.  

·         Card with no.  12 –  you can move a pawn forward by 12 spaces

·         Card that says “SORRY” – you can move your pawn from its start area and take the place of an opponent’s pawn sending it to the start area. Another option is to move your pawn forward by 4 spaces. In case there is no pawn available on your start, and there are no opponent’s pawns on the board for you to take up the space, or you cannot move a pawn by 4 spaces, you will have to forfeit your turn.

Who Wins?

You or the opponent who gets to take all of the three pawns “home’ is the first to win, while the remaining players compete for the second, third, and last positions.

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