Snakes and Ladders Rules

The game Snakes and Ladders has engrossed many generations of children, experiencing several name changes along the way. This game is popular in many places with different names like Chutes and Ladders in the United States, and Snakes and Arrows in India.

Throughout time, the snakes (chutes) and ladders game and its rules have not changed at all. If one has lost the rules or has made own Snakes and Ladders board, one must review the rules of the game before playing or perhaps try a variation of the traditional rules.

Primary Rule & Objective of Snakes & Ladders Game

The main objective of the game is to be the first player to reach the end (100) by moving around the board from one square to the final square. Many boards wrap back and forth, so one can move left to right around the first row, then move towards the second and move right to the left, and so on. To move forward on the board, follow the numbers that you roll out while throwing the die. For instance, if one has rolled a four and he is in space number 11, then he can move the game piece to space number 15.

Snakes and Ladders Game Rules

The key rules to play snakes and ladders (chutes) are:

Rule 1: Who Goes First?

Every player must roll one die to see which player gets the highest number. Whoever gets the highest number gets the chance of taking the first turn and when the first player takes a turn, the player sitting on the left side of that player will take the next turn. Now, continue the play in a circle going left.

If two or more players roll the same number, which is the highest number rolled, now those players must roll the dice one more time to see who gets to go first.

Rule 2: Roll the Die & Keep on Moving

To take your turn, roll the die again and read aloud the number which you rolled. The player must pick up the game piece and move towards the number of spaces. For instance, if a player rolled a three, then that player would move the piece to square three. On the next turn of the player, if he has rolled a five, then he must move a piece forward five squares on which he will end up on square eight.

Many people play this game in such a way that the player can only move onto the board if the player has rolled a one, and if any player doesn’t get a one, then the player must skip the turn. This way of playing this game is not at all recommended, as this can be irritating for unlucky players.

Rule 3: Rule for Climbing Up Ladders

On the game board, there are several ladders that will help players to move upwards and reach the end faster. If a player lands specifically on a square that reflects an image of the bottom of a ladder, then the player may move the game piece toward the square at the top of the ladder.

Rule 4: Rule for Sliding Down Snakes or Chutes

Several versions of this game involve snakes on the board, while others versions have chutes (slides). Snakes or chutes move the player back on the board because the player has to slide down them. If one has landed exactly at the top of a snake or chute, then the player must move his piece toward the square at the bottom of the snake or chute. If a player lands on a square that is in the middle or at the bottom of a snake (or chute), the player must stay put. The player only slides down if the player lands on the top square of a snake (or chute).

Rule 5: Roll a Six and Take an Extra Turn

If a player rolls a six, then the player gets an extra turn. Firstly, he must move his piece forward six squares and then he rolls the die again. If that player lands on any snakes or ladders, then he must follow the instructions mentioned above to move down or up and then roll again to take the extra turn. As long as a player keeps rolling sixes, the player keeps on moving!

Rule 6: To Win the Game, Land on the Last Square

Player who first reaches the highest square on the board wins the game. Usually, the highest square is 100. We have a twist here! If a player rolls too high, his piece “bounces” off the last square and then moves back. The player can only win by rolling the exact number needed to land on the last square.

For instance, if a player is on square 98 and rolls a five, then he must move the game piece to 100 (two moves), then “bounce” back to 97. If a player lands on the head of the snake, he has to slide as usual.

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