Ludo & Uckers Rules

Ludo is a children's game based upon the ancient Indian game of Pachisi. Uckers is a game played in the Royal Navy (and apparently some non-British navies) on a Ludo board.  

 

Ludo Rules

Equipment

A Ludo board is is square with a pattern on it in the shape of a cross, each arm being divided into three adjacent columns of eight squares.  The middle squares form the home column for each colour and cannot be landed upon by other colours. The middle of the cross forms a large square which is the 'home' area and which is divided into 4 home triangles, one of each colour. At each corner, separate to the main circuit are coloured circles (or squares) where the pieces are placed to begin.

Counters start their circuit one square in from the end of the arm and adjacent to the starting circle. Avoid modern boards which incorrectly place the first square at the end of the arm.

The starting square, the starting circle, the home triangle and all the home column squares are coloured to match the corresponding pieces.

Each player chooses one of the 4 colours (green, yellow, red or blue) and places the 4 pieces of that colour in the corresponding starting circle. A single die is thrown to determine movement.

 

Play

Players take turns in a clockwise order; highest throw of the die starts.

Each throw, the player decides which piece to move. A piece simply moves in a clockwise direction around the track given by the number thrown. If no piece can legally move according to the number thrown, play passes to the next player.

A throw of 6 gives another turn.

A player must throw a 6 to move a piece from the starting circle onto the first square on the track. The piece moves 6 squares around the circuit beginning with the appropriately coloured start square (and the player then has another turn).

If a piece lands on a piece of a different colour, the piece jumped upon is returned to its starting circle.

If a piece lands upon a piece of the same colour, this forms a block. This block cannot be passed or landed on by any opposing piece.

 

Winning

When a piece has circumnavigated the board, it proceeds up the home column. A piece can only be moved onto the home triangle by an exact throw.

The first person to move all 4 pieces into the home triangle wins.

 

Recommended variants

For young children, a piece may start with a throw of a 1 or a 6. Speeds things up.

For adults, to make Ludo a lot more interesting and skilful, try using the rules for Pachisi and Chaupur or Uckers.

 

 

Uckers Rules

Uckers is played by four people with the players opposite each other partnering to form 2 teams. It is essentially Ludo with extended rules that make it a much more absorbing and skilful game.

 

Equipment

Uckers is played on a Ludo board but is played with two dice instead of one.

 

Basic Play

Players take turns in a clockwise order; the player with the highest throw of the two dice starts.

Each throw, the player decides which pieces to move. A piece simply moves in a clockwise direction around the track. There are 2 options:

  • One piece is moved the value of one die, a second piece is moved the value of the other die.
  • One piece is moved the total value of both dice (the piece does not stop on an intermediate square reached by the throw of one of the die - so cannot take any piece except one lying on the final square).

If only one piece is left, then the total of both dice must be used, if possible. If the total cannot be used, then the largest number of the two dice must be used, if possible and the other dice throw is forfeited. If no piece can legally move, both dice throws are forfeited.

 

Starting a Piece

The only way for a player to move a piece from the starting circle onto the track is by throwing a 6. Whenever a 6 is thrown, the player has the option of moving a piece from the starting circle to the first square on the track instead of moving a piece already on the track. A double 6 can be used to start 2 pieces on the track.

 

Additional throws

A throw of a 6 or a double 6 gives one additional throw of both die. The additional throw happens even if the player cannot move with the 6. The only exception to this is that no additional throws are allowed when a player has just captured a blob (see below).

If the additional throw shows a 6 or a double 6, another additional throw is granted, and so on.

 

Capturing

If a piece lands on an opponent's single piece, the piece jumped upon is returned to its starting circle.

If a player's piece lands on a square with one or more of their partner's pieces this is called a 'mixed blob'. If an opponent lands on a mixed blob, all the pieces are captured and returned to their starting circle.

 

Blobs

If square containing one or more pieces of the same colour forms a barrier known as a 'blob'. By default a blob cannot be passed or landed on by an opponent but a blob does not block a partner's pieces.

A blob can be captured but only by following the proper series of events viz.:

  1. An opposing player must move a piece to the square before the blob.
  2. The opposing player must next throw a 6 and say "Challenge". Note that a player cannot move into position and say "Challenge" in the same throw. As soon as the challenge has been laid down, the player cannot advance any other piece until the blob is captured or the barrier is returned to a single piece by the opponent. On the challenge turn, the second dice value is forfeited, even if it is a 6. But the player does have an extra throw.
  3. The opposing player must then throw a 6 for each piece making up the blob. So a blob consisting of 3 pieces needs 4 throws of 6 (including the Challenge throw) to remove it. Unlike the challenge turn, both 6s of a double 6 count towards this end.
  4. Once the final 6 has been thrown, the capturing piece moves onto the blob's square and the blob's pieces are returned to their starting circle. The turn immediately comes to an end, any unused die value is forfeited and no additional throw is made.

A piece in a starting circle can challenge a blob on the adjacent starting square. However, an additional 6 is required. For example, to capture a blob consisting of three pieces from a starting circle would require a challenge followed by 4 more throws of 6.

A player cannot challenge a blob from a mixed blob.

 

Winning

Once a player has reached the home triangle with all 4 pieces, that player must then throw a six. Once a six has been thrown, from the next turn onwards, that player moves their partners pieces, if possible.

When a piece has circumnavigated the board, it proceeds up the home column. A piece can only be moved onto the home triangle by an exact throw.

The first team to move all 8 pieces into the home triangle wins.

 

 

 

 

 


These rules are provided by Masters Traditional Games, an Internet shop selling quality traditional games, pub games and unusual games. For information on copying and copyright, see our disclaimer.

Our rules are comprehensive instructions for friendly play. If in doubt, always abide by locally-played or house rules.

Copyright Masters Games 2012. All rights reserved.

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