Snakes and Ladders

Traditional

Players
2 - 6
Age
3+
Time
15 - 45
# Snakes and ladders
# India
# Race game
# Classic
# Kids
# bead relocating
# dice
# dice rolling
# family game
# luck
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How to set-up

1. Snakes and Ladders is played on a square board made up of 100 consecutively numbered squares. Some squares allow a player to move forward (a ladder) and some spaces force a player to move backwards (a snake).

2. Snakes and Ladders requires one die.

3. Each player selects 1 BEAD the colour of their choice. BEADs start the board.

4. Players decide who begins the game by rolling a die.

How to play

1. Players take turns to roll the die and move their BEAD the number indicated on the die.

2. If a player rolls a six, they can take a second turn.

3. If a player finishes their turn on a square with a ladder on it, and the ladder finishes on a higher number, the player can move their BEAD to the top of the ladder.

4. If a player finishes their turn on a square with a snake on it, and the snake finishes on a lower number, the player must move their BEAD to the bottom of the snake.

5. Players must land exactly on space 100 to win, if they roll more their BEAD must move towards 100 and then back until the count on the die is finished.

How to win

To win the game, a player must create reach space 100 first.

History

1. Snakes and Ladders origin is found in India as part of a family of dice board games, that included Gyan chauper and pachisi (the equivalent Ludo and Parcheesi).

2. The game had made its way to the UK and was sold as "Snakes and Ladders", then the same concept was introduced in the USA as Chutes and Ladders.

3. The game was popular in ancient India with the name Moksha Patam. It was also associated with traditional Hindu philosophy contrasting karma and kama, or destiny and desire. It put emphasis on destiny, as opposed to games such as pachisi, which focused on life as a mixture of skill, free will and luck.

4. The underlying ideals of the game inspired a version introduced in Victorian England in 1892. The game has also been used as a tool for teaching the effects of good deeds versus bad.