How to Play the Game of Sorry Guide

2 -4  players

30 mins

Age: 6 +

Check out our easy to read guide covering the game of Sorry rules. We cover the essential game of sorry instructions to get you started quickly. In our guide, you will get directions on how to set up and play the game.

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Table of Contents

What is the goal of the game of Sorry?

Be the first player to get all 4 of your pawns from your colour Start to your colour HOME.

Game setup 

  • Choose 4 pawns of the same colour and put them on that colour START space
  • Shuffle the deck of cards and place face-down on “Place Pack Here” space to form the Draw Pile
  • Randomly pick a player to go first.


Sorry 1

Each player takes a turn. Once a player completes a turn, the player on the left goes next.

On each turn, a player will:

  1. pick the top card from the Draw Pile
  2. move accordingly based on the picked card
  3. place picked card face-up on “Discard Here” space

Starting a Pawn
To move a pawn from START onto the track, a player must draw a 1 or 2 card.

Jumping and Bumping
Players may jump over their own or another player’s pawn that’s in the way, counting it as one space. If a player lands on a space occupied by an opponent’s pawn, that pawn is BUMPED back to its own colour START SPACE.

Moving Backwards
4 and 10 cards 
move a player’s pawn backwards. If a player’s pawn moves at least 2 spaces backwards beyond their own START space, they may, on the next turn move into their SAFETY ZONE without going around the board.


  • If it is your first turn and you do not draw a card that lets you start a pawn out, you forfeit the turn
  • 2 pawns of the same colour may never occupy the same space. If your only possible move results in this, you forfeit your turn
  • Any time you can move, YOU MUST MOVE
  • When the Draw Pile cards have run out, Shuffle the Discards and create a new Draw Pile


The Cards


Start pawn out or move forward one space


Start pawn out or move forward two spaces. Draw again and move accordingly (even if you cannot move)


Move one pawn forward 3 spaces


Move one pawn backwards 4 spaces


Move one pawn forward 5 spaces


Either move one pawn forward 7 spaces or split the forward move between any 2 pawns:

  • you may not use 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


Move one pawn forward 8 spaces


Either move one pawn forward 10 spaces or move one pawn backwards 1 space


Move 1 pawn forward 11 spaces or switch any one of your pawns with one of any opponents :

  • you may forfeit your move if you don’t 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 the SAFETY ZONE
  • If your switch landed you on a triangle at the beginning of another player’s slide, slide to the end


Move one pawn forward 12 spaces


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, forfeit your move. 

How do you win?

You win when all 4 of your pawns reach HOME first. If you play again, the winner goes first.

The Board

You must bring all 4 of your pawns into HOME by the exact count. Once HOME, the pawn does not move again for the rest of the game.


Any time you land by exact count on the triangle at the start of the slide that is not your own colour, slide ahead to the end and BUMP any pawns in your way, including your own, back to their own START spaces. If you land on a SLIDE of your own colour, you do not slide and stay put on the triangle.

Safety Zone:

A player can only enter their own safety zone. No pawn may enter by a backward move. However, a pawn may move backward out of its safety zone and on subsequent turns move back into the zone.

Video Walkthrough

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