Parker Brothers Slide Pursuit Game

Legal Preamble

The actual rules to Sorry! are © 2002, by Hasbro. This document is not intended to violate the copyright of Hasbro, but to present the reader with an introduction to the game. The author of this document, Elliott C. Evans, encourages everyone to buy a copy of this great game, and hopes he will not be sued by anybody.


Sorry! is an excellent board game that is simple to learn and play, but has enough detail in it to be fun even for people who like complex strategy. It plays very quickly, and is a good warm-up game for groups of four.

This document is a quick summary of the rules. The idea is to familiarize the reader with this game so that any references made to the game by other documents will be understood. This document assumes that the only variation of this game worth discussing is the "variation for adults," or "tournament version."

What's in a Sorry! Set?

The Board

The board for Sorry! looks mostly like this:

A 'Sorry!' board.

It has several important features.

The Start Spaces

You start out with all four of your pawns on your Start.

The Open Track

The squares around the edge of the board are called the open track. This is where most movement occurs during the game.

The Slides

Some parts of the open track have "slides" on them. The triangular ends of the slides are the start of each slide. The circular ends of the slides are the end of each slide. More about using slides, later.

The Safety Zones

The safety zones are the colored squares leading to your home. You may only enter your own safety zone. You must enter it from where it joins to the open track. While one of your pawns is in your safety zone, no other player can affect that pawn.

The Home Spaces

The ultimate goal of the game is to get all four of your pawns onto your Home space. More about Home under "How do You Win...".

The Pawns

Each player has four pawns of a color that matches the side of the board in front of that player. These pawns all start out on the Start space of their respective color.

The Cards

A Sorry! deck is very similar to a poker deck, except for these differences:

How do You Play Sorry!?

Setting Up

  1. Shuffle the deck.
  2. Deal five cards face down to each player.
  3. Place the remaining deck face down in the middle of the board.
  4. Place the four pawns of each color on the Start of that color.
  5. Pick a player to go first.

On Your Turn

  1. Select one card from your hand.
  2. Play it onto the discard pile.
  3. Move one of your pawns according to its instructions. If you cannot move any of your pawns according to those instructions, that card has no effect.
  4. Draw a new card and add it to your hand.
  5. If any player's pawn ends a turn at the start of a slide that is a different player's color, that pawn slides to the end of that slide. Any pawns in the middle of the slide are sent back to their respective Starts.
  6. If any player's pawn ends a turn on a square that is occupied by another pawn, the pawn that was landed on is sent back to the appropriate Start.

The Meanings of the Cards

Move a pawn from your Start to just outside it,
move a pawn forward one square.
Move a pawn from your Start to just outside it,
move a pawn forward two squares.
In addition, even if you did not move, take another turn after this one.
Move a pawn forward three squares.
Move a pawn backward four squares.
Move a pawn forward five squares.
Move a pawn forward seven squares,
split the move between two pawns, moving them forward a total of seven squares.
Move a pawn forward eight squares.
Move a pawn forward ten squares,
move a pawn backward one square.
Move a pawn forward eleven squares,
you may switch one of your pawns that is on the open track with any pawn of another color that is also on the outer track.
Move a pawn forward twelve squares.
Take a pawn off your Start, place it on any open track space that is occupied by an opponent's pawn, and send the opposing pawn back to Start.

The "Safety Zone" and "Home"

You may enter your safety zone only by moving forward. You may leave the safety zone by moving backwards, but not via any other card effect. In other words, pawns in your safety zone cannot be affected by Sorry cards or elevens.

You may also leave the safety zone by landing on your Home by exact count. Pawns on your Home are essentially out of the game, and are not affected by any card or movement rules.

How do You Win a Game of Sorry!?

If you get all four of your pawns onto your Home, you win!

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