sorry rules title

OBJECTIVE OF SORRY!: Be the first player to get all four of your pawns from the color corresponding START space to HOME.


MATERIALS: game board, 16 pawns (4 of each of the 4 colors), deck of cards (without 6’s or 9’s)

TYPE OF GAME: Strategy Board Game

AUDIENCE: Kids and adults



  • Players: 2 to 4
  • Objective: Move all of your game pieces to your “Home”
  • Age range: 6+

Sorry! is one of the most popular board games of all time. This game has been around longer than you might think, with the first edition dropping in 1933! This game sees players attempting to move all four of their pawns around the board and into their “Home” space. The game consists of 45 cards, most of which simply contain numbers that allow you to move your pawns forward. However, the major twist of Sorry! is that there are 4 “Sorry!” Cards. These cards allow a player to move one of their pieces to a place where an opponent’s pawn is, knocking the opponent’s pawn back to the starting position.

This entertaining (and often frustrating) game is an absolute classic! In this article, you’ll find a complete list of rules to Sorry! as well as info on setting up the game and where to purchase it!


Each player picks a color: choose the four corresponding pawns and place them at the start of the same color. Shuffle the deck of cards after removing the sixes and nines and place the deck face down on “Place Pack Here,” this is the draw pile. Pick a player to start the game (highest card draw, youngest player, etc.) Play moves to the left. Pawns move around the board clockwise in Sorry!



To begin moving your pawns from the START, you must draw from the deck either a 1 or a 2. If you draw a 1, move your pawn out of the start and place it on the space below marked with a circle. If you draw a 2, move a pawn to the circle and draw again. These are the only cards that can start a pawn. If you do not draw either a 1 or 2, place card in the discard pile, and you lose your turn. Pick cards by drawing the top card of the Draw Pile and moving, if possible, the respective amount of spaces. Dispose of cards in the Discard Here Pile.


Two pawns may not occupy the same space on the board. Therefore, pawns are allowed to jump and bump other pawns. If a pawn is located in your path, and you have a sufficient number of moves, you may jump over that pawn. However, if you land on the same space as another pawn, you can bump it back to its start.


  • Two pawns of the same color are not premised to occupy the same space. If your move gives you no option other than landing on a space you already occupy, you lose your turn.

Pawns may also move backward if a 4 or a 10 card is drawn. If your pawn has been moved at least 2 spaces behind your START, on your following turn, you can move into your SAFETY ZONE without having to move across the board.

If you land exactly on a space with a triangle, no matter which card you drew, you can slide along the marked spaces until the end. You may only slide on triangles that are not your own color. While sliding, you may also bump pawns in your path back to their start. If you land on a triangle of your own color- do not slide; just stay on the triangle.


  • You must always move if you can, even if it puts you at a disadvantage.
  • If the Draw Pile runs dry, shuffle the Discard Pile and reuse it.


Safety Zones resemble slide zones but are larger, at the end of which is HOME. You can only enter the Safety Zone which corresponds to the color of your pawns/START space. Normal rules apply within the Safety Zone. You may not enter the Safety Zone through a direct backward move. However, you can move backward out of the Safety Zone if the card instructs. That pawn has the opportunity to move back into the zone on the following turn.


Be the first player to get all four of their pawns to their color corresponding HOME space to win. If you wish to play again, the winner may have the first turn.


1: Starting card, move one of your pawns one space forward.

sorry rules 1

2: Starting card, move the pawn two spaces forward. For both circumstances, even if you could not move your pawn, draw again.

sorry rules 2

3: Move one of your pawns three spaces forward.

sorry rules 3

4: Move one of your pawns four spaces backward. 

sorry rules 4

5: Move one of your pawns five spaces forward.

sorry rules 5

7: You can either move on pawn forward seven spaces OR split the move between two of your pawns. If you use part of a 7 to move a pawn HOME, you must be able to split the move with another pawn.

sorry rules 7

8: Move one of your pawns eight spaces forward.

sorry rules 8

10: You can either move one pawn ten spaces forward OR move one pawn one space backward. 

sorry rules 10

11: You can either move one pawn eleven spaces forward OR switch a single pawn of yours with an opponent’s.

  • If it is impossible to move forward eleven spaces, and you do not wish to switch pawns with another player, you lose your turn.
  • If switching pawns puts you on another colored triangle, slide!  

sorry rules 11

12: Move one of your pawns twelves spaces forward.

sorry rules 12

SORRY!: If you have a pawn at your start, you may put it on any legal space occupied by another player, bumping their pawn back to the START. This excludes HOME, START, and SAFETY ZONES. If you do not have a pawn on your START, or there are no legal spaces your opponent occupies for you to bump them out of, you lose your turn.



Partner up! Red and Yellow are always partners, as are Green and Blue. Original rules apply. The first team to get all eight of their pawns home win!

  • Partners may bump their partner’s pawn with respect to the card drawn.
  • SORRY! Cards are required to be used, even if it means sending your partner’s pawn back to the start.
  • 7’s may be split among all eight of a team’s pawns.
  • Draw cards allow either partner’s pawns to enter the board. If a 2 is drawn, the second card may be used for either partner’s pawns.


Regular rules apply with slight variations:

  • Begin with only three pawns at the START and the fourth on the circle space just outside.
  • After shuffling the deck, distribute five cards to each player. Place deck on Draw Pile. (“Place Pack Here”)
  • Select a card from your hand on your turn and move one of your pawns accordingly, discard and replace the card from Draw Pile. Maintain five cards in your hand.
  • If none of the cards you have, allow you to move, discard a single card and replace it. You do not get to move on this turn- your turn has ended.
  • The first player who is able to get all four of their pawns home first is the winner.

How to Score

Players receive 5 points for each piece that makes it HOME.

The Winner also earns points for:

  • Each opponent’s pawn that is not home 5 points.
  • If none of the opponents have more than two pawns home, 25 points.
  • When none of the opponents have more than one pawn home, 50 points.
  • If none of the opponents have any pawns home, 100 points. 


Sorry! is a board game that essentially everyone has in their game cabinet. But, if you don’t have this classic game on hand or you have lost all the so many pieces it is time to get a new one, here is where to find it.

Love Sorry? Check out Dixit for another great family-friendly game!


How do I get my pawn out of the starting area?

You may move your pawn out of its starting area by either drawing a 1 or 2 labeled card.

Where are the 6 and 9 cards?

There are no cards with the numbers 6 or 9 on them.

How does bumping work?

Bumping is part of the game that happens when one player lands on a space with another opponent’s pawn already in it. This results in the opponent’s pawn being “bumped” back to the starting area for that player’s pawns.

What if I land on a space with my own pawn in it?

You cannot occupy the same space as another of your pawns. If you cannot move any of your pawns without landing on an illegal space you must pass your turn. (the only exception is if you drew a 2 card, then you would still be permitted to draw your second card.)

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