'Sorry' is a board game based on Ludo, but with a twist. Rather than movement being decided by a dice roll, it is determined by a deck of cards. With the cards moving you backwards and forwards, and certain squares on the board allowing you to 'slide' forward and send opponents back home, a new dimension was added to the game. 'Sorry' became a firm family favourite in the 1960's and 70's.

The earliest variation of today's Sorry! can be traced back to England. William Henry Storey of Southend-on-Sea filed for a patent. 'Sorry' was registered as a trade mark on 21 May 1929. It was subsequently trademarked in the UK to Waddingtons, the British games manufacturer who sold it from 1934.

A Canadian patent followed in 1932. A English patent was granted to the inventor in 1933. Sorry! was adopted by Parker Brothers in 1934, and they have published it since. It is an American hallmark board game, being played by generations of Americans, as well as throughout the world.

Vintage Sorry! games

Older versions of Sorry! contain a 'diamond space' directly one space back from the start square. This allowed the opportunity for a '10' card to be used in its variation of 'one space backwards', thus allowing a freshly entered piece to move backwards one space and onto the diamond. It was always subjected to an opponent's Sorry! or '11 - Switch', and likewise was sent back to start if an opponent landed on the diamond square. Thus, players could pass over other opponents' diamond squares, but never their own.

The 4 and 10 cards allow the player to move backwards. No pawn may enter its 'safety zone' by a backward move; however, a pawn may move backward out of its safety zone and on subsequent turns move back into the zone as cards permit. If the player has successfully moved a pawn backwards at least two spaces beyond his 'start' space, he may, on a subsequent turn, move into his safety zone without moving all the way around the board. However, a 10 card, moving one space backward, will not allow entry to the safety zone, and is still subject to a forced move. One would need to draw two 10 cards to move a piece into the front of the safety zone.

The original English rules stated that a pawn could not pass over the diamond square (of its own color). This would seem pretty obvious since otherwise it would be going round again rather than going to 'home', but it could conceivably be desirable if the player could land on someone else's pawn who had nearly won. This did not prevent reaching the diamond square by means of a 10 card, backwards from the 'start' square, but later being forced to move forward because no other move was available. As the pawn had not passed onto the square in the forward direction, it had not passed over the square; rather it had reversed onto it.

Looking for pieces? Look at the listings on the right to find replacement parts for your game.

Sorry Game Rules

Want to know how to play the game? Download here the game instructions (pdf).

Updated: 4 August 2019

Sorry Game forum

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Comments (2)
Tamara - April 23, 2019
I am looking for replacement pawns for the 1994 Sorry travel game. Thank you
Hi there, there are usually some for sale on eBay.
Paul - May 25, 2014
is it possible to obtain a replacement set of sorry cards?