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Rules to Play the Crazily Popular Board Game 'Chutes and Ladders'

Rules for Playing 'Chutes and Ladders' Game
There's no other board game that is as popular as Chutes and Ladders. Almost every individual out there must have played this game (as a kid) at least once in his/her life. Even though most kids know this game pretty well, there might be some who need to be taught to play it. If you belong to the 'don't know' category, Plentifun's got a rule-book for you.
Vibhav Gaonkar
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017
Did You Know?
The American version, 'Chutes and Ladders' can be played by kids as young as 2 years old. This is because it has illustrations that teach a kid the consequences of good and bad behavior. For instance, eating too many cookies leads to a stomach ache (pawn descends via chute), or helping others earns a reward (pawn ascends via ladder).
Chutes and Ladders, originally known as Snakes and Ladders, is an ancient Indian game meant to be played by 2 or more players on a checkered board. The game, back in the old times, was called 'Gyan Chaupar', 'Leela', or 'Gyanbazi', and was based on the concept of destiny and desire (karma and kama).
It taught the effects of good deeds versus bad ones. The ladders on the board represented good behavior like generosity, humility, honesty, etc. The snakes represented dark deeds like lust, rage, murder, theft, etc. The snakes outnumbered the ladders, hinting to the fact that the path of good was much more tougher to follow than the path of evil. The central theme of Gyan Chaupar was adopted by different cultures and countries, and gave rise to different variations to the original Indian version. Chutes and Ladders is one of these. If you've already bought the game or planning to buy it, refer to the rules given below.

Click on the image to obtain a print of a basic Chutes and Ladders board.
Rules and Instructions to Play Chutes and Ladders
Chute and ladders
Objective of the Game
Be the first player to finish the game by successfully reaching square #100.
Game Setup
In case you've purchased the original Hasbro game, you'll need to assemble the spinner. Punch out the plastic spinner, and the arrow from the mold.

Place the base of the spinner arrow beneath the spinner board, and lock the spinner arrow onto it from above.

Next, punch out the pawns from their respective molds, and discard the frame.

It's ideal to sit across (for 2 players), or around the board (for more than 2), such that each player can access and move his pawns easily.

All players must place their pawns on square #1 to begin playing.
How to Play Chutes and Ladders
In any board game, it's always troublesome to decide who plays first. However, this task is simpler when playing Chutes and Ladders. All players spin the arrow once; the player to get the highest number goes first. In case there's a tie, the two players can spin once more to get a final verdict.

On a turn, a player is supposed to spin the spinner, and move his pawn as per the number shown on the spinner. For instance, if the spinner shows number 4, the player has to move his pawn four spaces from his current position.

Once a player has moved his pawn, his turn is over.
In case a player's pawn lands at the base of a ladder, the player's pawn must climb the ladder up to the square where the ladder ends. A ladder must necessarily be climbed from the bottom to the top. A player cannot halt in between.
Unlike ladders, chutes slide you down. If a player's pawn ends up on a square that marks the beginning of a chute, the player's pawn slides down to the square where the chute ends.
Winning the Game
As mentioned earlier, a player wins only if he's the first to reach square #100. Players need to arrive at the 100th square by exact count. For instance, if a player is on square #97, he must spin a 3 to win. If he spins a number greater than 3 he stays where he is.

Also, if a player is lucky, and lands up at square #80, he directly climbs the ladder and reaches square #100.

In case you do not have Hasbro's original game board and spinner, you can very well print the board provided above and play with regular dice and pawns. Now that you got a board, and know to play as well, play the game and enjoy!