Got an unexpected holiday? No plans? Not in the mood for something strenuous? Being bored sitting in your room? Not enough friends nearby to go play something outside?
Snakes and Ladders is what you need!
It is a board game easy enough to play almost anytime, anywhere. No need to have any prior skill, or any skill at all. Two to four people can play with ease. Want to add more? Not a problem. It just gets a bit crowded, that is all.
The game is usually played on a board that has 100 squares drawn on it. Theses squares are numbered from 1 to 100. Players start their game from square 1; the goal is to reach square 100 first.
Many of these squares have snakes and ladders drawn on and across them. Both the snakes and the ladders start from one square and end on another — thus joining any two of the 100 squares.
The board, a die, and some tokens are all you need to play this game. The dice is an ordinary dice, having 6 faces that have numbers ranging from 1 to 6. You can use anything small as tokens.
To start the game, a player has to roll the dice. If the side of the dice with the '6' faces upwards after it stops, the player can start his journey stepping on square ‘1’. Each player take turns to roll the dice. After the game starts, players move forward, based on the number that is on the upper face of the dice. The first one to reach square 100 is, obviously, the winner.
Though it sounds simple, players have to follow certain rules. If a player’s token lands on a square on which a snake has an open mouth, he has to go back DOWN to the square that has that snake's tail on it. On the other hand, when a player’s token lands on a square that has the base of a ladder, he gets to move UP to the square on which that ladder finishes.
In simple terms: your token lands on a snake's face, you are demoted to the square that has its tail; and if you step on the square with a ladder's bottom, you are promoted to its top!
Originated in India in ancient times, this game gained its popularity after it was introduced in Britain. In its original state, the board had a lot more pictures (symbolic imagesof animals, flowers and people). The British changed them to suit their taste. Then Milton Bradly took it to America, and the game gained global fame.
Among innumerable other board games it is probably the second most popular game — second only to Ludo.
Snake and Ladders is an easy, quick and entertaining game, especially because you can play it almost anywhere. You may finish a game in 15 minutes only, play it all day, but you will still be addicted to it. That characteristic makes game so famous.
So, then, what are you waiting for? Take out your board and go sit to play with whoever you can get your hands on and grab the ladders!