Curator's Choice - THE RULES OF UCKERS

The following is a well-tried set of rules of the game which are known as the basic rules. The aim of the game is to move clockwise around the board once until a player reaches the square below the coloured ones, leading to the coloured triangle at the top. The piling up of counters creates challenges for opponents to overcome. The players then move up these squares to reach their ‘Home’ and the team who gets all their 8 pieces home first are the winners.

Rule 1

The game is played with a Ludo board and pieces with two dice instead of one.

Rule 2

There are four players with diagonally opposite players partnering each other to form two teams.

Rule 3: Start

All four players in turn throw both dice and the highest scorer has first throw.

Rule 4: To get out of base

One six is required to get a piece out on the doorstep. The score on the other dice can be used to advance this or another piece in accordance with Rule 5. A double six can put 2 pieces out.

Rule 5: Movement

  1. Pieces move in a clockwise direction, the number of squares equivalent to the value of the dice. The object is to get all one’s own and partner’s pieces around to their own centre home before the opponents do likewise.

  2.  If a player has only one piece on the board he must move it the full value of both dice; intermediate squares cannot be used to knock off opponent’s pieces. Rule 5.4 however, may allow this.

  3. If a player has two pieces on the board he may use the value of one dice for each, or the value of both dice to one.

  4. If a player’s movements are blocked by a barrier (Rule 8a)) or because a piece is near home (Rule 10.2)), he is to take the highest value of one dice if possible, or if not possible to move with either dice, he does not move. He can, however, have extra throws in accordance with Rule 6.

Rule 6: Extra throws

A player receives one extra throw for a six, except in Rule 8.3 when removing a barrier, and only one extra is allowed for a double six.

Rule 7: Knocking off an opponent’s piece

When a player’s piece lands on the same square as an opponent’s piece, the opponent’s piece is returned to base, and has to start again.

Rule 8: Barriers (Blobs)

  1. When a player has two or more pieces on the same square, they form a barrier which blocks an opponent’s movements but not his partner’s.

  2. To remove a barrier an opponent has to land a piece on the square immediately behind it, throw one six and say ‘Challenge’, throw a second and third six to remove a double barrier, a fourth six to remove a triple barrier and a fifth to remove a quadruple barrier. The challenging piece occupies that square formerly occupied by the barrier, and the barrier pieces are returned to their base in accordance with Rule 7 (See Rule 9).

  3. Having challenged a barrier, the value of any dice subsequently thrown cannot be used to advance another piece, and having successfully challenged a barrier the player’s turn is ended no matter how many sixes have been thrown. When a six is used to indicate a challenge the second dice, even if a six, cannot be used in any way. If the second or subsequent throw is a double six, both sixes count towards the removal of a barrier.

  4. A player cannot move into position and challenge in the same throw.

  5. To knock-off a barrier on the door-step with a piece in base requires one extra six in addition to those in 2. The first six counts as the challenge and Rule 9.3 applies.

  6. If a player cannot move another piece he must break his barrier.

Rule 9: Mixed barrier

If a player’s piece lands on the same square as one or more of his partner’s pieces, the result is what is known as a “Mixed Barrier”. This loses any value as a block and all pieces are to be knocked-off in the same way as a single piece (Rule 7). A player cannot challenge from a mixed barrier behind an opponent’s barrier.

Rule 10: Getting home

  1. A piece in the home coloured lane cannot be reached by an opponent’s piece and is safe.

  2. A player must throw the exact score to get a piece home, except that with his last piece he may get the exact score with one dice only (see Rule 5.4)).

Rule 11: Throwing for one’s partner

Having got all his pieces home a player waits for his next turn and tries to throw a six. Having thrown a six, a player again waits to his next turn when he can throw to help his partner’s pieces.

Rule 12: Winning team

The winning team is the pair who get all their eight pieces home first.

Good luck!!