Classic Board Game of Sorry

The great game of Sorry! Parker brothers old game

Sorry! (1939)

The game of Sorry is considered one of the classic board games of today.  Other than a few minor changes in appearance and packaging, Sorry remains the same from when it was first published in the United States by Parker Brothers in 1934.

One of the most obvious visual changes from the older game boards of Sorry to the new boards is an image of a diamond.  This diamond is positioned on the margin square immediately behind each of the starting circles.  The color of this diamond matches the color of the starting circle and was to remind a player of this color that he was not to pass this point.  Instead, he must move into his ‘Safety Zone’.

Today, the game’s instructions recommend age of play to be 6 and up and for 2-4 players.  Each player has 4 pawns, which start in the circle of their chosen color.  The object of the game is to be the first player to move their 4 pawns into their home circle.  This is done by the drawing of cards.  Placed in the center of the board, the cards range from 1 through 12 with 4 Sorry Cards and without 6 or 9’s.

On a person’s turn they choose a card from the pile.  Drawing a 1,2 or a Sorry card, a player may move onto the starting circle of margin squares. Additional instructions on a 2 card are Draw again or if a player chooses not to move out of start they can move one of their pawns in play forward 2.  A Sorry card is used to move from start by switching with another player and moving them back to their start.  The player in doing this action is for sure,  ‘Sorry!’

Drawing a 3, 5, 8, or 12 card moves the player forward by the number.  A 4 card moves backward.  The 10 card gives a choice of whether to move forward 10 or back 1, while the 7 card gives the choice of moving forward 7 or splitting the number for moves of two pawns.

The 11 card also gives a choice.  With this card a player can move forward 11 or change places with any other player.  In older games the 11 card is full of words.  Mostly because the card specifies ‘Margin Men’ and supplies the rule of if a player can’t move forward 11 or doesn’t want to change places, they forfeit their turn.

Another rule specifies that two pawns are not allowed on the same space.  When this happens, a player moving replaces the pawn on the space and moves the other back to their start.  Another instance of a player being ‘Sorry!’

The game offers variations of play by playing in teams or a point style game (Point Sorry).  To speed the game up, the 1939 rules specify adding a fifth number one card, which is supplied.  Otherwise only 4 would be used.  Although 5 one cards are given in the newer games, there doesn’t seem to be anything in the rule book stating the option to play with only 4.

Sorry board game

Sorry Game Board (1993)

Because of the simple, but fun play of the game, Sorry continues being a favorite board game generation after generation.  Most often it is found within a family’s game closet and one which is remembered being played as a child.


Enjoy a game today!


Jenny Kile

Admin. of All About Fun and Games. Along with being an avid collector and player of table top games, I am a writer, researcher, treasure hunter, and Founder of Kardtects ( ) I believe fun is everywhere and you are welcome to visit my other sites: (which explores mystery, adventure and the search for treasures) and (which takes building card houses to completely new levels. Kardtects is the next generation of card house building!) Email:

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3 Responses

  1. December 27, 2012

    […] of ways.  These ways often depend on the mode of movement for the game.  In the board game of Sorry, the players pick a card; since cards are what they pick in order to move their pieces on the […]

  2. April 7, 2013

    […] has provided families with an exciting race game with strategic fun. Sorry includes drawing cards and deciding which pawn is best to move in order to be the first player to […]

  3. June 24, 2014

    […] Sorry! (Link) […]

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