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Ludo Casino Game

You may not have heard of the gaming family known as cross and circle games, but chances are that you’ve played at least one at some point in your life. There is the old game of pachisi, as well as modern versions such as Parcheesi, Sorry, and Trouble. In all of these games, players must send their teams of pawns around the outside of a board with the goal of getting them safely back home, while other players look for ways to delay that progress or send their opponents’ pieces back to the start.

Many of these games – in particular, Parcheesi – are versions of a game called Ludo, which was invented in England in 1896. This is one of the simpler ways to enjoy this style of game, with few rules or complications to throw in the way of players. Howeer, there is still plenty of strategy involved. That has made it ideal for Spigo’s collection of real money skill games, where players can engage in some friendly gambling on the outcome of every contest.

Around the World

Spigo’s version of Ludo begins with players having to make some decisions about the type of game they would like to play. Games can be played for stakes or just for fun; if you’re playing for fun, you’ll also have the option of playing against a computer opponent. You can also play a variant in which players are set up on two teams of two players each. Finally, you’ll need to choose whether you wish to play with standard six-sided dice or with the special Ludo dice.

Ludo is a game that can be played with two or four players. In the two-player version of the game, only half the board is used; the areas that would normally correspond to the third and fourth players are greyed out, and pieces will skip these regions when they would normally travel between them.

When you first open the game, you’ll see that the board is separated into four quarters, each of which has a start area that corresponds to a player: blue, red, green, or yellow. Everything associated with your play – your pawns, your home column, and so on – will be of that color for easy reference.

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Ludo

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The object of the game is to get your pawns out of their starting area, move them around the outside track, and then send them up your home column to the finish area in the middle of the board. The first player or team to get all of their pieces into the center of the board is declared the winner.

At the start of the game, the first task is to get your pawns out of the starting zone. Players take turns rolling the dice. A six is required in order to move a piece out onto the track, where it will be placed on the colored globe square. Players who do not yet have any pawns on the board can roll up to three times in an attempt to get a six; with any pieces actually in play, only one roll is allowed.

Once you have a pawn on the board, you’ll have far more options when it comes time to use your roll. While you can always use a six to get a pawn out onto the board, you may also move any one of your pieces forward by the number of spaces shown on the die (even if that number is six). Every time you roll a six (including the first time), you also get a bonus roll that can be used however you like.

If a move you make ends up with you landing on an opponent’s piece, that pawn is sent back to their starting area. This is known as hitting another piece. However, if two or more of the same player’s pawns are on the same square, they will protect each other; if your piece lands on them, it is your pawn that will be sent back to the start instead.

There are two types of special squares that are present on the board. First, there are the stars. Should you land on a star, you will be instantly transported to the next star forward on the board (this does not apply if there are no further stars that would advance your pawn, so there is never any fear of “overshooting” your home column). If you land on an opponent pawn on either of these stars, you will knock it back to the start.

Next up are the globe spaces. Any pawn that is located on a grey globe, or on the globe right in front of its own starting area, is safe, and cannot be hit back home. If you are on the globe directly in front of an opponent’s starting circle, however, you are vulnerable to being hit by pawns coming into the board.

Once a pawn has traveled the board and is directly in front of the home column of its color, further moves will send it up towards the finish area in the center of the board. In order to get to this finish area, however, a pawn must roll the number that will cause it to land exactly on that space. Any excess moves will send the pawn back down the column, away from the goal. For instance, if you are two spaces away and roll a five (and use it on that piece), you will spend two moves going into the finish area, then the remaining three moving away, ending up three squares from the center.

This process continues until one player or team gets all of their pawns into the finish area. That player is declared the winner, and takes the stakes for that game (minus a small percentage of the pot that is collected by Spigo).

The above rules assume that you are playing with the standard dice. If you are using Ludo dice, then there are a couple rule changes you’ll want to be aware of. First, note that the Ludo dice replaced the three and five faces with a star and a globe. With these dice, you will need a globe symbol to get a piece out of the start, and it is the globe that awards an extra roll rather than the six. You may also use a globe in order to move a piece forward to the next globe space on the board.

As you might suspect, the star also moves a pawn forward to the next star space. Because of the special nature of stars, however, the piece will then also jump ahead to the next star as well, if applicable.

Finally, like all Spigo games, this title gives you the opportunity to win a prize in the Spigo Jackpot Spin. In order to earn a spin, you’ll need to fill the jackpot meter, which has six spaces. Every time you roll a three or lower, you will fill in a space; however, if you roll a 4 or higher, you will lose all progress, and need to start over again. The top jackpor prize can always been seen above the chat area, though there are also smaller prizes available during the bonus round.

Strategizing Around the Luck of the Roll

Ludo has a bit more luck involved in it than many skill games. There is, of course, nothing you can do about the dice; your rolls will be random, and you can only do the best with what you’ve got. And while there is strategy in selecting the best moves, it is almost trivial to avoid the biggest mistakes; this means that you can only gain relatively small edges through skill, and weaker players can sometimes pull off upsets even against experts when things break just their way.

In large part, the key to the game is safety. As much as possible, you want to leave your pieces in places where they cannot be captured. This could mean a number of things: your home column is an ideal location, but most globes are also safe, and you can double up pawns in order to protect them as well. This is especially important as your pawns get close to the finish: a piece sent all the way back to the start after having moved nearly around the board is a huge time loss.

Similarly, you’ll also want to return your opponents’ pawns back to the start whenever possible. The only exception to this comes when you can use the same roll to get one of your own into the finish circle. In that case, you’ll need to consider the situation carefully. How much will it cost them to get sent back home? Are you winning or losing? If you are already ahead, moving the piece to the finish will solidify your position, but when behind, you may wish to even things up by sending their pawn back to the start instead.

Playing a strong game of Ludo is about counting and situational awareness. While most decisions will be relatively trivial, don’t be afraid to take some time to consider your options when you have a couple of plays that could potentially be worthwhile.

A True Classic

Ludo may not have the prestige of games like chess, go, or backgammon, but it is nonetheless one of the classic games that have been enjoyed for generations by families and friends around the globe. While this is a family of games that may be played slightly differently in various countries, there’s no doubt that most people will find the Spigo version familiar at first sight, making it easy to jump right into the action.

It’s hard for us to imagine too many players wanting to play this particular title for high stakes, nor do we think anyone will ever make a living as a professional Ludo player. But as a fun, exciting, and social experience, this game is only enhanced by the ability to put a small bet on the outcome, making this a welcome addition at any Spigo-powered site.

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