We’ve all played Ludo as a kid. The colorful board, the little prayers before rolling the dice, the calling out ‘cheater’, the happy dance when you win, and the shrieks of despair when you lose — all too familiar but lives as nostalgia in our heads. Our favorite childhood game has made a comeback and though it might not be as intimate as it used to be when played in person, it allows you the opportunity to play with friends, family, and ludo lovers from around the country!
As good as the future looks for Ludo, this beautiful strategy game has a rich history and a great many interesting facts about it.
- 16 interesting Ludo facts
- Ludo Facts – FAQs
16 interesting Ludo facts
Here are 16 of them that we are sure you will enjoy!
Made in India all the way!
Oh yes! You read that right. Ludo was first played in India. It is believed to be played as early as the 6th century CE! Let us put it this way — the game was played in India at least 2000 years ago! Of course, it wasn’t called Ludo back then. It carried multiple names, some of which are Chaupar, Chausar, Chopad, Pacheesi, Pachisi, among others. How do we know it was made in India, you ask? Well, there’s enough proof across the years that tells us our ancestors were gamers all along! Some of the very first visual mentions of the game can be found on the walls of Ellora in Maharashtra. The walls are illustrated with a board game that resembles Ludo.
If you grew up in India, you must have consumed a lot of Mahabharata content in many forms than one. Do you remember the game Kauravas and Pandavas played that led to the war of Mahabharatha? Well, it turns out it was the Indian version of Ludo, known as Chaupar or Chopad.
The rigged dice
A little more Mahabharatha trivia: Shakuni, the maternal uncle of the Kauravas, who is also the mastermind behind the game of dice which led to the ruin of the Pandavas, possessed a pair of magical dice. The dice are said to be made using Shakuni’s bones and only showed the numbers Shakuni wished for it to show! Way to go, Shakuni mama!
Well, maybe the Pandavas wouldn’t have gone through the predicament they went through if they had played Ludo on Ludo Supreme instead. The dice cannot be rigged or hacked. It is the fairest that there is. In fact, every one of the players gets the same number of values on their dice except in a different order. So, no chance of rigging!
Rolling in the deep
It is also believed that a similar kind of game was played during the Harappan period. Dice and counters were discovered during the excavation of the sites of Harappa, Mohenjodaro, and Lothal. This might mean the game is as old as 2500 BCE.
Fit for kings!
The game of ludo was a game fit for kings. Quite literally! It is a well-documented fact that the Mughal emperor, Akbar was a big fan of ludo. Akbar didn’t just play this game for fun. Since the game required skill and strategy, he assessed men through the game. Known as Pachisi or Chaupar in this era, the game was not played on a normal board or cloth, but instead was played on a life-size board with real people as tokens! Traces of these boards can still be seen at Akbar’s palaces in Agra and Allahabad.
ML Rousselet, a French author, describes in his book, ‘India and its Native Princes’, the way Akbar’s court looked when the king played the game.
“The game of Pachisi was played by Akbar in a regal manner. The court itself, divided into red and white squares, being the board, and an enormous stone, raised on four feet, representing the central point. It was here that Akbar and his courtiers played this game…”
The dice and coins used to play ludo have changed through time. For example, the dice used in Mahabharata was a rectangular one, in some places, two dice are used instead of one. You already know the Mughal emperor preferred using real people as tokens in the game whereas the common man used cowries or shells as tokens.
Opposite numbers equal 7
This is more fun if you can find a dice right now! Now choose a side and remember the number. Now turn the dice around to the exact opposite side and remember this number too. Now add both up. It is 7, isn’t it? Well, the secret is all opposite side values on dice will add up to 7! Bet you didn’t notice that before!
Patented in England
Alfred Collier from England added dice to the existing game and called it The Royal Ludo. He claimed that the game was his invention and filed a patent in August 1891. By October of the same month, Collier had full rights to The Royal Ludo which forbid anyone else from replicating it. They came to be known as ‘Collier Ludo Boards’ across the world.
A global hit
Before the Royal Ludo, there was Patchesi and Parcheesi from England and the United States, respectively. The latter, Parcheesi, went on to become one of the longest-selling board games selling from 1874 to 1935. Well, cut to 2021, Ludo is one of the most popular games played across the world.
Strategy not luck
If someone says that you’re lucky for winning the game of ludo, send them a link to this article — piece on game of strategy. Ludo is a game that requires skill and strategy. It has been promoted as a children’s game all over the world for decades now but it started as a game that tests the opponents on their strategical prowess.
Business school material
Ludo was always a global sensation but in the recent past, it has become more than that. Not only does the whole world play and enjoy this seemingly simple game, but it is being taught in business schools as a game of strategy.
Online ludo was the most popular game in terms of downloads during the 2020 lockdown in India. It opened windows for people to enjoy Ludo from any corner of the world, from inside their houses. Ludo Supreme is one such famous multiplayer online Ludo game that lets you play with friends and also with verified users across the country.
Unlike many other online games, Ludo Supreme only has real players and no bots. It is one of the most famous online games in many cities in India.
Here are 3 various of the classic Ludo game that you can play online.
Wonder what this is? It is the Chinese version of Ludo! It is called aeroplane chess as it uses airplanes instead of regular tokens. This version of Ludo is also famous in Africa.
24×7 live games
With the physical board, you might not always find people to play with but at Ludo Supreme, we have live tournaments happening all day and all night! So, the next time you want to play Ludo with real people, you’ll need the Ludo Supreme app. Here is an overview about Ludo Supreme:
Learn how to play Ludo Supreme and the rules. You can also watch the below video to understand the difference between classic Ludo gameplay and Ludo supreme:
Inspiring Pop culture
Ludo’s popularity is such in India that a recent movie was named after it. Directed by Anurag Basu, Ludo movie is loosely based on the game format which is played between 4 players. Similarly, the movie revolves around 4 stories culminates in a grand climax.
The word Ludo is derived from the Latin word Ludo which means ‘I Play’. The rechristening is believed to have happened in England first.
Ludo Facts – FAQs
Ludo was first played in India. It is believed to be played as early as the 6th century CE! It carried multiple names, some of which are Chaupar, Chausar, Chopad, Pacheesi, Pachisi, among others.
The name Ludo comes from Latin which means ‘I play’.
Yes. You can play Ludo online on various apps. One such Ludo App is Zupee. Zupee offers three types of Ludo online games.
The Ludo game was patented by Alfred Collier in England in 1896.
A Ludo dice is in the shape of a cube.