Times Table Sorry!

Posted by: 



Chances are, you've heard of the game Sorry!   That's because it's been around for a long time--Since 1929, to be exact!  I have fond memories of playing SORRY! with my family growing up.  With a mixture of luck and strategy, it was one of those rare games that everybody liked, and even the younger kids could catch on pretty quickly.  Now, you can play SORRY! to learn your times tables!  That's right--we've adapted the game so that with the addition of colored stickers and dice, it will help you learn those pesky multiplication facts that have been slowing down your math progress! Classroom teachers, parents, homeschool teachers, and students alike will all be excited to welcome SORRY! into their math classroom!   We tried to make the game quick and easy to modify and also added a couple of minor rule changes to allow the game to progress faster than the original, so that, as teachers, you can feel good about playing the game in the classroom. 



What's your preference?  You can either scroll down to the bottom and watch the video tutorial, or continue reading and download the following free PDF instructions so that you can be on your way to faster times table recall!  


All you will need:

  • A complete Sorry! game board set; one set for every 4 players.  I see these all the time at thrift stores.  If you want a classic gameboard like we have, try this one.  

  • Stickers in 3 colors:  10 blue, 10 red, and 8 yellow for each game board set.  We like Avery's Removable Color Coding Labeling Stickers.  

  • A pair of 12-sided dice for each game board set.  (You may wish to use a 6, 9 or 10-sided pair of dice, depending on which level of times tables you are working on).  For an extra challenge, you may wish to delegate a zero as a ten, or a one as an eleven. This is a great set of multi-sided dice to purchase for your classroom.  

The objective for Times Table Sorry! is to be the first player to get all 4 colored game pieces from the “start” space around the board and into their “home” space.  Generally, game pieces are moved clockwise, but can be moved backward if the card directs.  This game is played with 2-4 players.  For classroom use, you will need 1 game set for every 4 players.

To play: Times Table Sorry! is played similarly to the classic game except for the following amended instructions:

  1. Each player is dealt 7 cards at the beginning of play (instead of drawing only 1 card at a time).  Another card is also drawn after each turn so that players always have 7 cards in their hand.  
  2. Colored stickers are placed on every 3 spaces, alternating between 2 different colors (red and blue), with a third color placed at the Start and Home areas (yellow).  We liked Avery’s Easy Peel Color Coding Labels, but you can use just about any type of sticker, color or shape, so long as you have 3 different varieties to place on the board.   
  3. Before you begin:  To prepare the board for play, place a colored sticker on every 3 squares of the Sorry! Game board, starting with the square outside the “SAFE ZONE”, and keeping two colors rotating.  We used red and blue. Also place 1 yellow sticker in each START area AND 1 yellow sticker in each HOME area. See picture below. Each time a player lands on a sticker, they must roll a pair of dice and answer the resulting times table problem within 10 seconds.  


Game board Preparation Diagram:


Times Table SORRY! Colored Sticker Actions:

Once a player lands on a sticker, the dice is rolled and the resulting times table problem must be answered correctly within 10 seconds.  If the problem is answered correctly, the following actions are taken:

If the times table is NOT answered correctly, the player stays where they are, waits for the next turn and tries again, keeping the original card played.  


Directions For Times Table Sorry:

  1. Each player chooses 4 game pieces of one color and places them on the corresponding start area.  Shuffle the cards and deal 7 cards to each player.  The first player looks at their hand and if they have a 1 or a 2 or a SORRY! card, they can exit the start area. But the start area also has a yellow sticker!  The yellow sticker at START requires the player to roll the pair of dice and answer the resulting times table fact within 10 seconds (This is in addition to needing a 1 or 2 or a SORRY! card to exit).  If a player uses a “2” card to exit the START area, he/she gets to go again, just the same as with the original Sorry! rules.  What happens if the times table is not answered correctly?  The player is not allowed to exit the start area, but does get to keep the original card played.  This way, the player can attempt to answer another times table on their next turn by rolling the dice again.  
  2. Once outside the START area, the player continues around the board by playing cards, making sure to draw another card each time so that they are always holding 7 cards.  If the player lands on a red sticker and answers the times table fact correctly within 10 seconds, he/she gets to take another turn.  If the player does not answer correctly, he/she must stay put and it is the next player’s turn.  Since the red sticker allows the player to take another turn, players can continue playing if they land on a subsequent red sticker.  If the player lands on a blue sticker and answers the times table fact correctly within 10 seconds, he/she gets to discard a card of their choosing and trade it out for the next card on the pile and it is the next player’s turn.  
  3. The yellow sticker at HOME requires the player to roll the dice and answer the resulting times table fact within 10 seconds in order to remain safely in the “home”area.  If the player does not answer the problem correctly within 10 seconds, he/she must move their game piece back one space and try again their next turn.



Special situations:  

  • In the original game of Sorry!, playing a “2” card gives the player another turn automatically.  In the Times Table version, this rule still applies.  
  • If a player lands on a subsequent red sticker, the player gets another turn, as many times as this applies.  
  • A player can jump over any other player during its move. However, two players cannot occupy the same square; a player who lands on a square occupied by another player bumps that player back to its own START. Players cannot bump their own game piece back to START.
  • If a player lands at the start of a slide (except the slide of their own color), either by direct movement or as the result of a switch from an 11 card or a Sorry card, it immediately "slides" to the last square of the slide. All players on all spaces of the slide (including those belonging to the sliding player) are sent back to their STARTS.
  • The last five squares before each player's Home are "Safety Zones", and are specially colored, corresponding to the colors of the Homes they lead to. Players inside the Safety Zones are protected and cannot be bumped or switched (with an 11 or a Sorry! card) by an opponent's game piece.  
  • If a player has no cards in his/her hand that will work, (For example, maybe all players are in the START section and they do not have a 1, 2, or a SORRY! card to exit) the player may discard 1 card of their choosing and draw another.  At this point, play ends and they need to wait for their next turn to use that card, if desired.  
  • Times Table Sorry! can also be adapted to practice addition or subtraction! Simply add the two numbers on the dice, or subtract the lesser number from the greater number.  


Check out the below video to watch the quick tutorial to find out how to play Times Table Sorry!

Did you enjoy this game?  Share it with others!