The Game Trouble!

Name: Trouble

Number of players: The game Trouble can be played by two, three or four players.

Recommended ages: 5 and up

Average playing time: Around 45 minutes depending on the luck of the dice


The Trouble board game has been around for the last 50 some years. The game play is simple and makes for a great children’s game, as they only need to count to six to play. With plenty of interactions between players, Trouble will teach your children how to deal with unexpected setbacks, turn taking and decision making.

How to Play

The game of Trouble rules are very simple. The game starts with each player choosing one of the four colors. Each color has their own safe area in one corner of the board. It matters less which colors are chosen in a three or four-player game as players will sit next to one opponent at least, but in a two player game Trouble works best if you sit across from each other.

The modern versions of Trouble come with a dice enclosed in a clear plastic bubble in the middle of the board. The dice in the bubble has no special quality, so you can ignore the provided dice and roll your own. However, the one in the middle makes a popping sound and other players cannot interfere with it, so it does save on arguments over which number was rolled.

One player starts the game by rolling the dice. If they get a six, they can move one of their men out onto the racetrack. The aim is to get each man all the way around the board once and then up the right colored central track. A six allows a player to either release one of his men onto the track at the starting place or move any of his men along six. All other numbers only allow a player to move any of their pieces that many spaces. If a player has no men out on the track and they don’t roll a six, they effectively skip that turn.

The real fun happens when multiple players have men out on the board. If you’re lucky enough to get a dice roll that would land one of your men on the same space as one of your opponent’s pieces, you can do it and send that man back to his base to start the track all over again. A player doesn’t have to make this move if they have multiple men on the board, but must move their man if they only have one piece on the board.

Winning the Game Trouble

Winning the game Trouble is easy, as you just have to get your four men onto your central track before anyone else. Some households say that you must roll the exact number, while others will allow you to count a man as finished if they cross the line.


The real strategy in Trouble is knowing which man to move and when. If you have multiple men on the board, you can only move one for each dice roll, so you need to balance the need to get round the board with the need to avoid being caught by your opponent’s pieces.

Final Thoughts

As a family game Trouble can be one of the more vicious, and younger players may find themselves getting upset if their pieces are continuously being sent back to the base by other players. However, this is a vital learning experience for playing games, and for life itself, and you will need to help your child to learn to be more resilient to unexpected bad news.

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