Mensch ärgere Dich nicht

Mensch ärgere Dich nicht is a German board game (but not a German-style board game), developed by Josef Friedrich Schmidt in 1907/1908.

Mensch ärgere Dich nicht
MenschÄrgereDichNicht Germany1929 front.jpg
Designer(s)Josef Friedrich Schmidt
Publisher(s)Schmidt Spiele
Publication date1914; 106 years ago (1914)
Genre(s)Board game
Players2 to 4 (2 to 6 on reverse side)
Setup time1 minute
Playing timeabout 30 minutes
Random chanceHigh (die rolling)
Skill(s) requiredCounting, probability, strategy
Mens erger je niet, Dutch version for 6 players

The game was issued in 1914 and sold about 70 million copies. It is a cross and circle game with the circle collapsed onto the cross, similar to the Indian game Pachisi, the Colombian game Parqués, the American games Parcheesi and Trouble, and the English game Ludo.


The name of the game means "Do not get angry" (literally "Do not get angry, man" or "Do not get angry, buddy"). The name derives from the fact that a peg is sent back to the "out" field when another peg lands on it, similar to the game Sorry!.


Wooden board with all pieces in the home row (does not happen during the game)

The game can be played by 2, 3, 4 or 6 players – one player per board side (the original one has a pattern for 6 players on its backside). Each player has four game pieces, which are in the "out" area when the game starts, and which must be brought into the player's "home" row.

The rows are arranged in a cross position. They are surrounded and connected with a circle of fields, over which the game pieces move in clockwise direction. There are three fields on each side of the board. At the beginning of the game, the players' pieces are placed in the four fields marked "B" on the far left side, the "out" section. The coloured field just left of centre, marked "A", is each player's "start" field. The white filed just to the right of the start field leads to the "home" row, marked "a", "b", "c", "d". Each game piece enters the circle at the "start" field ("A"), moves (clockwise) over the board and finally enters the "home" row. The first player with all of their pieces in their "home" row wins the game.

The players throw a die in turn and can advance any of their pieces in the game by the thrown number of dots on the die.[1]

Throwing a six means bringing a piece into the game (by placing one from the "out" ("B") area onto the "start" or "A" field) and throwing the die again. If a piece is on the "A" field and there are still pieces in the "out" area, it must be moved as soon as possible. If a piece cannot be brought into the game then any other piece in the game must be moved by the thrown number, if that is possible. A commonly played variation allows a player who has no pieces in the circle of fields to have three tries to throw a six.[1]

Pieces can jump over other pieces, and throw out pieces from other players (into that player's "out" area) if they land on them. A player cannot throw out his own pieces though, he can advance further than the last field in the "home" row. A player can be thrown out if he is on his "start" field.


  1. ^ a b Spielanleitung (rules of the game), (in German)

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