What Are the Rules to the Game of Life

What Are the Rules to the Game of Life?

The Game of Life, also known simply as Life, is a classic board game that simulates the journey of life, from childhood to retirement. Created by Milton Bradley in 1860, it has become a beloved game for generations. The objective of the game is to accumulate the most wealth and reach the highest level of success by making decisions and navigating through various life events. In this article, we will explore the rules of the game and provide a comprehensive guide for those who wish to embark on this exciting journey.

1. Setting up the Game:
The game is played on a board that represents the path of life. Players start at the beginning, which is the starting point, and move along the board by spinning a wheel or rolling a die. Each player chooses a colored car token to represent themselves and is given a set amount of money to start the game.

2. Taking Turns:
Players take turns clockwise, starting with the youngest player. On their turn, players spin the wheel or roll the die to determine the number of spaces they can move. They then follow the instructions on the space they land on.

3. Career and College:
At the beginning of the game, players have the option to attend college or start a career right away. If they choose college, they pay a certain amount of money and collect a college career card. This card provides higher salary opportunities throughout the game. If players choose to start a career immediately, they receive a career card and a lower salary.

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4. Collecting Salary:
Upon landing on a payday space, players collect their salary according to their career card. Salaries may vary depending on the chosen career or college path.

5. Life Events:
Throughout the game, players will encounter various life events such as getting married, having children, buying a house, and going on vacations. These events are represented by specific spaces on the board. Players follow the instructions on these spaces, which may involve paying or receiving money, or making decisions that impact their future.

6. Investing and Buying:
Players have the opportunity to invest in stocks or real estate during the game. By purchasing stocks or properties, players can earn additional income or increase their net worth.

7. Insurance and Loans:
Players can also purchase insurance policies or take out loans during the game. Insurance protects against unexpected events that may result in financial loss, while loans provide additional funds that need to be repaid later.

8. Retirement:
As players progress along the board, they eventually reach the retirement space. At this point, players calculate their total wealth, including money, properties, and stocks. The player with the highest net worth is declared the winner.


Q: How long does a typical game of Life last?
A: The duration of a game can vary depending on the number of players and their decision-making speed. On average, a game of Life can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Q: Can you play the game with fewer than four players?
A: Yes, the game can be played with as few as two players. However, the dynamics of the game may change as certain spaces and events are designed for larger player counts.

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Q: Can you change careers during the game?
A: No, once you have chosen a career path (college or immediate career), you cannot change it during the game.

Q: Can you play the game online?
A: Yes, there are digital versions of the game available for various platforms, allowing you to play with friends or against computer opponents.

Q: Is there a strategy to winning the game?
A: While luck plays a significant role in the game, there are strategic decisions to be made, such as investing wisely and taking calculated risks. However, the ultimate outcome of the game is determined by a combination of luck and player decisions.

In conclusion, the Game of Life offers a fun and engaging experience that mirrors the ups and downs of real life. By following the rules and making strategic choices, players can embark on a virtual journey of personal and financial growth. So gather your friends or family, spin the wheel, and let the adventure begin!

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