Aggravation Board Game Rules + Tips So You Don't Lose Your Marbles

Kids playing marble board game

The Aggravation board game is a marble race game that can lead to hours of fun. How to play Aggravation is pretty simple from the rules to the strategy for winning. Beyond just the basic rules, find out what makes Aggravation just so aggravating.

Getting Aggravation Set Up

Similar to the Parcheesi game, Aggravation is easy to play and set up by following a few simple steps. Remember, setting up Aggravation shouldn't be aggravating.

Setting Up the Game Board

Set up the game by having all participants select one of the six colors to be their color. Then they will grab four marbles (of their color) and place them on their spot on the game board. Next, find out which player goes first by having everyone roll the dice. Whoever has the highest number starts the game. Play then continues to the person sitting on the left.

Rules and Play for Aggravation

When it is your turn, you will roll the die and move your marble around the board. However, there are different rules and spaces that will either help or hinder your marble. Rules include:

  • You can't move past your own piece.
  • Aggravated pieces must go back to the start and roll a 1 or 6 to move their marble again.
  • A players marble can't be aggravated on an inside corner.
Aggravation: The Classic Marble Race Game
Aggravation Game

Step 1: Getting Your Marble Started

A player starts his turn by rolling the die. In order to move around the board, you need to get your marble pieces out. To do this, you need to get a 1 or a 6. If you roll a 6, you get an extra roll, but if you get a 1, you need to wait until your next turn to move your piece.

Step 2: Moving on Up

With piece(s) now moved from the starting point of the game, you proceed in a clockwise direction around the board following the arrows. If you roll a 1 or 6, you can bring out a new marble. You can jump over any opponent's piece if your die roll is high enough, but you can't jump your own marble.

Step 3: Getting Aggravated

If a roll causes your piece to land on one occupied by an opponent, it is considered being "aggravated". The opponent's piece has to go back to his corresponding base.

Step 4: Winning the Game

To win the game, you must successfully move your marble pieces into one of the four home base spots by an exact roll, keeping in mind that you cannot jump over any of these spots that are occupied. Once all of your pieces are in place, you win!

Special Spaces

Using shortcuts can help you play Aggravation more successfully by moving your piece closer to the home base.

  • If you land on a "star" spot, you will be able to move along the other "star" points around the board on your next turn.
  • There is also a "superstar" spot that can be reached with a successful die roll. After landing there, on your next turn you will need to roll a 1 to go directly to the star spot closest to your home base.

Strategies for Winning

While sometimes it comes down to the luck of the die, there are specific moves or strategies that you can use to improve your chances of winning Aggravation.

  • Use the shortcuts to your advantage. When done strategically, you can exit the star spot nearest to your home base, giving you an advantage.
  • If it looks like you will be blocked by one of your marbles on a roll, move another piece to avoid this.
  • Try to get all your marbles out as quickly as possible to have more moves on the board.
  • Go for the moves that are going to aggravate other players. This gives you an advantage. Just remember they will probably aggravate you too.

Team or Partnership Play

You now know how to play Aggravation as an individual. Why not try team or partnership play?

How to Partner Play

In "partnership" play, you and your partner play on opposite sides of the board. Other participating partners will do the same. The rules are the same, except that if you or your partner finishes moving all of your pieces to your home base, play can still continue. The "finished" team member simply gives his partner an extra dice roll. The first partnership to get all of their pieces to their corresponding home base wins the game. This can be great for married couples on game night.

How to Team Play

For team play, get into groups of threes. Sit team members in alternate seats around the board. Gameplay is the same as in "partnership", except that any player that has completed the game must declare which team member their extra die roll will go to. The first team to get all of their pieces to their corresponding home wins the game. Try this out when you have a large family get together.

You'll Never Have More Fun Being Aggravated

This board game can get rather rowdy, but it's all in good fun. Keep your eyes on your marbles, roll the dice, and do your best to be the first player to bring all your marbles home.

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Aggravation Board Game Rules + Tips So You Don't Lose Your Marbles