The game starts with each player's placing four marbles in his/her "base". After the order of play is determined through the rolling of the die, each player rolls a single die on each turn to determine the number of spaces to move. All marbles remain in the base until either a 1 or 6 is rolled, which entitles the player to move a marble from the base to his/her "start", the first step before entering the track. If a 6 is used to get out of start then the player takes another turn.
The winner is the first player whose pieces all reach home by exact count.
The hole in the center of the board is known as the "short cut". A player who is able to land a marble in this location by exact count has the option of taking a route even faster to home. The short cut, though, has the drawback in that it may only be exited by rolling a 1.
A player who lands a marble on a space occupied by an opponent's marble "aggravates" that player's piece and sends it back to that player's base. A player's piece may not be aggravated if it is on an inside corner as these are safe from aggravation. You must land on the space either before or after your opponent.
Players are prohibited from landing on or passing their own marble. If this happens they can not move. If you rolled a 6 then you may roll again. If playing teams, you cannot land on or pass your partner. If, however, there are multiple marbles, you can't jump over or aggravate a marble in the middle or front.