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Parcheesi Game: History, Rules, and Strategy

Updated on December 22, 2016

Fun and Learning with Parcheesi

If you are looking for a fun game to play with your children that will also help their counting and addition skills then I recommend you discover (or rediscover) Parcheesi.

Roll your dice and be the first to race your pieces home. Set up blockades, avoid opponent blockades, and hope your opponents don't send you all the way back to the beginning. Luck and strategy both play major roles in this classic family game.

The game board pictured above is the popular version from Selchow & Righter Co., 1934. This is the game I remember playing with my family growing up.

The Hasbro Parcheesi Royal Edition is now on sale at Amazon through this link!

Royal Edition Parcheesi Game Set

Royal Edition Parcheesi Game Set
Royal Edition Parcheesi Game Set

What is Parcheesi?

(Besides fun)

Parcheesi is a classic board game following the tried-and-true cross and circle race design. (See below for more notes on game history.)

Two to Four players take turns rolling two dice and move their four pieces counter-clockwise around the game board.

The first player to move all four of their pieces (or pawns) around the game board and up their home path to the center home space wins the game.

The rules are not overly complicated but it's best to have a copy nearby when first learning the game as there are several bonus and penalty moves that one quickly learns without too much trouble. (For how to play please look below for the official rules.)

A typical game lasts from 25 - 45 minutes.

Fun for the whole family, it is an excellent game for children as it doesn't take too long to play and will help them with their counting and addition skills.

Pachisi Board

Pachisi Board (courtesy of wiki.org)
Pachisi Board (courtesy of wiki.org)

The History of Parcheesi -- Part One

It All Starts in India with Pachisi

The game of Pachisi (pictured at right) dates back to the 4th century A.D. in India. It is often called the national game of India. Instead of dice, players throw six to seven cowrie shells. The name, Pachisi, comes from the highest number one can throw, twenty-five, or pachis in Hindi.

In the 16th century the Indian Emperor Akbar I from the Mogul Empire would have women stand in as playing pieces and have them move about huge in-laid marble courtyard boards.

Although the rules are different, it is the ancestor of the game we call Parcheesi.

(Parcheesi is known as a cross and circle game, the key reason being that the pieces circle around a board divided into four sections divided by a cross. Because in Parcheesi the circle is collapsed inward, the circle is not readily apparent. This form of cross and circle game is often called cruciform.)

Early Parcheesi Board

Early Parcheesi Board (courtesy of Rick Tucker)
Early Parcheesi Board (courtesy of Rick Tucker)

History of Parcheesi -- Part Two

A Past Clouded in Mystery

How Pachisi came to America from India is unclear and stories are conflicting. The earliest appearance of home-made games dates back to the 1850s. A self-publicist by the name of Sam Loyd is credited as inventing Parcheesi in one story but the account is questionable.

The first clear claim is a copyright granted to John Hamilton of the Hudson River Valley in 1867. Originally called Patcheesi, the name was changed to Parcheesi a year or so later. Hamilton sold the rights to the game to Albert Swift, a New York fancy-goods manufacturer, in 1868 (1867 according to one source). Swift, in turn, sold the rights to E.G. Selchow & Co., a New York City game manufacturer.

First published in 1870, Parcheesi was trademarked and copyrighted again in 1874 after the merger with John Righter. The new company became Selchow and Righter Co.

For years now, the North American Rights have been held by Hasbro, Inc.

Parcheesi Royal Edition
Parcheesi Royal Edition

Parcheesi: More than a Classic Board Game.

It'll Help Your Kids Learn to Count and Add

Growing up playing Parcheesi with my family I was taught there was more to the game than just rolling dice and moving game pieces around the board. Sure there was good luck and maddeningly bad luck. But there was also strategy.

Which players to move. Where to set up a blockade. Which blockade to breakup first.

But it wasn't until I had children of my own that my mother revealed yet another side to the game.

"It helped you to learn to count and add," she told me.

Many kid's games have spaces spread out in no particular manner. A child has to count every space. It's just simple counting.

Not Parcheesi. Sure you can just count each space as you move your pieces around the board.

But there's an easier way.

You can add.. You see, the "safe spaces" are spread out at 5 and 7 spaces around the board. As they are distinctly colored they naturally encourage moving the pieces visually in jumps of 5 and 7. Add in two dice and you child will eventually "see" that 5 + 3 = 8 as they jump 5 spaces and then count 3 more.

Not all Parcheesi Sets Are Created Equal

The Problem With All-In-One Game Sets

Christmas Season 2009 we looked in our local Target, Walmart, and ToyRUs for a Parcheesi Game.

We couldn't find one!

It wasn't that they were sold out. It was that the stores just didn't carry them.

So we bought one of those twelve-games-in-one game sets. Mistake.

First, the board was a miniature version of the real game board and not nearly as nice.

Second, the pieces and dice were tiny compared to the real game pieces and dice.

Third, the pieces were all so dark in color that they all appeared to be almost the same color.

One of the reasons we had bought a Parcheesi set was so that my children could play with their grandparents. My mom had great difficulty telling one color piece from another!

Finally, the box that held all the games started coming apart. Within weeks!

All in all, it was not how I remembered the game.

Picture of Parcheesi Board (courtesy of wiki.org)
Picture of Parcheesi Board (courtesy of wiki.org)

Official Parcheesi Rules -- How to Play Parcheesi

Sounds Complicated But It's Not

I've heard people complain that Parcheesi rules are too complicated for adults, let alone kids.

Nonsense.

Sure, it's tougher than Chutes and Ladders but if your kids have learned how to play that game and count then Parcheesi will not be that hard to pick up and will even help them learn to add and subtract.

When first learning I recommend having the game instructions handy as there are several penalty and bonus moves. I imagine this is what some people say is complicated about the game but, trust me, they become second nature in no time.

Rules of play

Adapted From: Wikipedia article of 14 May 2010. The Wikipedia

article included below is licensed under the GNU

Free Documentation License (GFLD).

Parcheesi is usually played with two dice and the goal of the game is to move each of one's pieces home to the center space. The most popular Parcheesi boards in America have 72 spaces around the board, twelve of which are darkened safe spaces where a piece cannot be captured.

Each player selects four pieces of the same color and places them in their "nest," or starting area. The game board should be positioned so that each player's nest is to their right. Pieces enter play onto the darkened space to the left of their nest and continue counter-clockwise around the board to the home path directly in front of the player.

Each player rolls a die; the highest roller goes first, and subsequent play continues to the left. On each turn, players throw both dice and use the values shown to move their pieces around the board. If an amount on one or both of the dice cannot be moved, that amount is forfeited.

Any time a player rolls, he must use as much of the dice showing as possible. (i.e. If a player rolls 4 and 5 and could move either 4 or 5, but not both, then he must move 5.)

Entering pawns

Five has a special value in entering pieces out of the nest from where they begin the game. A player may enter a piece only by throwing a five or a total sum of five on the dice. Each time a five is tossed, the player must start another piece, if viable.

Capturing

Any piece that is not on a safe space or a part of a blockade can be captured by an opposing pawn.

(1) The captured piece is sent back to its nest.

(2) The player is awarded 20 bonus spaces for capturing the opposing piece. The 20 spaces may not be divided between pieces and must be moved, if possible.

Team Rules: If opposing team has two pawns on player's exit area, the player can not exit.

Blockades

When two pieces occupy the same space, they prevent any pieces behind the two from advancing past the blockade. This includes blocking pieces from leaving their nest. Two pieces that form a blockade may not be moved forward together to form a new blockade on the same roll.

No more than two pawns can occupy any one space. Two pawns of different colors never occupy the same space except at the moment one piece captures another.

Safe spaces

(Also known as Safety Spaces)

The dark spaces are safe spaces. A piece may not be captured as long as it sits on one of these spaces.

The only exception is if a piece sits on the safe space where another player enters the board from his nest. Those spaces are safe from all other players, but the piece can be taken if the player whose nest it is has a piece in his nest and rolls a 5 (as long as it isn't a blockade). Example: You have one pawn sitting on green's entry space just outside green's nest. No one outside the nest can capture your piece, however, if green has any pawns inside the nest and rolls a five, a green pawn would exit the nest, capture your piece and gain a 20 space capture bonus.

Note that two pawns of different colors can never both share a safe space. You can pass a single pawn on a safe space but you can not land on it, even temporarily, as part of your turn.

Two pieces that form a blockade are also safe.

Doublets

When a doublet (doubles) is tossed, the player gains another roll of the dice.

If all that player's pieces are outside the nest, the values on reverse side of dice are also used. For example, a player who rolls 6-6 can also move 1-1 in any combination. Therefore, when a doublet is tossed, the player has a total of fourteen spaces to move one or more pawns.

When all pieces are outside the nest, if a player rolls doubles and cannot move all fourteen spaces, the player cannot move any spaces. The player still gets to roll again.

The third consecutive doublet rolled in one turn is a penalty, and pieces are not moved the number of spaces shown on dice. The player must move their piece closest to home back to their nest. Their turn ends.

A player cannot split doubles in order to enter home. This means that a player can only enter home by rolling doubles if he is exactly 14 spaces from home.

Home

The center home space can only be entered by exact throw of the die or dice. Home counts as a space.

Each player has his own home path and may not enter another's. So, when a piece is on its home path, it can no longer be captured.

When a piece enters the center space by exact count, that player is awarded ten movement points that may be moved with any one piece still in play at the end of their turn. If the bonus movement amount cannot be used, it is forfeit.

Winning the game

The first player to get all four pieces home wins, at which point the winner must yell "PARCHEESI!"

And that's how to play Parcheesi!

The Royal Edition Parcheesi Board Game
The Royal Edition Parcheesi Board Game

Where to find a Parcheesi Board Game Set

The Royal Edition

For years it's been hard to buy a Parcheesi Set for a reasonable price, if at all. You'd have to search for a used game at a garage sale or Ebay. Luckily, Winning Moves has recreated the game I played with my family growing up. Same colorful board, playing pieces, and dice, complete with dice cups.

The Royal Edition Parcheesi Board Game (pictured at right) is a faithful recreation of the game that has been an American classic since the 1860s.

Although it is now available at Barnes and Nobles stores, the best deal is still to get it online. As of December 22, 2016, Amazon.com was selling it for $14.59. When I bought my game set I added a book I'd been meaning to buy to my order so that I qualified for the over $25 (now $35) free shipping. (Shipping would have been about $6.00 so I saved there.)

(I've since joined Amazon Prime which includes free shipping for most orders).

If you want to buy the Royal Edition Parcheesi Game, you can get it on sale at Amazon through this link here.

Antique Painted Parcheesi Gameboard (19â³ Square) sold by Northeast Auctions for $11,600.00
Antique Painted Parcheesi Gameboard (19â³ Square) sold by Northeast Auctions for $11,600.00

Parcheesi Strategy--How to Win at Parcheesi

The Best Defense is a Well-Placed Blockade

Before we get into Parcheesi Strategy a few thoughts:

1. It's a game played with dice. So there's a lot of luck involved.

2. If you are playing with your kids, concentrate on teaching them just the rules at first. Strategy comes later. You'll just frustrate them if you pile on too much at first.

Given these thoughts, here are a few tips:

1. Your best strategy is to establish a blockade with your two rear pieces and move your two forward pieces home before breaking the blockade. This can leave your opponents unable to move their pieces forward and effectively deny them their full turns until you finally have to break your blockade. If you establish your blockade on an opponent's nest exit space you will really freeze that opponent out of the game. This is not nice.

(To review, if you have only one piece on an opponent's nest exit space it is on a safe space and cannot be captured except if there are still pieces in that nest and that opponent exits the nest by rolling a five or dice equaling five. If you have two pieces (i.e. a blockade) on an opponent's nest exit space, however, any pieces in that nest are stuck there until you move your blockade.)

2. Use those safe spaces. This is where the addition really comes in for kids. The more they play, the more they will look for those safe spaces. And, as they look for those safe spaces they'll naturally start to use the five and seven space intervals between safe spaces to help figure out possible piece movements that effectively maximize the time their pieces spend on safe pieces.

3. The closer your piece is to home the more important it is to keep it safe. If you can get it onto the home path do so as a few doubles and a couple of penalties can allow even a distant opponent's piece to come up and capture your piece. Once your piece is on your home path it can't be captured. The only way a piece on your home path can go back to the nest is if you throw doubles three times.

4. You will throw doubles three times in a row more often than you think. Once you get a piece on the home path, bring it home.

5. If you can't set up a blockade or land your pieces on safe spaces you have two considerations.

Try to move your pieces in such a way that on the next turn you have a chance to set up a blockade. This means that the pieces stay close to each other. (If an opposing pawn is right behind these pieces, the following piece of advice will probably be more prudent, especially if leaving your two pawns close together leave them both unprotected.)

Try to move your pieces out of harm's way by putting as much distance as possible between your pieces and your opponents pieces. Again, that distance can be closed faster than you might think.

That's the basic strategy of Parcheesi. And remember - it's a game - so have fun.

Best Place to Buy a Parcheesi Game Board Set - Get your Parcheesi game from Amazon now

Still the best place to find a well-made game set that is reasonably priced.

Acknowledgements

Online Sources

The following sites are cited as sources for the historical and rules sections of this website. I found them to be very useful and informative.

Pachisi & Ludo - pc games, rules and history by Vegard Krog Petersen

Parcheesi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Early Parcheesi Boards - Rick Tucker (Rick has removed the photos of early parcheesi boards from his site, ricktucker.com.)

Antique Parcheesi Game Boards -- http://fineestateliquidation.com/antique-painted-p...

Hi,

First, if you liked this page please don't hesitate rating it by clicking the little thumbs up icon in the upper left margin near the main title "Parcheesi Game". You could also tell your friends about it by clicking the Facebook "like" icon. Be the first to Tweet about it if you really like it!

Second, if anything could be made more clear (especially about Parcheesi rules) or if you have some strategy ideas please let me know.

I hope you found this lens informative. Thanks again for reading along.

© 2010 ParcheesiGame

Guest Comments and Questions on Anything Parcheesi! - Your Thoughts and Suggestions Requested

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Advance Parcheesi Question:

      If you land on an opponent with one number of a die and on a second opponent with the count on the other die, can you send both home and do you get 40 bonus points? Will the answer you give apply if you have only one man in plar,ie; 3 are home?

      if you can not provide the answer do you have some place I can go to get it?

      Thanks,

      John

    • ParcheesiGame profile image
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      ParcheesiGame 6 years ago

      @anonymous: According the rules I've always played which also reflect those that came with our game the answer is yes to both questions. In fact, if all your players had left their nest and your threw doubles, you could conceivably send four opponent pieces back to their nest. The key is that the 20 bonus points are taken at the end of your turn. The trick, of course, is that each 20 point bonus has to be taken by only one piece in its entirety or else the bonus is forfeit.

    • ParcheesiGame profile image
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      ParcheesiGame 6 years ago

      @anonymous: 1. Assuming you have at least two pawns in your nest, rolling a double 5 would allow you to move two pawns to your nest's exit safety space. This assumes, of course, that the space is not blockaded by an opponent or that one of your pawns does not already occupy that space as you can't have three pawns on the same space.

      2. Sadly, while if you can make a legal move you must, if you can't -- you can't. As landing on a safety space occupied by an opponent is illegal the move is forfeit. The exception is if a pawn is leaving the nest with a 5 and landing on the nest's exit safety space which is occupied by a single oppponent.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      1. Blockades:

      Rule says: "Two pawns in a blockade cannot be moved forward to form a blockade together on a new space".

      Question: Can one be moved, and a different pawn take the place of the first to form the Blockade, or must both be moved?

      2. How long can you keep a Blockade?

      I've read in other rules that it must be broken up by third role of die or dice.

    • profile image

      onlinemba 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing such valuable information with us

    • ParcheesiGame profile image
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      ParcheesiGame 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi, thanks for the thoughtful questions.

      1. This rule really addresses rolling doubles and moving both pawns up, say, 3 spaces each. So, yes, if you had a blockade and the dice allowed, you might move one pawn off the blockade only to have another "back" pawn move forward to reestablish a blockade on the same space. Conversely, if you had a pawn one space behind the blockade and you rolled 2-3, you could move one pawn off the blockade up two spaces and move the "back" pawn up three spaces to establish a new blockade. Strategically,if possible, the first example is the preferred move as it "frees" a pawn to continue its race to heaven whereas in the second example you still have a single pawn stuck behind your own blockade waiting to be captured (assuming it's not on a safe space).

      2. I have not seen this rule and would add a reference to it as a variation if you have it handy. There is no mention of a time limit in our rules and we have never played that way. Essentially, blockades are usually removed when it seems prudent to do so. If you wait until no other move is possible and and are forced to do so because no other legal move is possible you probably have waited too long. Better to break up the blockade when you roll doubles and can skedaddle rather than be forced to do it with a roll of 2-3 and a group of unhappy opposing pawns waiting to capture your now vunerable pawns.

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      ParcheesiGame 6 years ago

      @onlinemba: You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      What if you land on an opponent's space and send him home, then move 20 spaces and land on an opponent's space again? Do you send him home and go another 20?

      Thank you so much for the easy to understand, yet detailed instructions. We just bought the game at Walmart and though it looks different than what I played as a kid, it is a nice version and easy for my children to follow. We actually play with only 3 pieces each to shorten the game for those with short attention spans.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: My understanding is "Yes". A capture allows a pawn of the capturING player to move 20 spaces; if that causes it to capture another opponent then more power (& 20 more moves to him/her. FYI, by the same token, if an opponent has pawns (for example) 3 & 5 spaces ahead of you & you roll a 3 & a 5 then voila! You now get 20 + 20 additional moves. (It's happened to me)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Every rule that I read says that no pawn (one's own or opponent's) can not advance PAST a blockade. My Q's are: (1) Can a pawn enter -- but not pass -- a blockade (a total of 3 pawns on 1 space)?; (2) Can one establish what I call an "after the fact" blockade; that is, move 2 pawns into a space already occupied by an opponent to now create a blockade?; (3) Can a blockade exist on one's Home row; that is if one has 2 of his/her own pawn's 3 spaces from Home & another 5 spaces away & rolls a 4 or 5, must he/she forfeit that move or can he/she move thru his/her own blockade on the Home row? Help!

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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Dear Jennifer, Sorry for taking so long to answer your question. Monkeynuts is correct. You can knock someone home, move 20 spaces and then knock another piece home for another 20 space bonus. In fact, if you had only one piece remaining on the board it is conceivable that you would be required by the rules to move accordingly no matter how charitable you were feeling at the moment.

    • ParcheesiGame profile image
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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Dear Monkeynuts, First, thanks for answering Jennifer's question while I was away. Now to your questions.

      (1) No more than 2 pieces on a space. This would be two of the same player's and form a blockade.

      (2) If your two pawns land on a space occupied by an opponent's single piece, that piece is captured (sent back to its nest) and you also have a 20 space bonus. If the opponent had two pieces on the target space than that is a blockade and neither of your pieces can land on or pass that space so long as the blockade remains in place. An interesting "after the fact' scenario is when two of your pieces pass an opponent's single piece to establish a blockade just in front of that piece.

      (3) Yes, you can blockade yourself on the Home row. While sometimes the requirement to make a legal move if one is available might lead to a blockade on your home row it is never advisable to voluntarily set up a blockade on your home row.

      Thanks you for your questions.

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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @ParcheesiGame: Correction: I meant to say "knock someone back to their nest". The captured piece is always returned back to its starting place, i.e. that player's nest. Again, it's considered good form not to chortle too loudly when you send two opponent pieces back to their nests and also bag 40 bonus spaces.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi there.... if you have 2 pawns on the same spot and its your 3rd roll you have to move it but you roll the dice and you can eat someone piece can I eat him and then open with the 20 bonus spaces or do you have to open right away and can't eat that person

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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Jasie,

      Not sure if I understand your question 100% but I'll try. I assume you are saying that you have rolled doubles twice and it's your third roll of the same turn. You have two pawns on the same space forming a blockade.

      Although you have to break up (move at least one pawn of the blockade) if it is the only legal move possible, you do not have to breakup the blockade if any other move is possible.

      As you breakup the blockade, there is nothing to stop you from capturing an opponent's single piece with one of the pieces that made up the blockade unless that opponent's piece is on a safe space. If you have more than two pieces left on the board you could capture a piece with your third or fourth pawn, move the same or a different pawn the amount on the other die if not already used, and then take your 20 space bonus.

      If that doesn't answer your question feel free to try rephrasing it and I'll try again.

      Thanks

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi, thanks for the info! My question is: If you roll a double 2, which means you get two 5's on the bottom, can you use these bottom 5's to pull out two pawns?

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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi, Jthewarrior! Sadly, no. You can't use the bottom of the doublet dice until all four pieces have left the nest. So in this case only the 2's are used, not the 5's. Easy to miss but under Doublets in the Rules section you'll see this, "If all that player's pieces are outside the nest, the values on reverse side of dice are also used." Glad you liked the lens!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Can a player with his own blockade, move his own pawns past this blockade without breaking it?

    • ParcheesiGame profile image
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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Wayne! Sorry, a blockade blocks any (and all) pieces. Including yours. This is why under "Parcheesi Strategy" above I recommend setting up a blockade with your rear pieces while running your forward pieces home.

      Note that on occasion you can move one piece of the blockade forward while reestablishing the blockade with a piece from behind. For example you roll a 3-4 and you have one piece three spaces behind the blockade. Move one piece of the blockade four spaces and then move the back piece three spaces forward to reestablish the same blockade.

      Have fun playing Parcheesi!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Can a player do the following: opponent has pawns on two safety spaces. I have two pawns 2 spaces immediately behind my opponents pawns. I roll a 2 and a 1; Can I move one of my pawns one space, and not move the other pawn two spaces because I would be landing on my opponents pawn who is sitting on a safety space OR must I move one pawn all 3 spaces, thus putting my pawn in jeopardy?

    • ParcheesiGame profile image
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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Len! Sorry, but afraid you'll just have to hold your breath and hope your opponent doesn't send your piece all the way back to your nest on the next move.

      The rules state, "Any time a player rolls, he must use as much of the dice showing as possible." This is the luck part of the game which I mention a few times. This is a bad roll and not much you can do about it but move the one piece three spaces and hope that your opponent is equally unlucky (or charitable) and doesn't capture your piece.

      Take care and thanks for your comment!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Recently received a new Parcheesi game as a gift. We were both taken aback to see that it's only 6 spaces from nest exit to safety! What gives?! Why would they merge the 3rd and 4th spaces into one? We will use a Sharpie to fix the board so that our children are brought up correctly. :-)

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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Peggy! Yes, what's up with that? That's why I appreciate that Winning Moves did such a nice job recreating the Parcheesi game board from years ago.

      Good idea using a Sharpie to draw in the lines. Hope you used a straight-edge! :)

      Have fun!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Can you pass an opponent on a regular space or on a safety space?

    • ParcheesiGame profile image
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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Carol!

      Yes you can! You can always pass a single pawn (i.e.) piece. You just can't pass a blockade (two pieces). This applies even to your own blockades.

      Have fun playing Parcheesi!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Can you roll doubles on 3 consecutive turns in a row (not on the same turn)?

    • Wealth-seekers LM profile image

      Wealth-seekers LM 5 years ago

      Focus on the Family! I like that, this lens is an excellent research tool Thanks. I just stumbled upon it, after visiting a lens on old toys for kids. A walk down memory lane at: the-best-50s-and-60s-toys.

      What a wonderful coincidence, to come a cross your lens great find again Thanks!

    • ParcheesiGame profile image
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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Susan! Good question which I hope I can answer.

      Let's say you're playing a game with Joan. It's your turn. You roll double 3's. Now if you still have one or more pawns (pieces) inside your nest you only get to play the two 3's. If all your pawns are outside the nest then you also look at the bottom of the dice and play the two 4's. The total is always 14 and if you can't move take all fourteen spaces (in this case, exactly 3,3,4,and 4 taken by any combination of pieces or just one piece) you don't move at all. In either case, when you roll doubles you roll again as part of that same turn. Do it three times and you invoke the penalty of sending your piece closest to home back to the nest and your turn ends.

      But I don't think that answers your question. The short answer is yes. Let me give an example.

      You roll doubles. You move your pieces and then roll again. Your second roll is not doubles (say 3-4). You move your pieces and your turn ends.

      Joan plays and it's back to you.

      You roll doubles again. You move your pieces and roll again. You don't roll doubles. You move your pieces and your turn ends.

      Joan plays and it's back to you.

      You roll doubles. Your move your pieces and roll again. You roll doubles again. You move your pieces and roll again. You don't roll doubles. You move your pieces and your turn ends.

      Joan raises her eyebrow and finally takes her turn.

      All this is perfectly legal and invokes no penalty (only a raised eyebrow at your incredible good luck). So long as you don't roll doubles three times in a row during the same turn you are golden.

      Hope that helps!

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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @Wealth-seekers LM: Hi Wealth-seekers!

      Very glad to hear you enjoyed the lens! Always enjoy hearing that I've helped someone with this little lens of mine.

      Have fun playing the game of Parcheesi!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I don't think there is a definitive ruling on this but I would like to ask your opinion anyway; my family is fiercely divided on the correct ruling. Can you accumulate 20 point capture bonuses? So if you roll a 4 and a 3 and hit two different pawns, can you then move one pawn 40 spaces or 2 pawns 20 spaces? Also, if your 20 point bonus hits a pawn do you get an additional bonus?

      Thankx

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: PS: You already answered said question. You think that they do, which would appear to be the letter of the law, but I find the possibility of 80 points is too powerful and the game is more fun with 1 20 point bonus per roll of the dice.

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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Ben,

      Sorry for the delay in responding.

      The short answer is that yes, if a player keeps capturing pawns, there is no limit to the number of 20 point bonuses that can be won. The only requirement is that they are taken as they are gathered and again, if you can't take move a single piece all 20 points then the bonus is lost.

      One of the downsides of any game relying even partially on dice is sometimes suffering through the outrageous good fortune of your opponent. Strategy is important, but in any game involving chance, simple good luck will sometimes win out in the short run. Many games add rules (such as the rolling doubles three times penalty) to counterbalance the effect of chance but there's always a few situations which are either overlooked or judged by the game creators to have an excitement or play value. Limiting the number of bonuses per move was not to my knowledge one of these counterbalancing rules and I have never seen it used. One might argue that unrestricted capture bonuses is meant to counterbalance the chance that a piece could be sent back to the nest just as it's about to enter home (again, the three double roll penalty).

      That said, and this may shock Parcheesi purists, if your family wants to agree upon a max number of capture bonuses per turn, you certainly can play by that variation. Who knows, eventually that rule could be added to the game as a widely played variation. It happened with the "Free Parking" space in Monopoly.

      Have fun playing Parcheesi!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      1; Can I move one of my pawns one space into home , and not move the other with a roll of a 2 & 1?

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      ParcheesiGame 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Cheesi,

      After moving the one pawn into home you would have to move any of your remaining pawns two spaces, if it is possible.

      There are lots of times when you rather not move but if you can, you must.

      Thanks for your question.

      Have fun playing Parcheesi!

      P.S. Don't forget the 10 space bonus that you take at the end of your turn!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Question: When pawn are going home, to finish. Is it one dice you roll to go home or two dice. This guy is telling me different. He said for the seven square to go home . You supposed to roll one dice not two. I think it rubbish . I think he making the rules up. Please tell me correctly what is the right rules.

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      ParcheesiGame 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Millk T!

      In the modern version of Parcheesi, one die is thrown only at the beginning of the game to decide who goes first. After that, two dice are always thrown.

      If you are four spaces from home you could use one die (the 4) from a roll of 4-1, or both dice from a roll of 1-3 or 2-2 (which being doubles and assuming all your pawns have left the nest would also leave you with 5-5 to move and then, the 10 space bonus for moving a pawn home -- after which, being doubles you would roll again.)

      Have fun playing Parcheesi!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      How do you enter home if you have one piece and are one space away? Rolling two dice makes it statisically impossible to enter ? DO you roll one dice only?

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      ParcheesiGame 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi WannaWin,

      Good question as I am seeing it a lot.

      As I mentioned to Millk T below, except to determine who goes first, you always throw two dice.

      In your particular case, if either die comes up "1" you move your last piece Home and vigorously shout, "Parcheesi". (Or more reservedly if that's your preference.) The remaining die sits there quietly unused as your vanquished foes glower at you.

      On a related note, remember that pieces must use each die value separately. If you roll 5-2, you move one piece 5 spaces and another piece 2 spaces or a single piece either 5 spaces then 2 spaces or 2 spaces then 5 spaces.

      As an extreme example, say your last piece is 1 space behind an opponent sitting on a safe space and also six spaces behind another opponent on another safe space. Recall that two pawns of different colors can never share the same safe space. Your piece can advance past the safe spaces but can not land on the safe spaces. You roll 6-1.

      You are out of luck and cannot move this turn because you cannot move either 1 space or 6 spaces. You do not magically fly 7 spaces past both occupied safety spaces because even though you throw two dice at a time the pieces move the total of the dice one die at a time. (In this case, either 1 then 6 or 6 then 1; neither legal from this position.)

      Have fun playing Parcheesi!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      The colombia Parqués is way better!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: You could roll a 1 and another # and just don't use the other #.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      If player A only has 1 piece left and rolls onto a safety space (that already has an opponents piece on it) is player A sent back to his nest? Or does player A forfeit part of his roll?

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      ParcheesiGame 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Ben and Matthew,

      Good news, bad news. The good news is that you never land on a safety space occupied by an opponent and end up back at your nest. The bad news -- you can never land on a safety space occupied by an opponent!

      This is addressed in the third paragraph of the "Rules of Play" section:

      "If an amount on one or both of the dice cannot be moved, that amount is forfeited."

      So, if your pawn were 4 spaces behind a safety space occupied by an opponent's pawn and you rolled 3-1, you could move either 3 spaces or 1 space but not both -- you would forfeit one of the die. If you rolled 4-4 you would forfeit the entire roll as either one would put you at least temporarily on the safety space. However, 5-4 or 1-4 would require you to use both dice as either would allow you to move past the safety space without landing on it.

      Thanks for your interest and have fun playing Parcheesi!

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Can 1 pawn split the 2 dice on the same turn...I.e if a 4 & a 3 were rolled, could a single pawn move 4 spaces & send a pawn back to the nest, then continue to move 3 more spaces & send a 2nd pawn back to the nest? The instructions with the game say that a single pawn can move 3+4 or 4+3 or the move can be split between two different pawns.

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      ParcheesiGame 3 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Steve,

      Yes you can! Again, if one pawn uses both dice (4 & 3 in this case), the pawn does not magically fly 7 spaces. It must move either 3 spaces then 4 spaces, or 4 spaces then 3 spaces. Any blockade would impede forward movement and the pawn could not land on a safety space occupied by an opponent's pawn with the 4 or the 3.

      In your described case, you would then have two 20 space bonus moves to be taken by either one pawn or two. Again, all 20 per pawn or nothing and you must use the two 20 spaces bonuses if you can.

      Have fun!

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Can a player's single pawn pass another of the same player's single pawns?

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      ParcheesiGame 3 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi JadedJewelz1!

      Yes! Only two pieces of the same color form an impassable blockade. A pawn can always pass a single pawn of any color.

      Have fun!

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      McCullarlawfirm 3 years ago

      Can you choose to bypass your home row to go around again to take out an opponent about to win?

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      ParcheesiGame 3 years ago

      @McCullarlawfirm: Hi McCullarlawfirm, Remember, "There's no place like home" and when you get to your home row it's time to go home. Have fun playing Parcheesi!

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      lgimferrer 3 years ago

      Hello,

      I am a recovered fan of Parcheesi from Catalonia (Sapin) and I have a doubt concerning the rule of "If all that player's pieces are outside the nest, the values on reverse side of dice are also used. For example, a player who rolls 6-6 can also move 1-1 in any combination" (in this case, exactly 3,3,4,and 4 taken by any combination of pieces or just one piece). Does this mean that you cannot move any spaces than these two values (3 and 4)? or you can move also 2, 5 or other values?

      Hope you'll understand my doubt.

      Regards,

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      ParcheesiGame 3 years ago

      @lgimferrer: Hi Igimferrer!

      First, to review the rules on doublets.

      _____________

      "Doublets

      When a doublet (doubles) is tossed, the player gains another roll of the dice.

      If all that player's pieces are outside the nest, the values on reverse side of dice are also used. For example, a player who rolls 6-6 can also move 1-1 in any combination. Therefore, when a doublet is tossed, the player has a total of fourteen spaces to move one or more pawns.

      When all pieces are outside the nest, if a player rolls doubles and cannot move all fourteen spaces, the player cannot move any spaces. The player still gets to roll again.

      The third consecutive doublet rolled in one turn is a penalty, and pieces are not moved the number of spaces shown on dice. The player must move their piece closest to home back to their nest. Their turn ends.

      A player cannot split doubles in order to enter home. This means that a player can only enter home by rolling doubles if he is exactly 14 spaces from home."

      ________________

      So to continue the example in your question, let's say you roll double 4's, i.e. 4-4, and all pawns are outside the nest. In addition to the two 4's, you would also look at the bottom of the dice and see 3-3 (the total count of the top and bottom of any doublet will be 14).

      This means you could, among many combinations:

      a.) Move one pawn any 14 spaces in several ways:

      1) 3 then 3 then 4 then 4

      2) 4 then 3 then 4 then 3

      3) 4 then 4 then 3 then 3, etc.

      Note that you don't just magically move that piece 14 spaces. You would have to not land on a safe space occupied by an opponent's pawn and, of course, couldn't pass any blockades.

      b.) Move one pawn 3-4 and another 4-3.

      c.) Move one pawn 3, another pawn 4, another pawn 3, and your fourth pawn 4.

      d.) Move one pawn 4-4, one pawn 3, and the third pawn 3. , etc.

      To answer the second part of your question, however, the other sides of the dice, 1,2,5, and 6 are not relevant and are not used.

      Only the normally played top-facing numbers (4-4 in our example) and the bottom-facing numbers (3-3 in this example) are played.

      You would no more use the other sides of the dice then you would use them in a normal roll of 5-6 in which case only 5 and 6 would be used.

      Thanks for you question.

      Again note the third paragraph which states that if you can't for some reason move all fourteen spaces (if say, you're up against blockades) then you can't move any spaces and simply roll again.

      Also, note the fifth paragraph which states that regardless of how many pawns still on the board, you can only use doublets to move a pawn home if it is exactly 14 spaces from home and use all 14 spaces to move it to home.

      To complete the current example you could not use one 4 to move a pawn home and then use the remaining 3-3-4 spread among other pawns.

      Hope that helps.

      Love Catalonia! Been to Barcelona twice.

      (Sorry but I accidentally deleted one of your comments. At first glance it looked like you had posted the same question twice. My bad.)

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      darkstar3169 3 years ago

      I'm curious why these rules differ from most of the rules I see posted on the internet? These are the same rules that came with my parent's Parcheesi game from the 1970s. Any ideas? Thanks.

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      ParcheesiGame 3 years ago

      @darkstar3169: Hi DarkStar3169!

      To tell you the truth, I haven't done much of a search on how the rest of the Internet says Parcheesi should be played. I have compared Wikipedia's version to the my decades old version of Parcheesi to that included with the Royal Edition recreation to my recollections of games played with my family years ago. (And yes, we were one of those families that referred to the directions whenever there was a question as to the legality of any move or bonus.)

      All four sources are so close in agreement that I have reprinted the Wikipedia version using their GNU

      Free Documentation License (GFLD).

      That said, the basic rules are sometimes vague and hopefully these comments help to clarify any misunderstandings.

      Take care!

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      Joe58 2 years ago

      My example is 3 men home and with 1 pawn left double 5 rolled. Opponent is 12 spaces ahead. Can I move 5+5+2 to capture then 2 to complete 14 then take 20 bonus. Do you have to finish all parts of 14 FIRST before taking 20 bonus? Capturing rules state if you land on opponent with count of ONE die you can continue on (say 4+3) but with my example I'm using counts on TWO die (5+5+2) to capture and move on. This seemed vague so I didn't do it. Can rules clarify this? Thanks.

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      ParcheesiGame 2 years ago

      Hi Joe58! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. The 20 bonus is taken at the end of the roll so you would be correct in moving 5+5+2 to capture an opponent's piece 12 spaces away and then moving the remaining 2 spaces before taking the 20 space bonus.

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      mcredible 2 years ago

      Parcheesi - If you roll a double, say, 4 and 4. The only pawn to move, when moving 4 lands on a safety with an opponent already there. Can the move be a total of 8, or does it have to be 4 and 4 making it impossible to move because of the safety?

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      :(:(:(:( 2 years ago

      well thanks for letting my sister show me this stupid website where she can show me off like she always does.

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      ParcheesiGame 2 years ago

      Hi mcredible! To answer your question first we have to know if the following rule applies.

      "If all that player's pieces are outside the nest, the values on reverse side of dice are also used. For example, a player who rolls 6-6 can also move 1-1 in any combination. Therefore, when a doublet is tossed, the player has a total of fourteen spaces to move one or more pawns."

      So, if all the player's pieces are outside the nest (perhaps the other three pawns have already run home), you would not only have 4-4 but also 3-3. So you could move 3, then whatever order of the remaining 3-4-4 to avoid landing on already occupied safety spaces.

      If, however, you have remaining pawns in the nest, then you would be out of luck that turn because you have 4 and 4, not an indivisible 8 that flies over the safety space.

      In either case, however, you have doubles and can roll again. So good luck on the next roll!

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      Charles 15 months ago

      I captured my opponent's piece but then rolled a third doublet so my turn ended. It says to move the 20 spaces at the end of my turn. So do I still get the 20 spaces after the doublets penalty or do I lose those?

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      ParcheesiGame 14 months ago

      Hi Charles,

      Sorry for the delay in answering your question.

      The Royal Edition Parcheesi instructions add this helpful note:

      "(If you capture during a Doublets Bonus move, complete your Capture Bonus before rolling again.)"

      Additionally, a note under Doublets states, "If you roll doublets before all four of your pawns are entered, take your turn as usual, then roll again."

      From these two entries, it's clear that rolling doublets entitles you to another turn. The 20 space Capture is taken before rolling again, before the dreaded Third Doublet penalty.

      Hope that helps!

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      Pbelanger 7 months ago

      I've got two pawns in home and two pawns on the home path both two spaces from home. If I roll double twos I have to use the doublets bonus or forfeit my turn right? But if I roll double ones I have the same problem. I'm stuck. What can I do?

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      ParcheesiGame 7 months ago

      Hi Pbelanger,

      Sorry for the delay in answering your question. No doubt you have probably already seen the above last paragraph under Rules, Doublets:

      "A player cannot split doubles in order to enter home. This means that a player can only enter home by rolling doubles if he is exactly 14 spaces from home."

      So with two pawns, both two spaces away from Home, Doublets are your worst nightmare. They won't get you into Home and if you roll three Doublets in a row one of your two pawns will be sent back to your Nest.

      You need to not throw Doublets and get some unmatched rolls with a "two" on one die and something other than "two" on the other.

      Put another way, it will take a minimum of two lucky rolls to get your pawns home.

      Good luck!

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      Bernie M 6 months ago

      In a recent game the following occured:

      Late in a 3 player game I was in a losing position and about to enter my second piece in the safety zone leading to my nest. Before I moved, I noticed that my opponent (who was furthest ahead with 3 men in) had a man just past my nest and this was his last piece so victory for him was close. I had other players on the board. In an effort to keep the game alive, I elected to go past my nest zone (when I could have gone in) to knock his piece back to his home base. By doing so I committed mysel to going twice around the board The other players objected to this move and said it was not allowed (and mean spirited to boot!) Can you settle this dispute?

      Thanks,

      Bernie M

      Thanks

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      ParcheesiGame 2 months ago

      This question came in from Nicole:

      Q: "My family plays Parcheesi on a daily basis. We have a question about splitting our dice. If I roll a four and a two, Can I capture a pawn and continue with that same roll? In other words can I move four, capture the pawn, and then take my two with the same man that I captured the pawn with?"

      A: Hi Nicole, yes you may continue moving the same piece two more spaces after capturing an opponent's pawn by first moving four spaces. After that, don't forget to take your 20 bonus spaces as "reward" for sending your opponent's pawn back to it's nest.

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