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Parcheesi - A Fun Family Game

Updated on October 17, 2014

Do You Play Parcheesi?

Growing up, my family played a lot of games together - you name it, we played it! One of my favorite fun family board games is Parcheesi.

Parcheesi is based on a very old game from India, and is easy to learn and very entertaining to play. It's perfect for players of all ages. Basically, if you can count you can play Parcheesi!

If your family is looking for something new to add to family game nights, I highly recommend Parcheesi. Welcome to my Parcheesi lens, and happy playing!

(Photo Credit: Francois Haffnerr)

About Parcheesi

An Ancient Game of Many Names

Parcheesi is an American adaptation of the Indian Cross and Circle game Pachisi. Created in India around 500 BCE, the game is often subtitled Royal Game of India because royalty supposedly played using costumed dancers as pieces on large outdoor boards (such a court is preserved at Fatehpur Sikri). The game and its variants are known worldwide; for example, a similar game called Parchís is especially popular in Spain, and Parqués is a Colombian variant. A version is available in the United Kingdom under the name of Ludo.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Parcheesi Game Board.

Parcheesi Game Board
Parcheesi Game Board

Did you know that the popular board game Sorry! is a variant of Parcheesi?

Parcheesi Royal Edition
Parcheesi Royal Edition

Remember that classic, colorful game of Parchessi® from years past? Well now it's back - and with the dice cups! The Royal Edition features the original game board and packaging of Parcheesi® - the cherished look and feel that will surely bring back fond memories. In Parcheesi® Royal Edition, players race to get all of their pawns into the center "home" space. Watch out for blockades and captures or be sent back to the starting point! 2-4 Players


Get Your Parcheesi Games Here! - So Many To Choose From!

If You Like Parcheesi, You Might Like...

Parcheesi Game Board 1934
Parcheesi Game Board 1934

Rules of Parcheesi

Parcheesi is played with one or 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 his right. Pieces enter play onto the darkened space to the left of the 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 one or 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.


Any piece that is not on a safe space or a part of a blockade can be captured by an opposing pawn. A player is awarded 20 bonus spaces for capturing an 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.


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.

Safe 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).

Two pieces that form a blockade are also safe.


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

If a player rolls doubles and cannot move the entire number of spaces, he/she cannot move any spaces, but 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. A player with a three doublet penalty also removes his piece closest to home back to their nest, and his/her 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.


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

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. Once a piece has been moved into his home path, it can no longer be moved except to move all the way to home.

Winning the game

The first player to get all four pieces home wins.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Parcheesi Poll
Parcheesi Poll

Have YOU Played Parcheesi?

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Parcheesi Variant Game of India
Parcheesi Variant Game of India

Parcheesi Variants in the US

Game Of India:

Several companies made this variant -

"Pachesi" Woolson Spice Co. (Toledo, OH) around 1894.

"Parchesi - A Game of India" (Whitman Co. (Racine, WI) 1939

"Pachisi - The Game of India" The National Games Co

. (Portland, OR) about 1940.

"Game of India" (Milton Bradley, 1901/1910).


A Pachisi variant made by Parker Brothers. Based on the novel Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter (1913) using pictures of characters from the book.


A variation with a Middle Eastern theme. (Nathan Reinhertz, Corey Games, 1944).


A proprietary race game that resembles Pachisi and Aggravation. The earliest known WAHOO boards are from 1962. Popular in Texas and Oklahoma. The name resembles an American Indian war cry and the board is printed with Indian braves and teepees.


A variant first made in 1934 (Waddingtons, UK) Instead of throwing dice, you draw cards. The 45 playing cards specify distance, bonuses and penalties. The original cruciform track is replaced with a peripheral square track.

Let's Talk Parcheesi - And Other Family Game Fun

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    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 3 years ago from Mobile, AL

      I've been looking for some interesting games. This looks cool.

    • CyberPappy profile image

      CyberPappy 5 years ago

      Wow, I remember playing this game all the time when I was a kid. Nobody liked to play with me because I overdid the whole blockade thing. Great lens!

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 6 years ago from Florida

      My 9 year old son loves playing this game!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      I remember playing this when I was a kid. Really liked it.

    • ludyshubs profile image

      ludyshubs 6 years ago

      I played Parcheesi when I was a child. My grandmother and my great grandmother had one. My sister and I really enjoyed playing with them when we visited.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I had not even thought of this game in years!! What a fun game this was, except for the fact that my father would always win when the whole family played. Thanks for the memories.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      This has always been a favorite in my family.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      As I was reading about Parcheesi and looking at the board, I was thinkng it reminded me of Sorry. I didn't know they were related. Great lens. This lens is featured on the Top 100 family games.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 7 years ago from So Cal

      Thanks for the memories. I had forgotten about the game too. I don't really like Sorry which we play all the time. For the boy's birthday, he will get Parchessi.

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 7 years ago

      I had forgotten all about Parchese! I used to really like it - I definitely like it better than Sorry!