Parcheesi is an American adaptation of the Indian Cross and Circle game Pachisi. The game is often subtitled Royal Game of India because Pachisi, created in India around 500 BC, used red, yellow, blue and green pawns as dancers on palace grounds. Parcheesi is the national game of India but has also been played throughout the world for many years.

John Hamilton first registered the copyrights to the American adaptation, as Patchessi in 1867. In 1870, the rights were sold to a New York game manufacturer — the predecessor of Selchow & Righter, who registered the trademark in 1874. This game was a great success in sales at that time.

The game is especially popular in Spain, where it is called Parchís or Parqués. The rules there are slightly different, mainly because of the influence of Ludo.

Rules of playEdit


Parcheesi is played with two dice and the goal of the game is to move each of your pawns home to the center space. The most popular Parcheesi boards in America have seventy-two spaces around the board, twelve of which are darkened safe spaces where a pawn cannot be captured.

Each player selects four pawns 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. Pawns 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 clockwise to the left. Each turn players throw both dice and use the values shown to move their pawns around the board. If an amount on one or both of the dice cannot be moved, that amount is forfeited.

Entering pawnsEdit

Five has a special value in entering pawns out of the nest where they begin the game. A player may enter a pawn only by throwing a total of five on the dice or if either of the dice shows a five. Each time a five is tossed, the player must enter a pawn when possible.

Capturing pawnsEdit

An opponent's pawn resting on a lighter, non-safe space can be captured by landing on the same space by the amount shown on either die. The captured pawn is sent back to its nest and the turn continues with playing of any additional values shown on the dice. Also, each time a player captures an opponent’s pawn that player is awarded twenty movement points that may be moved with any one pawn at the end of their turn. If the bonus movement amount cannot be used it is forfeited.

An opponent's pawn on a darker safe space is not capturable except when a pawn is entering onto that space from its nest. In this case, enter the pawn as usual and the opponent’s pawn is captured.

It is not possible to end a turn with a pawn resting on the same space as an opponent’s pawn, even on a safety space.


Two of a player's pawns resting on the same space can form a blockade preventing all players from passing, including the blockading player’s pawns. The player whose pawns are blocking the path may keep them together for three turns or until there is no other pawn for that player to move. After three turns of blockading, at least one of the pawns must be moved on the fourth turn so that the two pawns rest on different spaces at end of the turn. If a player's move can't get beyond the blockade, he can go as close as he wants--and even win the game if he chooses.

Should a blockade occupy a player’s entry space, it will prevent that player from entering pawns into play.

It is not possible for a player to rest more than two pawns on the same space.


When a doublet (doubles) is tossed, the player gains another roll of the dice. In addition, if all that player’s pawns 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.

Third consecutive doublet rolled in one turn is a penalty, and pawns are not moved the number of spaces shown on dice. A player with a three doublet penalty also removes their pawn closest to home back to their nest, and his/her turn ends.


The center home space can only be entered by exact throw of the die or dice. When a pawn enters the center space by exact count, that player is awarded ten movement points that may be moved with any one pawn still in play at the end of their turn. If the bonus movement amount cannot be used, it is forfeit.

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

Winning the gameEdit

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

See also Edit

External linksEdit

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