Know the Rules of Parcheesi - The Royal Game of Ancient India

Parcheesi Rules
Whether you're a child, or an adult with the heart of a kid, playing Parcheesi is a fun way to spend quality time with family and friends. Read the Buzzle article to learn the rules for the game.
Around 500 BC, Parcheesi was created in India and was named "Cross and Circle". It is often known as the Royal Game of India because royalty would use costumed dancers as pawns and play over large outdoor boards. The traditional game was made of cloth instead of cardboard, having six small shells that would determine the number of spaces a pawn would move on each turn.

The Rules of Parcheesi

The game is a race among 2 to 4 players. Each player has to move all the pawns around the board and finish by coming in the center. Here are the basic rules.
  1. Regardless of the number of players, each of them get 4 pawns. The game begins by each player's pawns placed in individual home circles. When each player gets a turn, he/she gets to roll two dice and accordingly the pawns are moved.
  2. In order to begin the game and move one of your pawns on the main board, you have to roll a 5. Either you roll a 5 on one of the dice or do so with the combination of both the dice rolled together. Let's say that you roll a 5 on one dice and a 4 on the other. You will move the first pawn out of the home circle and then take 4 steps ahead in a counterclockwise direction.
  3. After all the pawns are out of the home circle and on the board, you can move them on the board strategically on each roll of dice. You can move all the pawns in random fashion once they are out of the home circle. You can also move two pawns together with the number which appears on each individual dice. Let's say that you roll a 4 on one dice and 3 on the other. So you can move one pawn ahead by 7 steps or 4, and the other pawn ahead by 3 steps.
  4. Now when you roll doubles, the rules will change a bit. The actual number of steps moved is determined by what is shown on the top of each dice, along with the number which is at the bottom of the dice. Let's say you just rolled a double 1's. In that case you can move 2 pawns by 1 step and 2 pawns by 6 steps, or just one pawn by 14 steps.
  5. One of the best rules for the game, according to me, which is applied when a player rolls a double. In your second try, you roll another doubles, the above mentioned rule will apply. Let's say you rolled doubles 3 times in a row, then you have to move the pawn which is closest to the finish line back to the home circle.
  6. Once a pawn has finished its journey around the board, it will move towards the center near its home row (the row which matches with your pawns).
  7. Every pawn can only come to the center through the middle row after an exact count is done. Which means, the number on either one or both the dice rolled should be equal to the number of steps required to get to the center.
  8. Once a pawn of a particular player comes to the center, that player automatically gets a 10-point bonus. This means you got an extra roll of the dice and moved another pawn of yours on the board 10 steps ahead.
These were the basic rules to keep in mind while playing the game, which will help you play the game more strategically. In order to win the game, you need to bring all your pawns back to the home circle before all other players. And each pawn can enter the home circle with exact die roll count only. After all your 4 pawns have entered the home, you, the winner has to yell, Parcheesi.
Advertisement