Parcheesi is a brand-name American adaptation of the Indian cross and circle board game Pachisi, published by Parker Brothers and Winning Moves. The game and its variants are known worldwide. A similar game called Parchís is popular in Spain and northern Morocco. Parqués is its Colombian variant. A version is available in the United Kingdom under the name of Ludo.
Parcheesi is typically played with two dice, four pawns per player and a board with a track around the outside, four corner spaces and four "home paths" leading to a central end space. The most popular Parcheesi boards in America have 68 spaces around the edge of the board, 12 of which are darkened "safe spaces". Each corner of the board contains one player's "nest", or starting area.
Setting up the game:
- The game is played best with four players. Fewer players create dead areas on the playing board.
- Each player rolls a single die to determine player order. The player with the highest roll goes first and the order of players' turns move to the next player on the current player's left.
- Each player positions their four single colored pawns in the round starting nest of the same color.
- Pawns move from the nest to the same colored starting space to the left of the nest, by the movement rules in the following section.
- A turn ends when the next player rolls the dice with the consent of the current player. Any rewards not taken are lost.
A player rolls the dice and must use the top die pip values shown to move their pieces around the board in one of the following ways:
- Only pawns not in the nest may move forward on the board.
- Pawns may only leave the nest with a roll of a five on a single die or the sum of the dice. A double five can be used to move two pawns from the nest simultaneously.
- In the case of a non-doubles roll, a player may move one or two pawns, either one pawn by each of the numbers on the two dice or one pawn by the total. If no move is possible, the turn is forfeited.
- All die rolls must be taken and may not be voluntarily be forfeited by a player.
- If either of two rolls must be forfeited, the player must forfeit the lower number.
- All die moves must be taken before the application of any extra rewards for sending an opponent to their nest or moving a pawn to its home position.
- With a roll of doubles, the player makes four moves, one for each of the numbers on top of the two dice and one for each of the numbers on the bottoms. The player may distribute these four moves among one, two, three, or four pawns. Note that the sum of numbers on the opposite sides of a die is always seven, so with doubles, there are a total of fourteen spaces to move.
- When the player rolls doubles, the player rolls again after moving. If the player rolls doubles three times in a single turn, the third double is forfeited and the most advanced pawn, unless it is in the protected home row, must be sent back to the nest.
- A blockade is formed when two pawns of a single player occupy the same space. No pawn of any player may move through a blockade, including pawns of the blockade owner. Blockade pawns may not be moved forward together with the roll of a double. Another player's pawn cannot land in a space occupied by a blockade. Local rules may limit the number of turns that a blockade can stay in place.
- A pawn is not required to enter the home row and can pass the row and start another circuit of the board voluntarily or as the result of requirement of the use of the total die roll.
Rewards of extra moves:
- The reward for sending an opponent's piece to the nest is a free move of twenty spaces that may not be split between pawns.
- The reward for landing a pawn in the home space is a free move of ten spaces that may not be split between pawns.
Winning the game:
- Moving all four pawns to the home position wins the game.
- Pawns may only be moved to the home position with an exact application of the total roll, the value on a single die, or the complete application of a reward.
- "Directions for Playing Parcheesi" (PDF). Parker Brothers Games Ltd. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Parcheesi in Tangier Morocco. John Lux. Aug 11th 2014, http://tangierhotels.net/blog/parcheesi-tangier-morocco/