Parcheesi Rules

Parcheesi Rules: A Simple Guide To A Classic Family-Favorite

| December 7, 2023 | Last Updated on: December 12, 2023 | How To

Parcheesi is a classic and fun board game for your complete family, but before you start playing this game, you will have to obtain a better understanding of the rules. This classic board game happens to be a family favorite, ideal for kids who are six and above. Plus, the Parcheesi rules are pretty simple, making them very easy to learn.

Primarily, the game is sort of a race between 2 to 4 players who must move their specific pawn pieces right around the game board, finishing at the board’s center. Each of the players gets 4 pawns. The game begins with every player’s pawns located in their home center to the right.

Yes, that’s all you need to know before we start with the rules of the game. Just hold on till the end – it’ll only take you a few minutes to read and understand! And then you will be all set to play the game. Stay tuned!

Parcheesi Rules: How Do You Get Pawns On Board?

Parcheesi Rules

During every turn, the player in question will have to move their own pawns right around the game board. But how will the player move their pawns? It entirely depends on where the player is situated within the game.

Getting Pawns Into The Gameplay:

Players will have to roll a five for moving one of their pawns to the mainboard’s starting point. A few things to note in this context are as follows:

  • If a player gets a five on both dice, then they can move out two of their pawns.
  • Players can either obtain a five on 1 dice or a five in a combination of both dice together. For instance, if a player has five on one dice and two on another, then they can move their pawn out and then just move the pawn again 3 spaces counter-clockwise.

Get All Pawns On The Board:

Remember, if a player is able to get all their pawns on the game board, it any day trumps moving their pawns forward on the same board. For instance, if all your pawns except one are on the board, and you get a 5, then what should you do logically?

You might think that moving the pawns on the game board is a better option. But no – it’s like Ludo! For the one pawn that is still not on the board, get it out ASAP instead of moving your other pawns that are already in the game.

However, if you possess a pawn that needs to be moved to the board, but your opponent’s pawn has blocked the starting point, then you will lose the turn.

Moving Pawns In Play:

Once you put your pawns into play, you will have to use every roll of the dice for moving pawns around the game board strategically in the counter-clockwise direction. Parcheesi rules will not limit you to just moving a single pawn. The game rules allow players to move 2 of their pawns, considering the number appearing on each dice.

For instance, if you get a two-on-one dice and a six on another, you can either choose to move one of your pawns eight spaces, or you can move two of your pawns – one can move two spaces, and the other can move six spaces.

The game rules, however, do not allow players to split the amount on the dice. So if we take the same example, you will not be able to move one pawn five spaces while moving the other three spaces.

Rolling Doubles:

But what about rolling doubles? In that case, how will you move your pawns? Well, as per Parcheesi rules, the number of spaces that the pawns will move depends on the number visible on the top and bottom of the dice.

So, if you end up rolling double ones, then you can easily move 2 pieces 1 space and 2 pieces 6 spaces – or you could also move 1 piece 14 spaces.

Plus, double rolls also allow players to roll for a second time. If any player double rolls for a second time, the same rules apply. In case a player consecutively double rolls thrice, then they will have to move a pawn back to home. Now, the pawn they will move has to be the one that is literally closest to the game’s finish line – this is known as a doublets penalty.

How To Capture And Block Opponents In Parcheesi  

Parcheesi rules are very simple, and winning the game is even easier if you pay close attention. The purpose here is to simply slow down all your opponents and move them back far away from the finish line.

Here are some helpful tips that can help you to slow your opponents down and win the game instead!

Parcheesi Rules: Capturing Opponent’s Pawns!  

During the gameplay, any player can choose to capture an opponent’s pawns. Here’s what you need to know about capturing your opponent’s pawns!

  • Blue spaces on the board are known as safe spaces where the pawns can’t really be captured unless and until your opponent player is at the moment on your blue-colored starting point and you are about to get your pawn moving on the board. In such a situation, you can capture the said pawn.
  • If your opponent player is situated in a cream-colored space and you get a number on the dice that will get you to the same space, then you can capture the said pawn. The pawn will automatically go off the game board and will have to begin again. This phenomenon is called ‘bop’ or ‘bopping.’
  • The rule we just mentioned comes with a variation. Under the variation, players can move their pawns twenty spaces from the same space where they have captured their opponent’s pawn.
  • The starting area in blue is a safe area. The red space located on the left of the blue area. This is because players cannot move onto each other’s red paths.

Blockades In Parcheesi:  

Blockades in Parcheesi happen to be a super-effective strategy for hindering your opponents. Now, how are these blockades formed?

As per Parcheesi rules, Blockades come through when 2 pieces of the same shade are either on a blue or a cream space. You cannot place any new pawn – your opponent’s or your own – on this particular space and cannot even move past the same.

The only way to eventually move past this pawn is to patiently wait for the pawn in that space to move.

How To Enter Home?  

Once a pawn finishes its journey around the game board, it is then moved toward the gameboard’s middle by its home row, matching the said pawn.

Remember that you can move your pawns to the board’s center via the middle row, and that too with the exact amount. Simply put, a combination of two dices or a single dice have to equal the total number of spaces that are required for moving to the board’s center.

Once any pawn moves to the middle, you will be able to move another of your pawns 10 spaces.

And It’s A Wrap: Winning Parcheesi!

If you follow all the major Parcheesi rules and move all your pawns to the gameboard’s center, then you will win! Congrats! Oh, and FYI, this game is an ancient Indian game (known as ‘Pasha’ in Mahabharata). It is also known to be India’s national game.

Today, it is one of the classics for family board game nights. Plus, it’s very easy to learn and even easier to master! And once you start, there’s no stopping. Tell us what your thoughts on Parcheesi are in the comments below.

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Barsha Bhattacharya
Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.


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