Parcheesi Rules

Parcheesi is a classic board game that comes from India. It has some of the classic concepts featured in other games like “Sorry” and “Trouble,” but this is the original that has paved the way. Parchessi is simple to play and is a great game for 2 to 4 players.


  • Parcheesi is a board game and is played using a square board. The board features 4 colored circles, each one in a corner. There is an outer path that goes around the board and this path features white or tan rectangles and occasionally there is an evenly placed purple rectangle space with a circle in it. Down the center of each side are 8 red rectangles that lead to the home section in the middle of the board. Pieces are mini-pawn shaped and they come in 4 different colors. The standard pieces are not instrumental to the game and they can be replaced with any small object, like a button.


  • The purpose of Parcheesi is to get your 4 pieces around the board and to the home section before the other players do. This is mainly a dice rolling game with a lot of strategy and luck involved. The game starts with each player picking a circle that is their base. Every player receives all 4 pieces and starts there. Whoever is chosen to roll first goes and then the turns move counterclockwise. The pieces also move counterclockwise around the board until a player has reached their designated red bar and can go up towards the home section.


  • The only way to move a piece out from the base is by rolling a 5 with 2 dice. This can be done by rolling a total of 5, like 2 and 3, or by rolling a 5 and another number. If the latter happens, then the piece may move the extra spaces that are on the dice. Every player should sit so that the base is to the right of them. They move out the pieces onto the left purple space that is next to the base. The next player rolls and this continues all around as the game progresses and a winner is declared. You can send your opponent back to their own base by landing exactly on their space. If you do this with the amount on 1 die or 2, then you are rewarded 20 extra spaces when the move has completed. You cannot knock an opponent back to the base if they are sitting in a purple spot because they are known as safety spots.


  • If you roll doubles with the dice (for example 5 and 5), then you get to move those spaces and are rewarded with another turn. You can repeat this twice within one turn, but if you roll 3 doubles in a row, you must take your piece that is closest to the home area and move it back to the base.


  • Unless it is an official tournament, you can add and remove any aspects of the game you would like. Some considerations are adding or using less pieces, controlling two circles at the same time, or making doubles allowed as many times as possible. There are also ways that you can play the game with 1 die instead of 2.