Parcheesi is a game for 2-4 players. It requires a multi-colored board, 16 playing pieces, and two dice.
According to Parcheesi rules, if only 2 players are playing, you should sit opposite of your opponent. Each player picks a color, and takes the four playing pieces of that color. Place your pieces in the circle to your right. This is your ‘starting point’.
To move your pieces, you must first enter them onto the track by throwing a ‘5’. This can be singular die, or as a combination of the numbers thrown on both die. Rolling a ‘2 and 3’ or ‘4 and 1’ allows you to move one piece from your ‘starting point’ onto your blue spot (indicated by an arrow from your ‘starting point’). If you roll a 5 on one die, but not on the other, you will use the second die to move a piece that has entered play, including the piece just entered. If you roll two 5s, move two pieces from your ‘starting point’, if present.
Once a piece has entered play, roll of the die determines how many spaces a piece may move. Pieces move counter clockwise. Die may be combined to move one piece, or may be used separately to move separate pieces, but you may not split a singular die to move two pieces.
Moving pieces into play from the ‘starting point’ takes precedence over moving pieces around the board. If you throw a ‘5’ and you have pieces on your ‘starting point’, you must enter those pieces into play. If your blue space is blockaded, and you have a piece that must be entered into play, you lose your turn.
If you throw doubles, including 5’s, you immediately take another turn. The only time you do not take a second turn is if you are unable to move your pieces the total number of spaces indicated by the die you rolled. Some people opt to penalize for rolling doubles 3 times in a single turn. You may have that player immediately lose their turn or return their last piece moved to the ‘starting point’ (provided it did not just move ‘Home’.)
Safe Spaces and Capturing Pieces
The Parcheesi rules state that all blue spaces are safety spaces, and no piece can be captured while on a blue space. The only exception to this is if an opponent’s piece sits on your blue space. If you must move a piece into play, and your opponent has a piece on your blue spot, you capture that piece. If your opponent is on a blue space, you cannot land on the same blue space. You may pass your opponent’s piece that sits on a blue space.
If you are able to stop the movement of your piece by exact count on a cream space that your opponent is on, you have captured that piece. That piece is returned to your opponent’s ‘starting place’ and must re-enter play as in the beginning of the game. Some players chose to play that you move a piece 20 spaces forward from the square you captured your opponent’s piece on.
You may never move your pieces onto an opponent’s red path, so this is also a safe space. Your red path is the path to the left of your ‘starting point’, directly in front of you on the board.
Parcheesi rules specifiy, two pieces of the same color that have stopped (by exact count) on the same space (cream or blue, including your ‘starting space’) form a blockade. No pieces may pass this blockade, including your own. You must move spaces equal to the die roll on each turn, if able. You can leave a blockade in place until you cannot move any other pieces, but you must break the blockade if you have no other moves.
Winning the Game
According to Parcheesi rules, to win the game, be the first to move all your pieces to the center ‘Home’ square. A piece only enters the ‘Home’ square by exact count. If you are 2 spaces from the ‘Home’ square and roll a 4 and 5, you cannot move that piece.