A Strategy Game for Two to Four Players

Drag the circular counters onto the game board to play the game.

The game can played by four players each having four pieces or it could be played by two or three players if some of the pieces are not used.

If you take some time to research this game you will find that it was developed in ancient India. Furthermore, you will probably find that there are many versions of the rules of the game as it is so old. In fact, I did not find two sources that gave exactly the same rules.

I think it is a good thing that there are many ways to play this game and I challenge you to develop your own set of rules for this game. Your version could become famous if it makes the game suitably challenging yet interesting and fun to play. Let me know what rules you come up with.

Here are some questions that may need answering for your version of Pachisi:

• Do the pieces travel around the game board in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction?
• Do players need to roll a particular number or sum of dice scores to begin?
• From which square does each of the pieces begin their journey around the gameboard?
• It the sum of the dice scores is say 9, does one piece have to move nine squares or can they split the 9 so that one piece moves say 4 squares and another piece 5 squares?
• Does a piece have to have the exact dice score to reach the central square (the throne) or is an overflow permitted?
• What happens if one piece lands on a square already occupied by a piece of the same colour?
• What happens if one piece lands on a square already occupied by a piece of a different colour?
• Is there anything special about the squares marked with an X?

The game of Ludo was developed from Pachisi and introduced into England in 1896 (one hundred years before the photograph below was taken).

This photograph was taken at Fatehpur Sikri, India in August 1996 (when I didn't have a very good camera). Despite the poor quality, the photograph shows a huge Pachisi game board marked out in the courtyard. Games would be played using sixteen slaves from the harem, dressed in appropriate colours, as pieces - the use of children as pieces might produce an interesting class activity!

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