2 - 4
15 - 60
# Ancient India
# Cross and circle
# Race game
# Strategy
# Race
# action selection
# chasing sticks
# dice
# dice rolling
# family game

How to set-up

1. Pachisi is played on a cross-shaped board. The middle space is the start and finish point for all BEADs. Each arm of the cross has a middle column and two outside columns, the outside columns are a track. Each player owns one middle column. There are 12 s

2. Pachisi requires 6 cowrie shells. You can use 6 dice; odd numbers representing 1, and even numbers 0. Moves are calculated as the sum of the dice (2 – 6) or 10 for a roll of 1 odd number. If a throw shows 6 even numbers, the players moved 25.

3. Each player selects four BEADs the colour of their choice. BEADs start off the board.

4. Players decide who begins by rolling the dice.

5. Play occurs in a counter-clockwise direction.

How to play

1. A player must roll a grace (a 6, 10 or 25) to put a BEAD on the centre of the board.

2. Anytime a grace is rolled, a player receives another roll.

3. In turn, each player rolls the die and moves their BEAD the number of spaces indicated down their column and then around the full track counter-clockwise, before proceeding back up their column.

4. Players must use the full number of moves on a single BEAD or forfeit their turn.

5. Players can choose not to use their roll.

6. Players can land on a square that is occupied by one of their own BEADs.

7. If a player lands on a square that is occupied by their opponent’s BEAD, the opponent’s BEAD is removed from the board, requiring a roll of a grace to move the BEAD back into play.

8. If a player removed an opponent’s BEAD, they receive another turn.

9. BEADs cannot be captured if they are a square marked with an X.

10. Players require an exact roll to land on the centre square and finish.

How to win

To win, a player must move their BEADs around the board and proceed up their home column back onto the centre square.


1. Pachisi is often referred to as the national game of India. The game originated in Ancient India and it is one of the best known games from it's era.

2. The name of the game comes from the Hindi word - pachis, meaning twenty-five - this is also the largest score that can be thrown with the cowrie shells. The game is also known by the name Twenty-Five.

3. Pachisi was at its height during the Mogul period, in the 16th to the 19th centuries, when the emperor - Akbar played games with human pieces on boards of inlaid marble, the remains of which may still be seen.

4. There are also other well known versions of the game - chausar, chaupar, chaupur or caupur.