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Pachisi (Pachis, Sokkattan, Shok'otan, Sorkettan, Sorkattan, Pucheesee)

Period

Modern

Region

South Asia

Description

Pachisi is a race game and one of the longest-played games in South Asia. It is widely played throughout South Asia, and was transformed in the UK and US as Ludo and Parcheesi.

Rules

The game is played either by two teams of two players, or by two players playing with two sets of pieces. The pieces move along the outer track of the board according to dice throws. If a piece lands on a space occupied by an opponent, the opponent's piece is sent back to the starting position. Certain marked squares indicate spaces where pieces are safe from being sent back. After completing a circuit of the board, the pieces then move into the central row of squares in the arm where the player began. The player must then move off all of their pieces by an exact roll. The player or team to remove all of their pieces from the board first wins.

Origin

South Asia

Ludeme Description

Pachisi.lud

Variants

Pucheesee (Deccan, six cowries)
Board: Standard Pachisi board.
Pieces: Four per player.
Rules: Play begins in the central row of each player's arm of the board. Values of the cowries are: 0=6, 1=10, 2=2, 3=3, 4=4, 5=25, 6=12. A roll of 25 adds an extra move of 1. This extra move can be assigned to any piece or allows the player to move a piece onto the board. Play proceeds in an anti-clockwise direction. Pieces on a space marked "x" are safe from being captured. Players throw dice until they receive a 2, 3, or 4, and then move. The value of an individual roll can only move one piece, but multiple pieces can be moved in turns with multiple rolls. If a player rolls the same number three times in a row, it does not count.

Pucheesee (Deccan, seven cowries)
Board: Standard Pachisi board.
Pieces: Four per player.
Rules: Play begins in the central row of each player's arm of the board. Values of the cowries are: 0=6, 1=10, 2=2, 3=3, 4=4, 5=25, 6=30, 7=12. Rolls of 25 and 30 add an extra move of 1, this extra can be assigned to any piece or allows the player to move a piece onto the board. Pieces on a space marked "x" are safe from being captured. Players throw dice until they receive a 2, 3, or 4, and then move. The value of an individual roll can only move one piece, but multiple pieces can be moved in turns with multiple rolls. If a player rolls the same number three times in a row, it does not count.

Sokkattan (Sri Lanka)
Board: Standard Pachisi Board. Squares marked with "X" (counting from top): fifth in each outer row, fourth in central row.
Pieces: Three per player.
Rules: Play begins in the central row of each player's arm of the board. Values of the cowries are: 0=6, 1=10, 2=2, 3=3, 4=4, 5=25, 6=12. A roll of 10 or 25 adds an extra move of 1. This extra move must be used to enter a new piece on the board if possible, if not possible then it can be assigned to any piece. Pieces on a space marked "x" are safe from being captured. Players throw dice until they receive a 2, 3, or 4, and then move. The value of an individual roll can only move one piece, but multiple pieces can be moved in turns with multiple rolls. If a player rolls the same number three times in a row, it does not count. Reference

Reference

Murray 1951: 135

Evidence Map

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Sources

Herklots, G. 1832. Qanoon-e-Islam, or the Customs of the Moosulmans of India. London: Parbury, Allen, and Co.

Murray, H.J.R. 1951 A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Parker, H. 1909. Ancient Ceylon. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services.

Reference ID

DLP.Game.125

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