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A Detailed Look at Pachisi, Ludo’s Popular Ancestor


Ludo is deemed the most popular board game by millions of board game enthusiasts all around the globe. In addition to using physical equipment like a game board, tokens, and dice to play the game, enthusiasts also enjoy the game in virtual mode, i.e., using online ludo games.

Besides being highly accessible and fun to play, online iterations of the classic board game also offer players the opportunity to win real money. To play the money ludo game, all individuals need to do is find a reliable online ludo game that offers real cash rewards, download and install it on their smartphone, and win matches to earn real money.

According to Wikipedia, ludo was patented in England in 1986. However, the game originated many centuries ago as “Pachisi.” This article will shed light on what Pachisi is and cover numerous related aspects. Let us begin:

What is Pachisi?

Pachisi is an ancient Indian board game whose modern variant is the ludo, the classic board game played by millions of people around the globe today. It is believed that Pachisi is a

descendant of Chaupar, which is another ancient board game that has similar features to ludo.

The first ever evidence of Pachisi was discovered in the 16th century. The Fatehpur Sikri palace, which is a place of historical significance, features a large garden that resembles the look of a Pachisi board.

Pachisi, along with Chaupar and other similar games, belong to the category of cross and circle games, which involve individuals racing their playing pieces or pawns around a circle that features four equally-divided portions or around a cross inscribed inside a circular shape.

Equipment Used to Play Pachisi

Like ludo, Pachisi is played on a physical game board using pawns or tokens and dice. Here is a detailed look at each of them:

Pachisi Game Board

The game board on which Pachisi is played features a cross shape. It features a large square in the center of the board called Charkoni, along with four arms, each consisting of 24 squares.

The squares present on every arm are present in three columns. In total, the game board features 96 squares. Specific squares, called castles, on the game board are marked with a cross. They play a special role in the game.

Pawns or Playing Pieces

Each Pachisi game set features numerous pawns in four different colors. The colors include black, yellow, red, and green. Each pawn has a beehive-like shape. Like ludo, each player in a Pachisi match is given four playing pieces.


Another mandatory piece of equipment required to indulge in Pachisi games is the dice. It is a small cube whose every side features a different number of spots ranging from one to six. The dice are used in Pachisi matches to determine a player’s turn, i.e., the number of blocks their pawns can move.

However, in certain cases, Pachisi dice are replaced with other times, such as cowry shells. In such cases, players throw six shells to determine their turn. The throw’s value is determined by the number of cowries falling on the ground or board with their openings upwards.

Primary Objective of Players

The main objective of players in Pachisi is to move all of their tokens and playing pieces completely around the physical game board. All of the players’ pawns start the game from a common point, i.e., the middle square or the Charkoni, and end the game in the same place.

Number of Players:

A minimum of two and a maximum of four players can indulge in a Pachisi match. They can either play in teams, i.e., two players against two, or solo, as per their preferences. In the case of a tag-team match, the team whose players’ pawns complete one entire round of the board is declared the winner.


Every player is given four pawns or playing pieces, and each one must pass 75 squares. Every pawn has to start with the squares in the middle lane of the respective arm, go around the board completely and return back through the arm’s middle column.

Players need to move their playing pieces around the board in the counterclockwise direction. Every player’s pieces depart and arrive back through the same arm of the board. The playing board is made in such a way that the board’s arm, where the player’s tokens are supposed to be, is present in front of them.

Therefore, every player can easily move their pieces when playing Pachisi matches. Some Pachisi game boards feature colored arms, which makes it easier for players to understand where to start and end.

The player with the highest roll starts the game, followed by the ones sitting on their right-hand side. If a player gets numbers like “0”, “1”, or “2”, they get a “grace,” meaning they get the authority to add one of their pieces from the center or Charkoni to the board.

Like ludo, players can capture or eliminate opponents’ pawns by landing on them. When this happens, the latter’s playing piece must start afresh from the Charkoni. The player who makes all their playing pieces move once around the board and reach the Charkoni wins the game.

Pachisi paved the way for numerous board games, out of which ludo is the most prominent one. Although it is not very popular today, Pachisi is a highly interesting board game that ludo fans can try out for a change of pace.

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