Everyone loves a good board game.

Incredibly enough, not everyone knows what “Parchis” is outside Spain. I saw many games that are also in the UK or even in Europe, but I think we kept this one to ourselves. In fact it came from India originally.

Parcheesi is a board that can hold 4 players. (I just found out some big stores can have up to 8!) They are distinguished by colours, red, blue, yellow and green.

There is a dice, and usually each player has a dice “barrel” which you shake your dice with, and also 4 “tokens” that you must take around the board until they reach their “home”.

In poor or messy families like mine, tokens and dices or even barrels were often lost, but as long as there was a dice, we could always make use of buttons as tokens. No such a thing as “cannot play”.

There were poshier versions with a plastic cover where you could simply press a button so the dice would roll itself within that section.

Or a lovely version that my sister in law had, with “The Smurfs”. I remember having all my mini Smurfs continuously lined up throughout the board, not sure how I managed that but it was pretty cute to watch.

To my dismay, I just found out that "The Smurfs parchis" boards were discontinued back in 2012. They have been manufactured for 28 years by Comansi, due to the license expiring. The news came directly from Nuremberg’s trade.

I have the original Smurf’s board, but I cannot for the life of me find the lovely Smurf houses that came with mini Smurfs, I hope they are buried somewhere at my mum’s.. cross fingers for me!


Home door is:

- your coloured field next to your home.

- the start of your journey.

- your absolute safe spot.

- licensed to eat.

The goal is to go through all of the board until you reach your “home” (your coloured triangle).

There are 68 fields.

If for any reason the player cannot advance, it will give away their turn to the next player.


2 different colours on a non safe spot means one token will eat the other token.


There are 12 “safe spots”.

From these 12, 4 can be “non safe”*.

You can put 2 different colours and anyone can go through them.


You can only take your token out when you have a 5.

5 means you must release your token unless they are all out.

Magical 6 can do 4 things for you:

- you can have another turn.

- if all your tokens are out of your nest, it counts as 7.

- if you have a fence, you must open it unless you cannot go further (e.g. another fence of someone else’s same colour in front of you).

- if you get a 6 three times on the same go, you go home and start all over again, unless you are on the final road to home or you didn’t get to make a move at all. (e.g you are stuck behind a fence).


Eating a token rewards you 20 spots forward with any token available out in the board.

Anyone can eat your token unless you are in a safe spot*.

*If you have someone at your home door (safe spot), you can eat them if the 2 spaces of your "door" are filled and you get a 5 and have a token to bring out of the nest. Think three is crowd if someone is at home.

In the other hand, they can do the same to you. So your or their safe spot can be safe as long as they or you don't become number 3 in that field (e.g. there isn’t any token due to come out).


You can make a fence with 2 of your tokens anywhere, so no one can go past through, unless you get a 6..


Getting home rewards you 10 spots forward with any other token available out in the board.

As soon as you enter your coloured column, no one can eat you or send you home.

You must get to your triangle, if you are 2 steps away but you get a 3 on your dice, you have to count backwards, and then forward until you get home.


If you are curious to play, I just saw iPhone applications of Parchis, so you can certainly try it out! Nothing beats the real game though.

There is a joke about "Parchis men", who have been with one girl yet they count it as 20... ;)

p.s. I originally used the word "ki.ll/ing" but I noticed how this might be banned/penalised, hence why I use the term "eat" instead.