How to play Pagade

The “Roll-the-Dice How To” play Pagade, Pachisi, Indian Cross and Circle Board Game, Thayam, Ludo, Chaupar, Aksha Kreeda, Dayakattam, Chokkattan, Parchís

There are many variants of this game played across India. This “How-To” follows a variant played mostly in southern parts of Karnataka.

Pagade Basics

Pagade can be played by 2 – 4 players. Occasionally, two players sitting opposite each other form teams.

The Pagade Board has four arms (marked ⓐ) and one square space in the centre (marked ⓑ) referred to as the “Home”. Each arm has three “Ghattas” – the blocks which are crossed. The path from the “Home” to the end of the arm ⓒ is the home stretch of the player. At the start of the game, the pawns are placed on the two “ghattas” as shown. One in the home stretch and the other, on the right side of the home stretch. For each player, the objective is to roll the “daaLa” (long dice) and move all her pawns to the “home” in the center. The path to be taken is illustrated in this picture ⓓ.

The dice has to be rolled against each other and left gently on the floor. The dice has 4 four faces – 1, 3, 4, 6. The numbers on the top face are the current score. A single pawn can be moved as per the total of the two dice along the direction as shown, or two pawns moved as per the number on each dice. Eg. On rolling the dice, the player gets 3 and 6. She can move one pawn 3 blocks further, second pawn 6 blocks further. Or she could move one pawn 9 blocks further. At no point of time, can an individual block contain more than 2 pawns of the same player.

During the play, if there is a chance that the player’s pawn can be placed in a block which already has an opponent’s pawn, then the opponent’s pawn needs to go back home and start afresh. This is called “taking out” the opponent’s pawn. At no point of time, can an individual block contain 2 different pawns. The exception is when the opponent’s pawn is in a “Ghatta“.

jOdi: When two pawns (of the same colour) come together in a single block, then they become a “jOdi” (pair). They can then be moved together, for which the dice needs to roll same numbers on both i.e (1,1) called “duga“, (3,3) called “itthige”, (4,4) – “entu“, (6,6) – “hanneradu”. The “jOdi” cannot be taken out by a single pawn, but only from the opponent’s “jOdi“.

Teams: Two players can form a team. In this case the pawns belonging to one player in the team would not be taking out the team mate’s pawn if she has to move to the same block in which the team mate’s pawn already exists.

Winning the game

When playing individually, whichever player gets her 4 pawns to the “home” first after moving through the entire path wins.

When playing as two teams, whichever team gets all 8 pawns to the “home” first wins.