How to play Chausar
Chausar Board Game Manual
Chausar is a traditional Indian board game that can be played by 2 to 4 players. This manual will guide you through the rules and gameplay.
- Board: The Chausar mat has four arms and a central square called the "Home."
- Pawns: 4 each of yellow, green, red, and black.
- Cowrie Shells: 6 cowrie shells used as dice.
- Teams: Yellow and green form one team, while red and black form the other.
- Initial Position: Place two pawns on the 4th block in your home stretch and two on the 5th block from the top on the right-hand side of your arm.
How to Play
Rolling the Cowrie Shells
- Each open mouth of the cowrie shell denotes 1 point.
- The back of the cowrie shell denotes 0 points.
- If all 6 cowries fall on their open mouths showing only their backs, then it’s a full 12 points.
- Possible scores: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12.
Moving the Pawns
- Pawns move anti-clockwise along the edge lanes.
- Pawns do not enter the mid-lane or the home stretch of other players.
- There are no safe places except your own home stretch.
- Juda: Reach the 17th block to form a "juda" pair, which grants special abilities.
- Get another chance to roll if you throw a doublet (6 or 12).
- Can move only on even numbers.
Taking Out Opponent's Pawns
- If you land on a block with an opponent's pawn, the opponent's pawn goes back to the home square.
- Single pawns cannot take out "juda" pairs.
- Individual Play: The first player to get all pawns to the home square wins.
- Team Play: The first team to get all their pawns to the home square wins.
Team Play Rules
- Team members cannot take out each other's pawns.
- If all 4 pawns of one team member reach home, they can play on behalf of their teammate after skipping 4 turns.
A detailed tutorial
The Roll the Dice - Chausar mat has four arms and one square space in the centre referred to as the “Home”. The path (in the middle of each arm) from the “Home” to the end of the arm is the home stretch of the player. While two to four players can play the game, it is generally recommended that all four players play, so that teams of two can be formed for an exciting match.
The pawns for the game are 4 each of yellow, green, red, black. Typically yellow and green form a team, while red and black form the other. Six cowrie shells are used to play the game. Each player takes turns to roll the cowries and make their moves. Each open mouth of the cowrie shell denotes 1. The back of the cowrie shell denotes 0. However, if all 6 Cowries fall on their open mouths showing only their backs, then it’s a full 12 points. So the scores can be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12.
Initially, two pawns are placed on the 4th block in the home stretch, two are placed on the 5th block from the top on the (player’s) right hand side of the arm. The pawns are moved anti-clockwise and on the edges of the arms. The pawns do not go into the mid lane or the home stretch of the other players, but stay on the edge lanes. In Chausar, there are no safe places along the main routes. The only places safe are the home stretches of the respective players.
Chausar game rules
A chosen player rolls the cowrie shells. He can move any pawn along it’s path as per the score he has rolled. His first target would be to move a pair of pawns to the 17th block or the first block on the right side arm, thus making it “juda”.
Moving thus will provide him super powers listed below
- If he throws a doublet, he’ll get another chance to throw the dice.
- He can create a “juda” pair anywhere along the path
Also, an individual pawn (of the same player) has to cross this first “juda” pawns, in order for the “juda” pair to move further than the 17th block.
If the player gets a 6 or a 12, then it’s called a doublet and the player gets another chance at the cowries as mentioned. The “juda” pairs can move only on even numbers. If they chose to move separately, then they stop being “juda” or the pair.
Taking out opponent’s pawns
During the course of play, if the player rolls a score which gives him a chance to place his pawn in the same block which has his opponent’s pawns, and he exercises that option to place his pawn there. Then the opponent’s pawn goes back home (central square block). The opponent during his next turn, has to place this pawn itself whatever the score.
Single pawns cannot take out “juda” pair. Only other “juda” pairs can take them out. Once taken out, both the pawns go back home (central square block).
Unlike in many other games, there’s no extra turn on taking out opponent’s pawns.
All pawns that enter the home stretch after completing the entire round are placed horizontally so that it is distinguishable from those that are starting at that time.
Winning (Playing individually)
The first player to place all his pawns in the central home square is the winner.
Playing as a team
The rules for playing as a team are the same as that for individuals, except for the following steps
- The team member’s cannot take out the other team member’s pawns.
- If all the 4 pawns of a team member has reached the home, then the team member can skip 4 turns and from the 5th turn, play on behalf of his team mate as well. Whatever number he rolls can be applied to the team mate’s pawns.
Winning (Playing in a team)
The first team to place all their pawns in the central home square is the winner.