Difference between Ludo and Parcheesi

Board games have been a source of entertainment and social interaction for centuries, bringing friends and family together in the spirit of competition and fun. Two such classic board games that have stood the test of time are Ludo and Parcheesi.

What is Ludo?

Ludo, derived from the Latin word “ludus” meaning ‘I play’, has its roots in an ancient Indian game called Pachisi. The modern version we know today originated in England in 1896. Ludo typically involves a square board divided into a cross-shaped pattern with four colored quadrants. Each player has four tokens of the same color, and the objective is to move all tokens from the starting area to the center of the board, known as the “home” area. The movement is determined by the roll of a six-sided die, and players must strategically navigate their tokens around the board while trying to knock opponents’ tokens back to the starting area.

What is Parcheesi?

Parcheesi is also believed to have originated from the ancient Indian game of Pachisi, but it evolved independently in Western culture. The game gained popularity in the United States in the late 19th century. Parcheesi, like Ludo, involves a cross-shaped board with a circular path that players navigate using dice. Each player has four pawns, and the goal is to move them around the board and into the center home column. Parcheesi has additional rules, such as capturing opponents’ pawns and using a safe zone, adding layers of strategy and complexity to the gameplay.

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Difference between Ludo and Parcheesi

  1. Board Design:
    • Ludo: The board has a cross-shaped pattern with four colored quadrants.
    • Parcheesi: The board also has a cross-shaped pattern but with a circular path around the center.
  2. Movement Rules:
    • Ludo: Players move their tokens based on the roll of a die, and a roll of six allows an additional turn.
    • Parcheesi: Movement is determined by the roll of two dice, and certain combinations provide special moves. A roll of doubles grants an extra turn.
  3. Capturing Opponents:
    • Ludo: Tokens can knock opponents’ tokens back to the starting area but do not capture them.
    • Parcheesi: Players can capture opponents’ pawns by landing on the same space, sending them back to their starting area.
  4. Safe Zones:
    • Ludo: Does not have designated safe zones.
    • Parcheesi: Features safe zones where opponents’ pawns cannot capture or be captured.

Comparison Table: Ludo vs Parcheesi

Feature Ludo Parcheesi
Board Design Cross-shaped quadrants Cross-shaped circular path
Movement Rules Roll of a six-sided die Roll of two dice with doubles granting extra turns
Capturing Opponents Knock back to starting area Capture opponents’ pawns
Safe Zones No designated safe zones Has designated safe zones


In summary, while Ludo and Parcheesi share a common ancestry in the ancient game of Pachisi, they have distinct differences in terms of board design, movement rules, capturing opponents, and the presence of safe zones. Both games offer a blend of luck and strategy, making them timeless choices for family game nights and gatherings. Whether you prefer the simplicity of Ludo or the added complexity of Parcheesi, these classic board games continue to captivate players of all ages around the world.

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