Ludo vs Parcheesi: What’s the difference?

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Do you also get confused about selecting between the two popular games: Ludo and Parcheesi? Well! Don’t worry. The confusion is quite natural as the gameplay and objectives are more or less identical in both games! But let us tell you that both are entirely different in execution.

Today We’ll be analyzing the two popular strategy-based board games. Both Ludo and Parcheesi are adaptations of the Indian game “Pachisi.” Ludo is a European adaptation of the game, while Parcheesi has been popularised mainly in the U.S. We’ll look at each of the similarities and the features that make them stand out. Let’s have an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of each game.

Parcheesi Vs Ludo

1. Parcheesi

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Parcheesi is an American model of the Indian game Pachisi. Played with 2 dice, the players each have 4 pieces of their own in the game. The game is to navigate all of your pieces to the safe zone from the starting point circling the board. Other players can bump your pieces with their own and the piece gets placed back in the starting position.


The game begins with all 4 pieces of all players in their starting positions. Players each take turns in rolling the dice and the next chance is for the player sitting to the left of the previous player. The pieces are moved forward for the number rolled in the dice.

The objective is to get all 4 pieces to the safe zone before the other players. Each player has a safety zone consisting of 7 squares before reaching the endpoint where the other players can’t enter. This is a great spot for resting your pieces while you wait for the right number to roll out from the dice without getting bumped back to the start. The game can continue even after the first person wins, to determine second and third place.

Game type

Parcheesi is a strategy-based board game played between 2-4 players. Every player plays for themselves weaving strategies to bump out other players or to reach the safe zone first. There is a fair amount of luck involved in playing with dice, to get the correct number you require. But it also requires a strategy to move your pieces intelligently with the number you have rolled out.

Complexity and Number of players

Parcheesi is a fairly easy game to understand. This is why it is popular among both kids and adults. Generally, 2-4 people can participate in this game. The game gets more thrilling and fun when there are 4 players because it increases the chance of a piece being bumped out to the starting position.


Ludo is a European adaptation of the age-old Indian game Pachisi. The rules in Ludo are made far more simple to follow and grasp than their Indian and American counterparts. The strategy-based board game is also played between 2-4 players. Each player has 4 tokens, and the goal is to make all 4 tokens reach the safe zone in the least amount of time before your opponent does.

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The overall objectives are similar to Parcheesi. But, there are several changes in the gameplay of both games, such as the number of dice used. Ludo uses a single die in its gameplay. Ludo’s layout has a bit more color-centric approach because the areas occupied by the players and surrounding area are marked by the same color of the tokens, and is visually more attractive and informative.


Just like in Parcheesi, each player takes turns to roll out the die in Ludo. The player can select the token to move and have to move the number of squares indicated by the die. The game is played between 2-4 players. There is also a safety zone consisting of 5 tiles indicated by the colored arrow body near each player’s starting zone which can’t be entered by other player’s tokens. There are safe spots throughout the board where, if occupied, the token gets immunity from being bumped to starting position.

Game type

Ludo is a strategy-based board game played between 2-4 players. The objectives are the same as that of Parcheesi, but the rules are a bit different. Players have to move the tokens to their safe zones before their opponents. No token can move backward. This means that you have to take each move with foresight, and after analyzing the position of the opponents’ pieces.

Complexity and Number of players

Ludo is far easier in strategy than Parcheesi because it involves only a single die, and it limits the number of moves that can be played. Ludo has a far easier rulebook. Generally, 2-4 people can participate in this game.

How are Parcheesi and Ludo different?

The overall objective of both games is the same, and the board layout is quite similar. But, both games provide a different experience while playing. The first difference to be noted is the number of dice used. Parcheesi has 2 dice and Ludo has a single die. This allows players in Parcheesi to have a lot more options while making a move. This, in turn, increases the number of strategies that can be used at any single point in time. The number of total squares available in the game is higher in Parcheesi.

The visual appearance is quite different for both games. Ludo is more color-centric and has its safe zone denoted by an arrowhead, whereas in Parcheesi, there is no distinction of sorts. Visually, Ludo is more appealing, as it gives a clear-cut picture of where every player is supposed to be in a single glance.

There are concepts of double rolls in Parcheesi, and special rules regarding double rolls while in different positions of the board. Also, the token is allowed to leave their nest only if the dice rolls one or more 5 in Parcheesi, but in Ludo, tokens leave the nest if the player rolls a 6. In Ludo, if a player rolls a 6 in the die, he/she gets another turn, which is not like Parcheesi, where you need double rolls to be granted another turn.

Played between 2-4 playersPlayed between 2-4 players
Uses 2 dice to move the pieces.Uses a single die to move the pieces.
Visually bland.More colour centric
More number of deployable strategiesLesser strategies and more dependence on luck.
Double rolls grant you another chanceRolling a 6 grants you another chance
Player need a 5 to get their token out of the starting pointPlayer need a 6 to get their token out of the starting point
The token gets landed in its starting position if bumped by an opponentThe token gets landed in its starting position if bumped by an opponent

Summing Up,

We have discussed two board games: Ludo and Parcheesi. Both games are strongly rooted in their Indian ancestry, Pachisi. They have similar layouts and gameplays. Parcheesi provides a more competitive atmosphere owing to the increased number of moves but has rules that may get confusing for beginners. Ludo uses a single die to determine the movement of tokens and the layout and visual appearance of the board make it easier for the player to understand the rules of the game. Ludo has a slightly higher inclusion of the element of luck in the game, but both games can get competitive. Both games are perfect for a fun time with your friends and/or family.

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