Parcheesi is an American adaptation of the Indian Cross and Circle game Pachisi. Created in India around 500 BC, the game is often subtitled Royal Game of India because royalty supposedly played using costumed dancers as pawns on large outdoor boards. Parcheesi is the national game of India[citation needed] but has also been played throughout the world for many years.

There is a similar game that is especially popular in Spain, where it is called Parchís. Parqués is a Colombian variant; all three games branch from the original Pachisi. The rules there are slightly different, mainly because of the influence of Ludo and local culture.

In Germany this game is called "Mensch ärgere dich nicht" or in English translated "Man, don't get mad." It is very popular in Germany.

Parcheesi is played with one or two dice and the goal of the game is to move each of one's pawns home to the center space. The most popular Parcheesi boards in America have 72 spaces around the board, twelve of which are darkened safe spaces where a pawn cannot be captured.

Each player selects four pawns of the same color and places them in their "nest," or starting area. The game board should be positioned so that each player's nest is to their right. Pawns enter play onto the darkened space to the left of their nest and continue counter-clockwise around the board to the home path directly in front of the player.

Each player rolls a die; the highest roller goes first, and subsequent play continues clockwise to the left. Each turn players throw one or both dice and use the values shown to move their pawns around the board. If an amount on one or both of the dice cannot be moved, that amount is forfeited.