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I am playing Parcheesi with cowry shells as dice. I am on the last square and need a roll of one to return the pawn to home. However, with cowry dice, only rolls of 10+grace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6+grace, 25+grace are possible. An exact throw is required. What is the solution to the problem? Can the 10 throw also stand for 1 in cowry dice?

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Hopefully you are playing Pachisi and not Parcheesi. If yes, then this answer is accurate.

An ebook by Damian Walker here:
A Book of Historic Board Games

Page 25 - 1.2.7

A grace counts as if were a separate throw scoring 1, in addition to the value of the cowries. Graces are used for entering and moving pieces.

As long as you have a grace at then end of your set of rolls you can bring this piece home.

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  • So if one rolls 10 or 25, one gets not only an additional throw, but also a grace of 1? Jun 10, 2016 at 4:09
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    According to the book, yes. Cultural variants could be different, that's the difficulty with games as old as this. Even in North America we have Parcheesi, Ludo, and Sorry that all evolved out of Pachisi.
    – LeppyR64
    Jun 10, 2016 at 10:26

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