How to play the Picaria (pen and paper game)

How to Play: Picaria (pen and paper game)

Picaria is a two-player strategy board game played by Native American Indians. In this game you will have to move pieces to create the three-in-a-row. Picaria is an alignment game.

The game resembles and seems like a cross between Tic-Tac-Toe and Checkers at the same time. Therefore, it develops tactics, strategy and memory skills.

Features of the Picaria Game

 ★  Game Name Picaria
 ★  Group size small (for 2 players)
 ★  Age 4+
 ★  Type stationary
 ★  Skill memory / erudition
 ★  Place indoor
★  Time up to 5 – 15 min
 ★  Preparation no
 ★  Materials yes (paper, pen and two sets of any markers)

Aim of the Game

This is an abstract strategy game in which the aim is tocreate a three-in-a-row of one’s pieces either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Group Size and Ages

Picariais a game for 2-people.

This is a great game to play with anyone aged 4 and up. However, if somebody can understand the instructions and they can hold a pen, then there is no real minimum age for this game.

Preparation and Materials

To prepare for pen and paper game Picaria, you’ll need the following materials:

  • A surface to play the game.
  • Game board (draw your own, or use our printable game board).
  • Two sets of markers with 3 in each set (for example, 6 bottle caps in 2 different colors, checkers, or anything similar).
Printable copy of Picaria with board Download. Patterns are Adobe PDF fileson standard letter-size paper (8.5″x11″ or A4).

When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.

Variations to Picaria

There are two variations to Picaria. The rules are the same.

  • Simple. The first version has only 9 spaces or intersection points.
  • Advanced. The second version uses 13 spaces or intersection points.

How to play Paper Game: Picaria

  1. Players decide who start first (for example, by rollinga dice, flipping a coin or playing rock-paper-scissors).
  2. Players also decide what colors to play.
  3. Dropphase.
  • Each player places one piece per turn on any vacant space on the board except the center (central intersection point).
  • Players alternate their turns.
  • Players cannot move their piecesuntil all players have completed placing their pieces on the board.
  1. Movephase.
  • Players take turns moving one piece along a line to an adjacentand vacant intersection on the board.
  • During this phase, players can move their pieces to the center intersection.
  • Jumping is not allowed.


In Picaria, the first player to move their pieces into 3-in-a-row wins (no spaces between allowed).

  • A row can be diagonal, horizontal or vertical.
  • If you are playing the advanced version of this game (with 13 spaces or intersection points), in this case, a row can be across the large square or one of the small squares.

If any player cannot move, the game is declared a tie.

 Picaria is an abstract strategy game.

Although it is easy to learn and simple to play, it is also a quite intellectual game because this game is not based on chance (such as dice games). Thus, it requiresusingthinking skills and develops attention and logic.