Row Games: Picaria


Picaria (illustrated on the left) is a game found in the southwestern part of the United States. It is a variation on the Tapatan game (illustrated below on the right).

Tapatan Board

The boards in the two games differ, in that the Picaria board adds a square to the pattern of the Tapatan board. The board may be drawn on the ground, stone, or on wood. It is thought that like Tapatan, Picaria was first introduced to the Zuni people (Pueblo Indians) by the Spanish Conquistadores.

How to play Picaria

The game is for two players, who each have three counters of one color. Players play on the diagonal lines attempting to make "three-in-a-row" where the lines intersect.

  1. Play is similar to other "three-in-a-row" games. Players alternate placing counters on the board.

  2. Neither player can place a counter in the center until all six counters are on the board.

  3. When all six counters have been placed, the next player may move a counter along a line to the next empty intersection to attempt to make a row of three. Jumping is not allowed.

  4. The first person to achieve three-in-a-row is the winner.

Last update March 30, 2010