Checkers rules – how to play checkers

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Checkers Rules

Hey there! Are you ready to learn the rules of checkers? Well, here’s your chance. I’m going to walk you through it step by step so that you can become a checkers champ in no time. Let’s get started!

First things first, let me explain the objective of the game. The goal is simple – to capture all of your opponent’s pieces or block them in such a way that they can’t make any moves. Sounds challenging, right? Well, it is!

Now, let’s talk about the pieces. In checkers, you have two types of pieces: the regular pieces and the kings. Regular pieces can move diagonally forward, only one square at a time. But here’s the twist – if a regular piece reaches the last row on your opponent’s side, it gets promoted to a king. And kings, my friend, can move both forward and backward. They are the real powerhouses on the board!

Alright, so how do you capture your opponent’s pieces? Well, it’s pretty straightforward. If your piece is next to your opponent’s piece, and there’s an empty square right behind it, you can jump over your opponent’s piece and capture it. That’s it! Oh, and here’s the cool part – if there’s another capturing opportunity after your first jump, you can continue your combo and capture multiple pieces in one move. Talk about a power move!

Now, you must be wondering, is there a limit to how many pieces you can capture in one turn? Nope! As long as you have capturing opportunities available, you can keep going. Just keep in mind that you can only capture your opponent’s pieces. Oh, and remember, my friend, all captures are mandatory. So, if you have the chance to capture, you must do it. No backing down!

Okay, we’re almost there. Just a few more things to cover. A player’s turn ends when they either make a non-capturing move or when they can no longer capture any of their opponent’s pieces. And when all of a player’s pieces are captured or blocked, their opponent wins the game. So, strategy is key, my friend. Use your moves wisely and plan ahead.

That’s pretty much it, my friend. You’re now equipped with the rules of checkers. So, go ahead and challenge your friends to a game. Who knows, you might just become the ultimate checkers champion. Good luck, and have fun!

Alright, we’ve got everything set up and we’re ready to start playing! I’ll go first as the black player, and then we’ll take turns.

Let’s Learn How to Play Checkers

Checkers is a pretty straightforward game to understand, but it takes some strategy to become really good at it. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert yet, the game has been around for ages!

How to Move Your Checkers Pieces

Here’s the deal: you can only move your pieces on black squares, and they can only go diagonally. The goal is to move them forward towards your opponent. Now, there’s one rule that’s a little different, but we’ll get to that later.

If you’re moving your piece forward without capturing an opponent’s piece, you can only move it one square at a time. Simple enough, right?

Checkers rules - how to play checkers


Imagine this – you’re playing a game where your pieces can literally leap off your opponent’s pieces in a daring diagonal move! It’s called a capturing move, and it’s an exhilarating tactic that can turn the tide of a game.

Here’s how it works: when you make a capturing move, your piece jumps over your opponent’s piece, landing with a triumphant flourish on a dark square on the other side. And the best part? You can capture not just one, but multiple pieces in a single turn, as long as the positioning of the pieces allows!

So, picture this: you deftly pounce on your opponent’s precious pieces, snatching them up one by one, and leaving them in disbelief. It’s a thrilling display of strategy and skill, and it can make all the difference in the outcome of a game.

But remember, there’s a catch – capturing pieces can be a double-edged sword. While it gives you the power to regenerate your response, it also means your opponent has the same opportunity. So, you must choose your capturing moves wisely, weighing the risks and rewards.

Next time you’re playing a game that involves capturing pieces, embrace the artistry of this move. Strategize, plan your leaps, and revel in the excitement of capturing your opponent’s pieces. It’s a skill that sets you apart and adds an irresistible thrill to the game.

Checkers rules - how to play checkers

When you capture a piece in the game, you take it off the board and your opponent gets to keep it. It’s like a little prize for them.

If you have the opportunity to jump over your opponent’s pieces, you have to do it. But if you have multiple jumps available, you can choose which piece to capture.


Now, here’s the exciting part! When one of your pieces reaches the very last row on your opponent’s side of the board, it becomes a king. You can crown it by placing a captured piece on top. Kings are special because they stand twice as tall as regular pieces!

Checkers rules - how to play checkers

Checkers rules - how to play checkers

Did you know that kings in checkers have some special moves? Not only can they move diagonally like regular pieces, but they can also move forward and backward. It’s like they have superpowers!

And here’s something even more exciting. Kings can jump not just one space, but multiple spaces diagonally in one turn. It’s like they can teleport across the board! Talk about a multi-direction multi-jumper!

Mastering Checkers Strategies

If you want to have a stronger game in checkers, there are a few strategies you can follow:

  • First, focus on controlling the center of the board. That’s where the real action happens.
  • Next, try building a pyramid shape with your checkers. This will provide extra protection for your back row.
  • It’s also a good idea to keep your checkers close together. This way, they can support and defend each other.
  • When capturing your opponent’s pieces, be smart about it. Only take pieces that won’t put your own checkers in danger.
  • Don’t be afraid to sacrifice one of your checkers if it sets up a great capture opportunity. Sometimes, you have to make sacrifices to win the game.
  • Lastly, defending is just as important as attacking. By strategically blocking your opponent’s pieces, you can limit their movements and make it difficult for them to win.

The Game is Over

I’m here to tell you that you’ve won the game when your opponent can’t make any moves. This can happen in two ways: either you capture all of your opponent’s pieces, or you block them from moving. Either way, it’s a victory for you!

Checkers rules - how to play checkers


Have you ever heard of Suicide checkers? It’s a unique twist on regular checkers, also known as Anti-checkers. Instead of trying to capture your opponent’s pieces, the goal is to have all of your own pieces captured first. The winner is the player who can outmaneuver their opponent and leave them unable to make a legal move.

International draughts is another fascinating variation of checkers that differs from the U.S. version. Instead of playing on an 8×8 board with 12 pieces each, this game is played on a larger 10×10 board with 20 pieces per player. But that’s not all – there’s a special rule called “Flying Kings” that takes the game to a whole new level of excitement.

Did you know that Flying Kings in the game of checkers have a special ability? They can move across multiple squares as long as those squares are empty. It’s pretty cool, right?

Now, let’s talk about capturing your opponent’s pieces. If there are multiple paths available to capture your opponent’s checkers, you must choose the path that collects the most checkers. It’s all about strategizing and making the best moves.

Here’s an interesting twist: if you land in the king row during a move but can still jump backward, you have to jump backward. And guess what? You don’t get to king the checker in that situation. To actually king a piece, it must land exactly in that special row. It’s like a royal promotion for your checker!

Now, let’s explore some variations of checkers:

Canadian checkers is played on a 12×12 board with 30 checkers per player. It follows the same rules as international draughts. Exciting, isn’t it?

In Brazilian checkers, you play on an 8×8 board and the rules are similar to international draughts. It’s a great way to test your skills!

Now, let’s hop over to Italian checkers. This version also uses an 8×8 board, but here’s the twist: regular checkers cannot jump kings. It adds a new layer of challenge to the game.


The World Checkers/Draughts Championship is an exciting tournament organized by the World Checkers/Draughts Federation. It’s a competition where players from all over the world compete to become the ultimate World Champion in this popular game.

The first championship for men took place in the 1840s, marking the beginning of this prestigious event. In 1993, the first-ever women’s championship was introduced, bringing even more excitement to the world of checkers/draughts.

If you’re a fan of this game, you’re in for a treat! There are other classic games like Sorry! that you might enjoy. Chess and Abalone are also fantastic two-player games worth checking out.


What’s the Difference between Light and Dark Squares in Checkers?

In checkers, you’ll only be playing on the dark squares of the board. The light squares remain empty and aren’t part of the gameplay.

When Can You Move Both Forward and Backward in Checkers?

In the game of checkers, you have to strategize and plan your moves carefully. One important rule to remember is that a piece can move in both directions only when it becomes a king. It’s like having the power to move forward and backward on the checkered battlefield.

So, how can you capture one of your opponent’s pieces?

To capture an opponent’s piece, you need to jump over it with your own checker. The jumps are made diagonally, and each jump can only capture one piece at a time. But here’s the interesting part – if you can keep jumping with the same checker, you can capture multiple pieces in a row!

What’s the significance of the back row on the board?

The back row is a special place on the board. When one of your pieces reaches this row (which is actually the front row from your opponent’s perspective), it becomes a king. It gains even more power and can move both backward and forward. It’s like being promoted to a higher rank!

So, how do you ultimately win at checkers?

To win, you have two options. The first is to capture all of your opponent’s pieces, leaving them with no remaining soldiers on the board. The second option is to block your opponent in a way that they have no legal moves left. It’s a challenging game of strategy and outsmarting your opponent.

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