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Home > Traditional Games (Parlor Games) > Board Games > How to Play Checkers: Rules and Free Gameboard

How to Play Checkers
Rules and Strategy

Also known as English Draughts or, simply Draughts, Checkers is a traditional board game of strategy for 2 players enjoyed all over the world. Gameplay typically takes place on an 8 x 8 checkered board using 24 identical playing pieces.

A game with simple rules and easily improvised playing pieces, first time players can offer a good game against casual players after a few matches.

Let's Play Checkers

Checkers is a simple board game that anybody can play!

For these reasons, the game has remained highly popular and a favorite among casual board game players.


What's Needed to Play a game of Checkers:

* 2 Players

* An 8x8 grid checkered board (in some cases, 10x10 or 12x12 grid checkered board is used)

* 24 identical playing pieces in 2 colors (12 per color) on an 8x8 board; 30 playing pieces in 2 colors (15 per color) on a 10x10 board; 36 playing pieces in 2 colors (18 per color) on a 12x12 board.

* Note: Improvised playing pieces usually employ coins, tokens, or even flattened bottle caps. It is best to use flat, stackable playing pieces.

Objective of a Game of Checkers:

* To capture all the playing pieces of the opponent player (or stated another way: to eliminate all the playing pieces that belong to the opponent player)

* Alternative Victory Condition: As an interesting twist to the game, players may agree that the winner is the first one to lose all their playing pieces. Under these rules, any player may not refuse to capture vulnerable playing pieces. The game is won by the player who successfully "feeds" all their playing pieces to their opponent.

* To leave the opponent player with no legal moves


Rules of Game Play / How to Play a Game of Checkers:

* Each player positions himself on opposite sides of the board. Each player makes alternating moves starting with the player controlling the dark pieces.

* No player is allowed to 'pass' his turn.

Basic Moves for Checkers:

There are only 2 classes of playing pieces: "Men" is how all the pieces start out. "King" is what any playing piece may develop into, provided said piece is able to advance all the way across the game board.

* Men pieces can only move forward, and in each instance, it must move one square diagonally, either forward and to the left, or forward and to the right. This is the normal move for a Man piece.

Checkers Starting Position
The Checkers Board:
Placement of the playing pieces
at the start of game play.

* Men pieces capture an opponent piece (whether Man or King) by "jumping over" the opponent piece. The capturing piece "jumps" diagonally across the opponent piece and lands 2 diagonal spaces from its origin square. "Jumping" or capturing an opponent piece is only possible when the destination square is vacant.

* Captured pieces are permanently removed from the game board.

* King pieces are allowed to move and jump diagonally back in addition to moving and jumping diagonally forwards.

Promoting Men to Kings in Checkers:

* Men pieces are "crowned" or promoted to Kings when they successfully travel all the way across the board. Usually, a King piece is signified by two Men pieces stacked one on top of the other.


Playing Checkers

Multiple Jumps in Checkers:

* Multiple Jumps are possible where, upon landing, there is another vulnerable opponent piece that can be jumped by the jumping piece, even if the 2nd, 3rd, and subsequent jumps are in a different sideways direction.

* A Man piece is only allowed to jump forward in any multiple jump sequence.

* A King piece is allowed to jump forward and backwards in its multiple jump sequences. However, it is not allowed to string together 2 or more consecutive backward jumps. This is a game rule that prevents any 1 King piece to dominate the game board, and gives the opponent a sporting chance to promote his / her uncrowned pieces.

Play Checkers as an Adult Party Game:

Now you know how to play Checkers, it's time to play it with consequences! Here you will find Rules, Tips and Pointers on how to Play Adult Checkers: Rules on How to Play Checkers as an Adult Party Game.

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Animated GIF FreeFree Printable Checkers Game Board
(download, print and play!)

This is an 8 x 8 checkered board for use in playing Chess, or other suitable game such as Checkers, Reversi, and others.

Loads of Free Stuff !!


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