Draughts (British English) or checkers (American English) is a group of strategy board games for two players which involve diagonal moves of uniform game pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over opponent pieces. Draughts developed from alquerque. The name derives from the verb to draw or to move.
The most popular forms are English draughts, also called American checkers, played on an 8×8 checkerboard; Russian draughts, also played on an 8×8, and international draughts, played on a 10×10 board. There are many other variants played on 8×8 boards. Canadian checkers and Singaporean/Malaysian checkers (also locally known as dum) are played on a 12×12 board.
Draughts is played by two opponents, on opposite sides of the gameboard. One player has the dark pieces; the other has the light pieces. Players alternate turns. A player may not move an opponent’s piece. A move consists of moving a piece diagonally to an adjacent unoccupied square. If the adjacent square contains an opponent’s piece, and the square immediately beyond it is vacant, the piece may be captured (and removed from the game) by jumping over it.
Only the dark squares of the checkered board are used. A piece may move only diagonally into an unoccupied square. Capturing is mandatory in most official rules, although some rule variations make capturing optional when presented. In almost all variants, the player without pieces remaining, or who cannot move due to being blocked, loses the game.
When a man reaches the kings row (also called crownhead, the farthest row forward), it becomes a king, and is marked by placing an additional piece on top of the first man, and acquires additional powers including the ability to move backwards and (in variants where they cannot already do so) capture backwards. Like men, a king can make successive jumps in a single turn provided that each jump captures an enemy man or king.
In international draughts, kings (also called flying kings) move any distance along unblocked diagonals, and may capture an opposing man any distance away by jumping to any of the unoccupied squares immediately beyond it. Since jumped pieces remain on the board until the turn is complete, it is possible to reach a position in a multi-jump move where the flying king is blocked from capturing further by a piece already jumped.
Flying kings are not used in English draughts; a king’s only advantage over a man is the ability to move and capture backwards as well as forwards.
Checkers Game Strategy
– Always diagonally double up your checkers so they cannot be jumped.
– Get your checkers kinged as soon as possible, as this will allow them to move freely around the board.
– Select a two person Checkers game to play with a friend or family!