How to Play Checkers

Checkers is a simple board game for all ages that is usually considered a stepping stone toward other, strategic board games such as chess. Also known as draught in other parts of the world, checkers requires little maintenance or skill. Checker boards usually come in 8×8 or 10×10 sizes with squares alternating between light and dark colors. A standard checker board will contain black and red, black and white or tan and brown squares.

History of Checkers

Checkers was originally known as Alquerque or Quirkat. Although the oldest surviving checker set only dates back to around 600 B.C., drawings and paintings of the game have been discovered from as far back as 1400 B.C. Originally popular in the Middle East, the game of checkers eventually spread to Egypt and cities in India. The first example of modern checkers appeared in France in the 12th century. However, the current number of squares on the board and pieces in each squares did not appear until as late as the 18th century. The first official international checkers tournament took place in 1847.

Rules of Checkers

The rules of checkers indicate that two players are required to play standard checkers. One player uses the black pieces and the opponent uses the red pieces. The red and black pieces are placed on opposite ends of the board on the dark-colored squares. For example, the black pieces will occupy every other square on one side of the board and the red pieces will occupy every other square on the other side of the board. On a standard 8×8 board, each player’s pieces will occupy 3 rows each. On a 10×10 board, each player’s pieces will occupy 4 rows each.

How to Play Checkers

How to Play Checkers

How to Play Checkers

Players take turns moving their pieces diagonally away from their starting squares and cannot move backwards. The player wielding the black pieces usually begins the game. When one colored piece, a black checker for example, reaches the other end of the board (“red” territory), that black piece becomes a “king” and another black checker is placed on top of the original one to symbolize kingship. A “king” can move forwards or backwards on the board.

The objective of checkers is to be the have the last piece standing in the game. Opposing pieces can “eat” or “jump” each other, in which case the player whose piece has just been “eaten” has to remove that piece from the board and give it to the opponent. The way this works is if you had black pieces and a red piece was located directly diagonal to one of your pieces, you would be allowed to jump it and remove the red piece provided that the space beyond the red piece was blank. You may also double or even triple jump your opponent if the opportunity arises. The player with the last remaining piece on the board wins the game.

Why Play Checkers?

Many people enjoy playing checkers because it is a simple game that takes little time and strategy. Once you develop a basic understanding of checkers, the game is pretty much straightforward like tic-tac-toe. Checkers is a youth-friendly and family-friendly game that is not expensive to purchase or maintain. It is also a fairly easy concept – all you have to do is remove your opponent’s pieces from the board. Because each piece in checkers is worth the same value and nearly every piece can move in an identical fashion (except in the case of “jumps”), checkers is much simpler than chess and much easier to learn.

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