Basic Checkers Rules

Checkers rules have changed over the millennia, but the game can claim to be nearly 4,000 years old.

The Checkers Playing Pieces
Checkers is played on board marked with an 8 by 8 grid. The 64 squares of a checkerboard are colored in alternating dark and light colors. Only the dark colors are used for movement.

Each player starts with 12 dark or light colored pieces. The flat, cylindrical pieces are called men.

The Rules Of Checkers

  • The player with the dark colored pieces moves first, then players alternate turns.
  • Men are only allowed to move forward (toward the other player) on dark squares.
  • A piece may only move one square per turn unless it performs a jump over an adjacent opposing piece.
  • A jump (also called a capturing move) is made by skipping over an adjacent opposing piece. Single jumps can only be made in a straight line. A piece that performs a jump can move again if the next move is also a jump.
  • Once a piece is jumped, it is removed from the board.
  • Whenever a capturing move is available, the player must take it. If there are more than one jump moves available, the moving player may choose which move to make, even if the choice results in fewer captured pieces.
  • When a player's piece reaches the far end of the board (the opponent's "king row") that piece is crowned and becomes a "king." Stacking two pieces on top of each other forms a king. A king must still move on the dark squares, but can move forward and backward.
  • The game ends when one player cannot make any more moves. This can happen by losing all pieces or by being blocked from further movement.
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