How To Play Checkers – Board Game Knowledges

how to play checkers

Board games were top-rated among people in the early days. There are many kinds of board games out there. Board games are entertaining to play once you learn how to play them. Checkers is a popular board game. Like chess, it’s a game of strategy and a fun game to play checkers.

Checkers is the American version of an internationally popular game known as “Draughts” and pronounced as “drafts.” The game is ancient and has many different variants. It also has a fascinating history. Because it is a game of strategies, It has been the focus of several computer programmers who are inventive and interested in artificial intelligence in the modern days.

In this article, we will help you learn how to play Checkers.


The history of checkers


Checkers is the American version of a popular game called Draughts. It has been the focus of modern time computer programmers. Then again, it has a long and fascinating history, which many of us don’t know.


Archaeologists discovered the first Checkers-like playing board in Ur’s city in Mesopotamia, known as Iraq now. Carbon dating showed the board is more than 5000 years old. It means the discovery is from about 3000 BCE.


In ancient Egypt, a checkers-like game called Alquerque used to be played. The game may have originated in about 1400 BCE. It was popular until the start of the middle ages. While the Mesopotamian Checkers game rules are unknown, historians know the rules of the Egyptian Checkers game Alquerque.


A Frenchman in 1100 CE invented a new version of the checkers game called Fierges. This version of the checkers game was played on a chessboard. It was popular among women and played as much as Mah Jong is played in the present day.


Around 1500, the first books on Checkers games were written. The game is known as Draughts. The first championships for draughts were played in 1847, which gave formal awards to the players. More tweaks and changes to the game rules helped make the game more consistent across locations and playing situations.


play checkers and computers 


This Checkers is a game of strategies, like chess. Checkers has always fascinated computer programmers because it is a game of mathematical possibilities. In 1952, computer programmer Arthur L. Samuel built the very first computer program to play Checkers. 1952 was a landmark year in the history of checker games as Arthur L. Samuel created the first Checkers program used by a computer. Since then, many more advanced and complex computer programs of the Checker game have been developed.


The game programs improved as computer speed and capacities increased. Some of them have even defeated very advanced players. At present, computer programs rely less on strategies and more on database information that shows every possible move combinations when ten pieces remain on the board.


Checkers is as popular as ever. It has entered practically every home through the Internet. People worldwide play different versions of the game to entertain themselves or enjoy their quality time playing a good match with their family at home.


Basics of Checkers


The board used in the Checkers game consists of 64 squares in total, which alternates between 32 dark and light squares. It is positioned like that, so each player has a light square on the right side corner closest to them.


Two players can play checkers. Both players will begin the game, with each having 12 colored discs. The players use two sets of pieces. One collection of pieces is black and the other red or white. Both the players place their pieces on the 12 dark squares that are closest to them. The black pieces move first. Players then alternate moves.


To win a game of Checkers, you need to move your pieces towards the opposite side of the board, which is your opponent’s side of the board. You can move even faster by removing your opponent’s pieces or by jumping over them. When a player is unable to make any further moves, the other player wins the game. It usually happens because all of the opponent’s pieces have been captured. In most cases, it could also occur because all of the opponent’s pieces are blocked.


How to play checkers


Checkers is a strategic and fun game to play. It’s also known as draughts. It’s an ancient game that dates back to the 12th century. The concept of playing Checkers is straightforward. But you can use strategies and improve the chances of your winning. The instructions in this article will help you learn how to play Checkers.


  • Set up the game


  • Determine who will have the first turn: In the Checkers’ game, the player who has the black pieces always goes first. So, before you set up the board, you need to choose who goes first. You can determine this based on a simple coin toss. The person who will make the first move will take the black pieces and the other will take the white ones.


  • Set up the board: Place the board between you and your opponent. The board comprises 64 alternating squares, which appear in rows of (8 X 8). There are 32 light and dark squares. Place the board in a way so that each player has a light-colored square on the corner of the board on their right side.


  • Place the checkers: Each player has to place their pieces on the 12 dark squares in the first three rows closest to them. Since the board has eight rows, 6 of the rows will be taken up by the player’s checkers pieces. Two out of the eight rows will be left open in the middle of the board. Each of the three rows should have a total of 4 checkers pieces. The pieces may move in the diagonal directions on the dark squares only.


  • Decide if you will time each other’s moves: In tournaments, each player gets five minutes to make a move. If you want to time each other’s movements, make sure you place a timer near you before beginning the game.


  • Rules of play checkers:


  • Start the game: 


The player who has the black checkers will make the first move. Checkers can only move one diagonal space forward towards your opponent’s side at the beginning of the game. You have to keep in mind that checkers must stay on the dark squares.


  • Jump and capture your opponent’s play checkers: 


You can jump and capture your opponent’s checker If your checker is located in the diagonal space nearest to your opponent’s checker. To do that, jump over your opponent’s checker by moving two sloping areas in the checker’s direction like you are hopping over it. After capturing the checker, you can take it off the board. Things that you should keep in mind while jumping and grabbing your opponent’s checker:


  1. If you have the chance to jump your opponent’s checker, then you should take that chance.


  1. If you have the chance to jump your opponent’s checker in different parts of the board, then you can choose which checkers you wish to jump.


  1. Keep in mind that space on the other side of your opponent’s checker has to stay empty for you to move into it.


  1. If you’re going to capture a checker, you can still move forward once only. But suppose the new position that you land in provides you another opportunity to grab another checker. In that case, you must keep going until you can’t capture any more checkers of your opponent’s.


  • Turn your play checkers into king’s when they reach the end of your opponent’s board:  


In the game of checkers, the king checker can move not only forward but also backward. So it’s easier for king checkers to grab the checkers your opponent’s during the game. To make a king checker, you have to crown a checker. You can crown a checker by merely placing a piece that you captured on top of it. Because of its height, you can tell it apart from the other pieces. How you can use a king checker is explained below:


  1. There is no limit to how many king checkers you can create.


  1. Some of the sets have a crown on the back of their pieces. You can flip a piece over after you crown it to designate it as the king.


  1. King checkers can move only one diagonal space at a time during a non-capture move. However, when a king is trying to capture the opponent’s checkers, it can move forward and backward on the same turn. You could do that only if a king checker were making a capture move. The move requires it to change directions. For example, think that two checkers are lined up on diagonal spaces that fall into the same horizontal line. To capture those checkers, the king checker would have to jump forwards and then backward.


  • Win the game:


How you can win the game is explained below:


To win the game, you need to continue jumping and capturing your opponent’s checkers. You have to do that until all of your opponent’s checkers get removed from the board.  After capturing all of your opponent’s checkers, you will win the game. 


There is another way to win the game, and that is to block all of your opponent’s pieces. If you stop all of your opponent’s pieces, he or she can’t make any more moves, and that will declare you the winner of the game.


Ways to improve your game:


  • Don’t play a defense game; play an offense game: 


One way to improve the game is to be bold and capture your opponent’s checkers whenever you can during the game. As a fresher, you may feel tempted to keep your pieces at the edges of the board so that you can avoid the opponent’s checkers as much as possible. But this is a mistake. Instead, it would help if you tried to capture your opponent’s checkers rather than defend your pieces. As long as you can capture more of your opponent’s pieces, it’s okay to let some of your pieces get caught.


  • Try to move your pieces together.


If you move your pieces together, then your opponent will find it hard to capture your checkers. Even if your opponent does manage to grab one of your pieces, you’ll have a checker ready that’s waiting to catch his checker as well.


  • Try to keep a full back row for as long as possible: 


During the game, keeping a full back row as long as possible is the best way to prevent your opponent from crowning his pieces. If your opponent manages to get a piece to your back row, then that piece will be crowned, and it will become more challenging to capture it. Keeping a full back row will also make it easier for you to catch any of the opposing pieces that try to approach your back row.


  • Focus on the kings: 


During the game, you should stay focused on crowning as many of your pieces as possible. It would help if you also tried to prevent your opponent from crowning his pieces. However, don’t crown your pieces if it means losing several of your checkers along the way. You have to be quite strategic when it comes to crowning your piece.


  • When you should sacrifice your pieces: 


You have to figure out the right time to sacrifice your checkers. If you’re ahead in the game or the same league with your opponent, don’t back down from offering a piece of yours. Especially if it means you’ll be able to capture your opponent’s piece back or gain a significant advantage in the game. To achieve that advantage in the game-


  1. Do what you can to avoid having your king captured. The king is much more valuable than a regular checker.


  1. If you get the opportunity to capture two of your opponent’s pieces, don’t let it go, even if it means giving up one of your pieces.
  1. If it makes it easier for your opponent to king a piece, don’t trade pieces.


We hope the information in this article was useful to you and helped you learn how to play Checkers.


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