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Checkers is one of the most loved board games of all-time. Suitable for those of all ages and abilities, checkers is a skill-based strategy game played on a checkerboard of light of dark squares. The size of the board is typically eight squares by eight, but some varieties of checkers use larger boards.
Checkers has existed in many forms over the years, and its origins can be traced back thousands of years. One board resembling the modern version was dated to 3,000 BC, while there are accounts chronically games similar to checkers being played in ancient Rome, ancient Greece, and ancient Egypt.
Checkers has undergone many evolutions over the last few centuries, with new rules introduced and clear lines drawn between standardized versions of the game. It's also become a hugely popular online game, with a large number of websites offering the opportunity to take on other players, or play against the computer.
What equipment do you need for checkers?
If we start with the basics, here is the equipment that is fundamental to playing.
A board with alternating light and dark squares, sized eight-by-eight for American checkers and English draughts, or 10-by-10 for international draughts. Canadian checkers uses a 12-by-12 board.
A set of circular checkers pieces in light and dark colors. The number required will depend on the size of the board, but for American checkers you will need 12 pieces of each color.
What is the aim of the game?
The aim of checkers is to capture all of your opponent's pieces. You each start with a full quota of pieces and it's then a case of conquer of be conquered. The time taken to play a single game can vary hugely depending on the levels of ability of the players, the dominance of one player over another, and the tactical evolution of the game.
What are the basic rules of checkers?
Here are some key fundamentals you need to know – relating specifically to checkers:
The first thing you need to know is that checkers pieces can only move diagonally. They can only move and jump in a forward direction, unless upgraded to a 'king' (see below).
In checkers, your pieces start on the dark squares and that's where they'll stay – because transitioning to a light square would require a horizontal or vertical move.
There is no limit on how far diagonally checkers piece can move, though their movement can be blocked by other pieces.
You conquer your opponent's pieces by jumping over them, diagonally. To do this there must be space on the other side to land.
If the pieces are so aligned, you are permitted to make multiple jumps and conquer multiple pieces belonging to your opponent in one move.
American checkers demands that you must jump over an opponent's piece if there is the opportunity to do so. This is non-negotiable.
Should you manage to advance one of your pieces to the opposite end of the board it becomes a 'king' and can move and jump backward and forward.
The winner of the game is the player who captures all of his or her opponent's pieces first.
Can checkers end in a tie?
Yes it can, and when the world's top players are in competition it very often does. A tie is the outcome when the game reaches a position where neither player is able to close out victory. A tie can also be reached by mutual decision of the two players.
How do I get started playing checkers?
Playing online checkers is a great way to get introduced to the game and learn the basics. The best thing about online checkers is it allows you to set the level of your computer-driven opponent, so you can adjust to reflect your ability and gradually increase the challenge.
You can also play online checkers against other players, which offers the opportunity to test your skills against fellow enthusiasts all over the world. There are online tournaments to enter and cash prizes may even be offered to those who perform well.
If you're ready to give online checkers a try it's a smart move to check out an expert portal. That way you'll be directed to the very best online checkers websites on the Internet.