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Draughts is a classic board game that has been around for centuries and continues to enjoy wide popularity. Played on a checkered board of alternating light and dark squares, draughts is a tactical game between two players that sees each try to conquer the other's pieces to win the game.
There are accounts of games similar to draughts being played in ancient Egypt, ancient Rome and ancient Greece, and a board bearing similarities to a draughts board has been dated to 3,000 BC. There are many varieties of draughts, or 'checkers', in play throughout the world.
Draughts is widely available as an online game. Software allows you to play against the computer, with programs running to select the computer's moves and react to what's happening in the game. Online draughts is also available in a format that means you can play virtually against players all over the world.
What equipment do you need for draughts?
Here's what you need to get started for a game of draughts (assuming you're not playing online of course, in which case you just need a desktop or mobile device connected to the Internet):
A draughts board of eight squares by eight squares in size. The squares will alternate in color, with a contrast between light and dark. The simplest form of board could be made from cardboard, while there are luxury tables you buy that are made of solid marble.
A set of draughts pieces. You'll need 12 for each player, one set in a light color, the other in a dark color. Again, you'll find a huge array of choice to suit every budget here.
How do you win a game of draughts?
The aim of draughts is to capture all of your opponent's pieces, as quickly as possible.
What are the basic rules of draughts?
Here follows a basic outline of draughts rules:
Players choose to play either light or dark pieces.
The player with the light pieces goes first.
Regular draughts pieces can only move diagonally and in a forward direction.
To conquer an opponent's piece you jump over it in a diagonal direction. This requires there is room to land on the other side.
You are allowed to make more than one jump in succession, should the pieces be aligned. But remember that regular pieces can only move in a forward direction.
If you have the opportunity to jump a piece, you have to take it. There is no discussion over that point – it is what it is.
If one of your pieces reaches the other end of the board it becomes a 'king'. If available, your opponent will place one of your conquered pieces atop of it and that king piece can now move and jump both backward and forward.
The game ends when one of the players has no pieces left. Unless...
Can draughts end in a tie?
Draughts games can end in a draw. It can happen if a stalemate ensues, where neither player can find a way to win. A draw can also be brought about should both players agree it's the best course of action.
How do I get started playing draughts?
Online draughts is a fine way to get introduced to the game. If you take the option of playing against the computer, you can select the difficulty level and build it up gradually as you become a better player. There are free draughts games available online and they're the ideal resource if you're intent on developing your skills.
Another great thing about online draughts is that you can play against players all over the world. You can also enter tournaments and potentially even win real cash prizes once your game is up to scratch. Online draughts is available for mobile and tablet too, which means you can take your game wherever you have an Internet connection.
But don't just dive in at the first site of app you land on. The best advice is to reference an online draughts portal and get the lowdown on the top sites you need to play at.