Checker games are one of the most popularly played board games across the world. Before playing the checkers game online or on a physical board it is crucial to know how to play them. Checkers are tabletop board games that are played between two players. The game is also referred to as English draughts which are similar to those board games that were played in ancient times. However, there are multiple varieties of checkerboards that have been invented to date.
Let’s see some varieties of checkerboards.
- Blue and Grey- The board size is 9*9 that has 17 pieces on every side of the board.
- Cheskers- The pieces are classified into bishop, camel or king which moves at 3,1 coordinates.
- Damath- Played by using the formulas of maths.
- Dameo- The checkers are played on an 8*8 board in which the pieces are moved diagonally on 64 squares.
- Hexadame- A type of international draught similar to a hexagonal board.
- Lasca- The board was invented by Emanuel Lasker(World Chess Champion) in which the pieces move on a 7*7 board.
- Suicide checkers- The checkerboard involves losing pieces by the player.
- Shogi checkers- Invented by Inoue Enryo and played on 9*9 board. It involves occupying the kings.
- Tiers- Enables players to update their pieces beyond the kings.
- Vigman draughts- It involves the movement of two sets of pieces, one on light squares and the other on dark squares.
- Konane- Also known as Hawaiian checkers.
- Halma- A type of checkerboard game that allows the player to move pieces in any direction without capturing them. They can jump over other pieces including, friends or enemies. A player tries to move them in opposite corners.
- Chinese checkers- The checkers are similar to Halma but played on a star-shaped board divided into equilateral triangles.
How to Play Checkers Game?
If you’re an amateur in checkerboard games, here’s how to play them.
Each player takes the position on the opposite side of the board. Therefore, one player receives light pieces. And the other player gets dark pieces. Generally, checkers are played on a 10*10 board having light and dark coloured squares in which only dark positions are occupied by the pieces. Here, each player gets 20 circular disks or pieces for playing the game.
Rules for Playing Checkers
Here are some rules to know before playing checkers.
As we have discussed that draughts or checkers is played by two players and either of them gets light and dark pieces, each player gets an alternative turn to move the pieces diagonally to an adjacent vacant square. If your opponent’s piece captures the adjacent square then the square beyond it will automatically be unoccupied. However, the captured piece may be removed from the game by hopping on the other piece.
In checkers, you can use dark squares only in which allows the movement of pieces diagonally to the vacant squares. Yet, capturing the pieces is compulsory in accepted rules though some variants make capturing rules optional.
In most checkerboard varieties, the player who loses all the pieces or can’t make a move loses the game.
Classification of Pieces
The pieces are generally classified into- Men and Kings.
Men are uncrowned pieces that move a single step in the diagonally forward direction to capture the competitor’s piece by moving two successive steps on identical lines or hopping over the pieces on the initial step. You can capture multiple pieces of your opponent by successfully jumping your pieces onto them.
The jumps are made in a zigzag way, this means that the pieces can change the diagonal direction.
Men can jump in a forward direction in English draughts. Whereas, in Russian draughts and International draughts, men can either move forwards or backwards.
The pieces upgrade into kings when they reach the farthest row. They have crowned pieces and are formed when an extra piece is placed on the top of the first man. Kings have the power to move backwards and capture the backward squares. Like men, kings can also jump successively in a single turn and capture an enemy king or man.
Kings are also called flying kings in International draughts and can move in any direction including, unblocked diagonals. They can capture any positions on the board including, the vacant squares by jumping.
Tips to Win Checkers Game Online
If you play checkers online with computers, there are fewer chances of your winning the game. It is because the algorithm for the computers is designed in such a way that it can’t be beaten by humans.
Hence, it is significant to learn some tips to beat your computer in checkers.
The tips are listed as-
- Capture the centre
For starters, the first step involves placing the checkers at the edges of the board. Positioning your pieces on the corners will protect them from getting captured by the computer.
- Take calculated risks
Checkers is not a good game for those who want to play them defensively. At some point, you have to take risks to defend your pieces. You can not sit back and allow your opponent to capture your pieces.
- Get your checkers at the end of the board.
Get most of the checkers converted into kings as they have all powers in any direction and can capture any piece on the board. So, seize as many kings as you can to improve your chances of winning the game.
- Sacrifice your checker if it is necessary
Be willing to sacrifice your checker for capture when it benefits you. For instance, it helps you to capture your competitor’s piece or clears up his ground row checkers. If you are a newbie, be cautious not to lose your positions unnecessarily. However, losing your checkers also gives you the advantage of converting your pieces into the kings.
- Take advantage of forced moves.
You may discover situations where your opponent’s checkers can stick between your checkers and king row. In this situation, move your checkers to the opposite side facing your opposite checker, forcing the checker to capture checkers. The technique will make you lose your piece, but this will move the opposing checker out of the board, thereby clearing your way to gain a king.