# Playing Checkers, Overview of The Basics For This Classic Game

Checkers, also referred to as draughts, is a classic game that is popular both in England and the United States. Checkers is a two-player game; a game generally lasts roughly 30-90 minutes. In this article, I am going to cover the basics and rules for the beginner to understand the game of checkers.

Setting up the game:

Checkers is played on a checkerboard; a 64 square board with eight rows of eight squares. Squares are arranged on the board with alternating light and dark squares, no same colored squares are directly adjacent to each other (hence the term checkerboard in reference to the pattern.) The checkers game is played using only the 32 black squares of the checkerboard. Place the board so that the left corner square is black for each player.

Each player starts out with twelve playing pieces, usually circular wooden or plastic discs, referred to as “men.” The checkers pieces are of two separate colors, usually black for one player and red for the other player. Some checkers sets have white instead of red. The men are placed on the black squares in the first three horizontal rows of each side of the checkerboard, leaving two open rows between each player.

Object of the game:

The object of the game of checkers is to either capture all the opponent’s checkers or corner the opponent. If the opponent has no remaining legal moves, he loses, unlike in chess where such a situation becomes a draw.

Playing the game:

Players draw odds or agree on who goes first. As the player with black pieces goes first, the winner of the odds gets black.

There are two types of moves that can be made with regular pieces “men.” Men can move forwards diagonally one space provided the space is vacant. If another piece occupies that space, your piece cannot move there. If, however, the space is occupied by the opponent and the space directly beyond this space is free, you may jump over your opponent into the space beyond. Such a move removes your opponent’s piece from the game.

Men must make a jump when it’s possible, and continue jumping opponent’s pieces if possible. Should there be two possible jumps or during a double jump, two second chips that could be jumped, you may choose which chip to jump over because you can only jump one. Because men are required by the rules to jump, it is a common strategy to sacrifice a man to set up an ensuing double jump. Men can only jump forwards.

Because men can only move forwards, there are only so many moves before they reach the end of the board. When a piece reaches the end, it is crowned a king and gains the ability to move backwards as well as forwards. When a piece becomes a king the move ends; pieces cannot continue to jump backwards.

A king can move in any direction. Kings are not required to jump another piece if a jump is possible. Usually as the checkers game begins to wind down, only kings remain on the game board.

A winner is declared when one player either has no pieces or no legal moves remaining. When a player has no moves (e.g. he is trapped,) the game ends and the other player wins. There is not a draw in this situation. A draw is possible in checkers, when both players mutually agree to calling a draw.

These are the basic rules of Checkers. Like any classic game, Checkers is easy to learn yet difficult to master. With this basic knowledge of the game rules, you can begin playing and learning the strategies involved.

Source/original article: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2630807/how_to_play_checkers.html?cat=7

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