How to Play Draughts / The Rules of Draughts (Checkers)
Welcome to the exciting world of English draughts! This classic board game has been enjoyed by generations of players for its strategic gameplay and endless entertainment.
First, let's talk about the board. It's an 8x8 checkerboard with alternating light and dark squares. You'll need 12 red pieces and 12 white pieces to play. Got 'em? Great! Now, let's get started.
The objective of the game is simple: capture all of your opponent's pieces or block their movement so they are unable to make a move. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! It's a battle of wits and strategy that will have you on the edge of your seat.
On your turn, you can move one of your pieces diagonally to an adjacent empty square. But if you can capture your opponent's piece by jumping over it, you must do so. It's like playing a game of hopscotch, but with more strategy and fewer scraped knees.
If you manage to make it to the other side of the board with one of your pieces, it becomes a king. And let me tell you, kings are badass. They can move both forward and backward, which gives you more strategic options. But don't let it go to your head - your opponent can still capture your king if you're not careful. The game ends when one player captures all of their opponent's pieces, blocks their opponent's moves, or their opponent forfeits. And if neither player can make a move, the game ends in a draw.
That's it! With a little practice, you'll be a champion in no time. So what are you waiting for? Let's play!
Variations of the Game of Draughts
International draughts, also known as Polish draughts, is played on a 10x10 board with 20 pieces per player. The goal is to capture all of your opponent's pieces or block them from making any legal moves. Players take turns moving their pieces diagonally forward, and when a piece reaches the opposite side of the board, it becomes a "king," gaining the ability to move diagonally backward as well.
Capturing in international draughts is mandatory, and if multiple captures are available, the player must choose the sequence that captures the most pieces. Kings can capture pieces in any direction and can jump over multiple pieces in a single move. International draughts is believed to have originated in France in the 18th century and quickly gained popularity across Europe.
English draughts, also known as American checkers or straight checkers, is played on an 8x8 board with 12 pieces per player. The basic rules are similar to international draughts, but there are a few key differences. In English draughts, captures are still mandatory, but players are not required to choose the sequence that captures the most pieces. Additionally, kings can only move one square at a time and are limited to capturing just one piece per move.
English draughts is believed to have evolved from an older version of the game called "Alquerque," which was played in ancient Egypt and the Middle East. Alquerque was later modified in medieval Europe, giving birth to the modern game of draughts.
Russian draughts is another popular variation played on an 8x8 board with 12 pieces per player. The main difference between Russian draughts and other variations lies in the capturing rules. In Russian draughts, players are allowed to capture both forward and backward, even with non-king pieces. This creates a more dynamic and aggressive gameplay, as pieces can be more easily captured from any direction.
Russian draughts is thought to have originated in the 19th century, and it remains one of the most popular draughts variations in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Brazilian draughts, also known as "jogo de damas," is played on an 8x8 board with 12 pieces per player. The game shares many similarities with international draughts, including the 10x10 board and capturing rules. However, there are some notable differences. In Brazilian draughts, players can only capture forward with non-king pieces, but kings are allowed to capture both forward and backward. Additionally, kings are limited to moving just one square at a time, similar to English draughts.
Brazilian draughts is believed to have been introduced to Brazil by Portuguese settlers in the 19th century. The game has since become a popular pastime in the country and is often played in parks and public squares.
Italian draughts is a variation played on an 8x8 board with 12 pieces per player. The game follows similar rules to international draughts, but with a unique capturing rule. In Italian draughts, if a player has multiple capture options, they must choose the one that results in the highest number of promoted pieces (kings). If there is a tie in the number of promoted pieces, the player must then choose the sequence that captures the most pieces.
Italian draughts has been played in Italy since the 16th century and remains a popular game in the country today. The game is known for its complex strategy and emphasis on promoting pieces to kings.
Canadian checkers is a variation of draughts played on a 12x12 board with 30 pieces per player. With a larger board and more pieces, the game offers even greater strategic depth and complexity. The rules of Canadian checkers are similar to international draughts, including mandatory capturing and the ability for kings to move and capture in any direction.
Canadian checkers is believed to have originated in the early 20th century and remains popular among draughts enthusiasts in Canada and the United States.