How to play Checkers

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Checkers is the most popular of the American table games. Because it is so popular, there are many variations of the game. You can play checkers by yourself or with someone else.

To play checkers, you first need to know that your pieces (called “men”) can only move forwards towards your opponent’s men, but not backwards.

When you play on a board with 64 squares, you will each start with 12 men. You start off playing as black and make your first move by placing one of your men on any free square on the board (you cannot put two pieces next to each other).

If one of your opponent’s pieces is blocking the way forward, then you must place one of your pieces behind it and remove that piece from the board by jumping over it.

The next time you do this, if possible, you must jump over two pieces and not just one. Your opponent does the same at their end of the board.

When your men form a line in front of each other (which should start with three men in a row), then that line of men is called a “prime”.

When one player has a prime, their opponent will no longer be able to move forward with any more of their pieces. Once you have a prime, your opponent will not be able to form another until they make it smaller again.

If you jump over one or two pieces and land on an empty square, you are at liberty to make another jump if possible.

If you jump over two pieces but land on one, then the man behind it is captured by your opponent and removed from the board. Your opponent can now make a throw if they wish.

If you have jumped over two pieces, then your next piece must also jump over two others, if possible. If you cannot jump, then you must play a waiting game where you can only move forward one square at a time in your opponent’s direction.

If your opponent gets two of their pieces on the same line to form a double prime, then that is called “doubling” and it is stronger than gaining another prime.

Your opponent can now make two throws per turn. You can then either take one of their pieces or block them by moving another piece in front of the line. If you cannot move, then your opponent’s doubles are stayed.

When it is your turn to jump again and you have no men on the board, it is called “drawing a blank” and you can put one of your men on any free square.

There are only two ways that the game can be won:

1.) You capture all of your opponent’s men, leaving them with none left. This is called “checkmate”.

2.) Your opponent cannot move at all because they have no men left on the board.

But if your opponent’s last man can move, then you can also win by trapping them in between two of your pieces so that any move they make will result in their own capture. This is called “hitting”.

When someone wins, both players shake hands and say “good game” to each other.

So this is how to play checkers.


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