How to Play Draughts

Draughts Overview

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Draughts a strategy board game for two players which involve diagonal moves of uniform game pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over opponent pieces. The player with the light colored pieces generally moves first, and play alternates from there. Players move one piece diagonally to an adjacent square. If the adjacent square contains an opponent’s piece, it may be “captured” by jumping over it to the unoccupied square immediately beyond it. The player who can no longer move or no longer has pieces loses the game.

When a piece reaches the farthest row of the board, called the crownhead or kings row, that piece becomes a king and now has the ability to move backwards, and thus capture backwards, unlike regular pieces.

The most popular version of draughts is International Draughts and is played on a 10×10 board. English Draughts, known as Checkers in the USA, is played on an 8×8 board.

Draughts Rules and Strategy

To Start

Draughts is played on a 64 square chess board. Take 12 counters of one color and place one on each of the black squares in the first 3 rows of your side. Your opponent does the same.

To Play

The object of the game is to capture all of your opponent’s pieces or block them so they cannot be moved. Pieces are always moved diagonally, 1 square at a time, towards the opponent’s side of the board. You play the entire game on the black squares, you do not need the white ones.

Capturing

You can capture an enemy piece by hopping over it. Capturing is also done on the diagonal. You have to jump from the square directly next to your target and land on the square just beyond it. Your landing square must be vacant. The piece captured is removed from the board. If you are able to make a move that results in a capture then you must.

Multiple Captures

It is legal to capture more than 1 piece on a single move so long as the jumping piece has vacant landing spots in between. You cannot take 2 in a row if you must land and “take off” again. The pieces are removed. If you are able to make a move that results in a capture then you must.

Kings

If you can get a piece all the way to the other side of the board, that piece becomes a king. Place a previously captured piece on top of the existing one in order to distinguish it from your other pieces. This piece can move backwards or forwards diagonally. Towards the end of the game all the pieces will be Kings, which changes the strategy significantly.

To Win

Capture all your opponents pieces.

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