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Checkers: American
We've got American checkers, also known as British Draughts (KX), and some variations: Pro Checkers (KP), Anti-Checkers (KA), Sparse Checkers (KS), Crowded Checkers (KC), and Mule Checkers (KM).


  • read: Setup and Object of Checkers
  • read: Movement
  • read: Jumping
  • read: You Must Jump if Possible
  • read: Crowning
  • read: Starting a Game of Checkers on ItsYourTurn.com
  • read: Moving Checkers on the ItsYourTurn.com Board
  • read: When a Piece Will Not Move
  • read: How do I offer a draw?
  • read: House rule: 50 moves without a capture (or kinging) is a draw
  • read: House rule: EXACT board position occuring 3 times in the game is a draw
  • read: Pro Checkers (KP)
  • read: Pro Checkers (KP): Choosing the Opening
  • read: Anti-Checkers (KA)
  • read: Crowded Checkers (KC)
  • read: Sparse Checkers (KS)
  • read: Mule Checkers (KM)
  • read: Checkers Links
  • read: How can I get better at checkers?



Setup and Object of Checkers


Checkers is played on a standard 64 square board. Only the 32 dark colored squares are used in play. Each player begins the game with 12 pieces, or checkers, placed in the three rows closest to him or her.

The object of the game is to capture all of your opponent’s checkers or position your pieces so that your opponent has no available moves.
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Movement


Basic movement is to move a checker one space diagonally forward. You can not move a checker backwards until it becomes a King, as described below. If a jump is available, you must take the jump, as described in the next question and answer.
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Jumping If one of your opponent’s checkers is on a forward diagonal next to one of your checkers, and the next space beyond the opponent’s checker is empty, then your checker must jump the opponent’s checker and land in the space beyond. Your opponent’s checker is captured and removed from the board.



After making one jump, your checker might have another jump available from its new position. Your checker must take that jump too. It must continue to jump until there are no more jumps available. Both men and kings are allowed to make multiple jumps.



If, at the start of a turn, more than one of your checkers has a jump available, then you may decide which one you will move. But once you have chosen one, it must take all the jumps that it can.
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You Must Jump if Possible If a jump is available for one of your pieces, you must make that jump. If more jumps are available with that same piece, you must continue to jump with it until it can jump no more. To make the second and third jump with a piece, you do not need to click that piece again. Just click the next space to which it will jump.

If more than one of your pieces has a jump available at the start of your turn, you can choose which piece you will move. But then you must make all the jumps available for that piece.
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Crowning When one of your checkers reaches the opposite side of the board, it is crowned and becomes a King. Your turn ends there.


A King can move backward as well as forward along the diagonals. It can only move a distance of one space.

A King can also jump backward and forward. It must jump when possible, and it must take all jumps that are available to it. In each jump, the King can only jump over one opposing piece at a time, and it must land in the space just beyond the captured piece. The King can not move multiple spaces before or after jumping a piece.
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Starting a Game of Checkers on ItsYourTurn.com Detailed instructions on starting a game can be found in a special short tutorial with cartoons. Here is a brief explanation.

Look in the menu column on the left side of the screen. Near the top under 'Play' you will see 'Start Game.' Click 'Start Game' and you will see a page where you choose what game you want to play. If you choose checkers, a game board will appear. You will be Red, and you will have the option of making your first move at that time. To move, clicking on a piece; then click on a place to move it to; then click 'Submit' beneath the game board.

The game will be placed in the Waiting Room where it waits for an opponent. If an opponent picks up the game, the game will reappear on your game status page in the list where it's your turn to move.
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Moving Checkers on the ItsYourTurn.com Board After a game of checkers is created (see How to Start a Game or How to Join a Game on our help menu) you may go to it any time by clicking your opponent’s name as it appears on your game status page.

If it is your turn, you will see blue outlines around the checkers that your opponent moved in his last turn.

To begin your turn, click a checker that you want to move. Remember, if a jump is available, you must take it. After you click a checker that you want to move, a new page will appear showing that checker with a red outline. Now, click the space to move that checker to. A new page will load showing the checker moved.

If you have made a jump and another jump is available with that same checker, you do not need to click the same checker again. Just click the next space that it will jump to.

When you are through, several Submit buttons will appear beneath the board. You must click a submit button to finish your move.

If you do not see the submit buttons, then you may not have taken all the jumps that are available. Check the board again and make sure you have made all your jumps.
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When a Piece Will Not Move Sometimes, you may find that you can not click on a checkers piece to move it. When this happens, look at the board carefully. You probably have a jump available with a different piece. If this is the case, then you must jump with the piece that has the jump. Also, you must take every jump that a piece has available.
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How do I offer a draw? Click Offer Draw at the bottom of the page displaying your game board. Your opponent will be sent a message asking whether she would like to accept or decline a draw. It does not have to be your turn to offer a draw.

Offering a draw does not count as making a move in the game. If you offer a draw in a tournament game, you might want to make an actual move in the game as well, to be sure you do not time out. If your opponent makes a move without responding to the draw offer, the draw offer will be erased from her message inbox.
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House rule: 50 moves without a capture (or kinging) is a draw If 50 moves (for each player) have passed without a capture or a kinging and your opponent refuses to agree to a draw, please email us the game and we will declare it a draw. Official checkers rules do not really cover this either way, so we are setting it up as a house rule in the interests of keeping the tournaments moving, and to avoid the situation where a game goes on for hundreds of moves. This rule is an official rule in chess, and we have chosen to implement it for American Checkers as well.
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House rule: EXACT board position occuring 3 times in the game is a draw If the same exact positioning of pieces on the ENTIRE board occurs three times in a game, the game is automatically a draw. This is an official rule of chess, but we are expanding it as a house rule in all games to stop games when they are no longer progressing.

For this rule to take effect, the ENTIRE BOARD (your pieces and the opponent's pieces) must be in the EXACT same position on 3 different moves.

When this happens, eventually the computer will automatically declare this game a draw. However, if you'd like to declare a draw manually, click 'Offer Draw' among the options beneath the game board. If your opponent refuses a draw in this situation, you may have to wait for the software to detect this situation.

If you'd like the game to be declared a draw sooner, please pull up the game on your screen and click on the 'Email Websupport about this game' at the bottom of the page. If a 3-move repetition has occurred, then we will declare the game a draw.
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Pro Checkers (KP) Pro Checkers begins with the first three moves (red, then white, then red) already made for you. The opening moves come from a set of 144 openings approved for many official tournaments, plus some additional openings approved for by-mail play.

If you invite an opponent to a two-game match of Pro Checkers on ItsYourTurn.com, each game uses the same opening moves, and you play each game as a different color. If you enter a tournament on ItsYourTurn.com, the two games that you play with a single opponent also use the same opening moves, and you play a different color in each.

When you invite someone to play Pro Checkers, you can choose the opening for the game, or you can choose the random opening. See the next question for more help choosing the Pro Checkers opening in a game invitation.
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Pro Checkers (KP): Choosing the Opening When you invite another member of ItsYourTurn.com to a game of Pro Checkers, you can choose the 3-move opening for the game.

Follow the normal process for inviting someone to play a game. When you get to the screen where you write the message to go with your invitation, look beneath the box where you type in the message. There, you will see a drop-down list where you choose an opening, or let the opening be random. If you are inviting someone to a two-game match, the same opening will be used in both games.

Starting a Pro Checkers game by invitation is the only way to choose the opening. When placing a game in our Waiting Room or playing in a tournament, openings can only be random.
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Anti-Checkers (KA) In Anti-Checkers, you win if you are the first to lose all your pieces or to have no legal moves. All other rules are the same as in regular checkers.
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Crowded Checkers (KC) The rules are the same as in standard checkers, but the game is played on a 10 by 10 board, and each player starts with 20 checkers.


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Sparse Checkers (KS) The rules are the same as for standard checkers, but the game is played on a 10 by 10 board and each player starts with 15 checkers.


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Mule Checkers (KM) Background:
Mule Checkers is based on a game invented by V. R. Parton called Les Vauriens, which means "good for nothing" in French; the game was featured in R. Wayne Schmittberger's book New Rules for Classic Games. While the original version of this game was based on Russian Checkers, this version is based on American Checkers.

Setup:
The diagram below shows the starting setup. One mule from each side has been circled. Each player starts with 8 regular pieces and 4 Mules.



Playing the game:
Mules move and capture exactly like regular pieces. See the rules for American Checkers for more details on how the game is played. Mules only affect the winning or losing of the game, otherwise they are treated like any other piece when moving or capturing or being captured.

Winning the game:
You win the game if you lose all your Mules. You lose the game if you are forced to promote your Mule. You also lose the game if you lose all your regular pieces.

To summarize, you can win the game in one of 3 ways:
  • By capturing all of your OPPONENT's regular pieces
  • By losing all YOUR Mules
  • By forcing your OPPONENT to promote a Mule (that is, move it to the last row)

Or, put another way, you lose the game in one of 3 ways:
  • By losing all of YOUR regular pieces
  • By capturing all of your OPPONENT's Mule pieces
  • By promoting YOUR Mule (it ends up on the row furthest away from you)

In addition, if it is your turn, and you do not have a legal move (perhaps all your pieces are blocked), then you lose the game. This rule is the same as American Checkers.
Also, if you capture ALL of your opponents pieces in a single turn (both regular and mule pieces), then you also win.
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Checkers Links Here are other places on the Internet where you can learn more about checkers.


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How can I get better at checkers? Playing regularly will improve your checkers game. You may also want to buy a checkers book and study it. Browse our selection of popular checkers books, available from Amazon.com.
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