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German Checkers Game

American checkers rules are the same as German checkers rules. Everything you need to know about checkers rules, is right here.

Deutschland ‘Das Damenspiel’
German Checkers MapGerman Checkers Flag

Traditional Germany Gothic Checkers Game

German checkers rules, the modern strategic game of Checkers/Draughts is widespread in Germany today, there also still exists an older version of Gothic Checkers that sources say was likely to have been invented during the 17th century in southern Germany or Austria. This version is known as Altdeutsche Dame, which is translated as ‘Damm-Spel’ in old German. It has been inferred because of the similarities between south German and Turkish checker rules that Altdeutsche Dame may have influenced Turkish Checkers, invented ca 1683. As with many of the checker variants rules, some of the rules have morphed into new ones over time. However, the true original rules of this form of checkers are not completely known today and even experts claim that the rules for Gothic Checkers have been ‘reconstructed’.

German Checkers Rules of Play:

~ Game Board Rules ~

  • Gothic checkers is played on an 8 x 8 square checkerboard (64 squares) where all the squares are used (unlike modern checkers where the game is played only on the dark squares).

~ Object of German Checkers Game ~

  • The goal of this ancient game is to capture all the opponent’s ‘stones’, which were called ‘soldiers’ and thereby win the play.

~ Game Starting Rules ~

Gothic or German Checkers board

  • Each player has sixteen checker pieces or ‘soldiers’ and these are placed on the first two rows of the board, side by side so that every square is used.

  • Random opening may have been employed to start the game and then each opponent takes a turn to move his/her soldiers.

~ Basic Game Moves & Captures ~

  • Opponents move their soldiers forward one square per turn.

  • Soldiers move and capture in any of the five squares that are directly diagonal, vertical or horizontal, but they may not move backwards on the squares behind.

  • Captures are mandatory and a player must jump and capture the largest number of checker pieces possible, if there is a choice between various options (the long jump may be a modern rendition of the rules and in fact, during the early Altdeutsche checker games, the short jump may have been prevalent).
  • ~ Crowned to become King ~

    • When a soldier reaches the back row, it is crowned to become King.

    • King checkers can move in all eight directions, but can only capture adjacent pieces by jumping over them to the next square

    Modern German Draughts/Checkers Rules

    The popular game of Checkers/Draughts is readily played in Germany today and is governed by the German Draughts Association. As in many countries around the world, the Association has taken its checkers rules from the by-laws of the World Checkers Draughts Federation and they form the current basis of German competitive play. Germany has followed the trend of other European countries by promoting many of its Checkers/Draughts players in tournaments; in fact, the GDA sponsored the Third German Open in Checkers game in 2006.

    Rules of Play ~ German Laws of Checkers

    ~ Game Board Rules ~

    • The German game of Checkers/Draughts is based on the American form of Checkers Rules and therefore uses the 8 x 8 checkerboard.

    • The playing board is a square checkerboard consisting of 64 squares of equal size and is arranged in a checker pattern of alternating light and dark squares.

    • The game is played by two opposing players who each have twelve checkers of either light or dark color on the board.

    • The checkers are placed on the dark squares only.

    ~ Object of the Game ~

    To win by using strategy, experience and set plays to out maneuver the opponent’s play by either capturing all the other player’s checkers or by preventing him/her from making any further legal move.

    ~ German Checkers Starting Positions ~

    • The game rules are very similar to International Checkers.

    • The board is placed squarely before both opponents and is ready for play when the bottom left hand corner square is dark and the double corner is on the player’s right.

    • The twelve checkers are situated on the first twelve dark squares closest to each opponent.

    • The checkers player with the dark checker pieces makes the first move and then players alternate afterwards until a final result is achieved.

    • Random selection by lot determines which player gets the dark checkers, or as laid down by tournament rules under competitive conditions.

    ~ Game Moves & Captures ~

    • Basically, there are four standard types of moves: regular move of the uncrowned checker piece or ‘man’, regular move of the crowned piece or ‘King’, capturing move of the player’s checker man and capturing move of the King (the promoted piece has also been called ‘dame’ or queen).

    • All captures, whether active or passive moves, are compulsory.

    • ‘Jumping’ an opponent’s checker completes a capturing move and the checker is then removed from the checkerboard.

    • If the jump offers a further capturing opportunity for the checker, the jump is continued until the piece can go no further.

    • The one exception to the above checkers rule is that if the checker arrives at the king row through a capturing move, this move ends at the king row and the checker is crowned immediately; the jump is not continued and the opponent now gets his/her turn.

    • All captured checkers are removed from the checkerboard in the same order as they were jumped.

    • A checker may only be jumped once and the players cannot jump their own pieces.

    • If a move presents more than two ways to jump, the player may choose whichever way he/she desires and this may not necessarily be the move that captures the most checkers.

    • All jumps, once begun, must be carried through to completion.

    • Each player can move his/her checkers diagonally forward to the left or right from its original position to an adjacent, empty square.

    ~ Crowned to become King ~

    • When the player’s checker reaches the opponent’s king row, it becomes a king and the checker is ‘crowned’ by the opponent, who must place a new checker of the same color on top of it before making his/her own move.

    • The checker used to crown the king may come from captured pieces or reserve spare checkers.

    ~ King Moves ~

    • A player’s king piece may move diagonally forward or backward to the left or right from its original position to an adjacent empty square.

    • A king may capture in a forward, backward or combination move.

    • The king piece may jump into or out of the king row of the opposition without halting its movement.

    • A checker piece can only be crowned once during a checkers game.

    ~ Win or Draw Rules ~

    • A properly played legal game of checkers has three outcomes: white win, black win or a draw.

    • The checkers player who makes the last move wins the game and this can be achieved by either capturing all of the opponent’s pieces or by blocking any further legal move by the opponent during his/her turn.

    • Both players may also agree to a win, loose or draw if the outcome is inevitable; doing so prevents a drawn out game and the wastage of valuable time and energy, especially in tournament conditions.

    • Good sportsmanship, as well as fair play, applies at all times. German checkers games are fun for the whole family.

    International Checkers
    Brazilian Checkers
    or Draughts
    English Draughts
    (Great Britain)
    Danish Draughts
    Frisian Checkers Canadian Checkers Russian Checkers
    Italian Checkers Polish Checkers Spanish Pool Checkers
    French Checkers German Checkers African Checkers
    Turkish Checkers Lasca Checkers Alquerque Checkers
    Thai Checkers Czech Checkers Sri-Lanka Checkers
    Tiers Checkers Spanish Checkers Checkers Federations

    DeerLake Online Store Items

    Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
    When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

    Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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