||Checkers Around the World
American checkers rules are the same as German
checkers rules. Everything you need to know about
checkers rules, is right here.
German Checkers Game
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
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 ~
- 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
- 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.