Checkers Around the World
Italian Checkers Game
Dama Italiana Italian Checkers is reminiscent
of American Checkers but there are some distinct
rule differences that make this game of checkers
uniquely Italiana. In this checkers variant,
checker pieces or men are called Pedines
and kings are called Damas. The board layout
is inverted to regular checkers and there
are different priority rules for capture
of the opponent’s Pedines and Damas.
In Italian Checkers ~ Dama Italiana ~ the
kings may be considered as ‘privileged’ in
their capturing role, but unlike other checkers
variants, Damas are not ‘flying
Italian Checkers Rules of Play:
~ The Checkers Game Board ~
Italian checkers is played on an 8 x 8 standard
checkerboard consisting of 64 alternating light
and dark squares
- Two opponents play with 12 checkers
each that are of contrasting colors and
use only the dark squares of the board.
- The board is positioned squarely between
the two opponents but the layout in this
checkers game is inverted to that of other
variants so that there is a double corner
to the left of each player and a single
corner to the right.
~ Object of Italian Checkers Game ~
Each player’s objective is essentially
to capture all the opponent’s Pedines
or Damas and thus, prevent him/her from being
able to make a move on his/her turn.
~ Game Starting Position ~
Each player places his/her 12 checkers on
the dark squares in the first three rows nearest
to the player.
- For notation purposes, the squares
are numbered 1 to 32.
- The opponent with the light checkers
begins the game with the first move of
the game and then the two players alternate
turns thereafter, making only one move
at a time.
~ Italian Games Moves & Captures ~
Single Italian checkers, known as Pedines in
Italian, can only move diagonally forward
one square at a time to an empty square adjacent
- The Pedine may capture the opposing
checker by jumping over it in a diagonal
direction to an unoccupied square beyond.
- Jumps to capture the opponent’s
Pedine are only made in a forward direction.
- Capturing is mandatory so the capturing
checker must continue to jump as long as
there are opposing pieces along the diagonal
path with adjacent empty squares to jump
- Preference must always be given to the
longest possible capturing line.
- The Pedine may not jump over other checkers
of the same color and may NEVER jump Damas
- The Pedine becomes a Dama when it reaches
the king row of the opponent.
~ Pedine becomes a Dama ~
When a Pedine becomes a Dama, whether by a
capturing jump or a single move, the move terminates
at the king row.
- The opponent must then crown the new Dama
before continuing with his/her own move.
- Damas move forward or backward one square at
a time in a diagonal direction to an unoccupied
~ Dama’s Capturing Moves ~
- The Dama’s capturing jump is privileged.
- If the king can jump more than one way,
the player must choose the sequence of jumps
that result in the most captured checkers,
whether Pedines or Damas.
- If there is more than one way to capture
the greatest number of the opposition’s
checkers, then the capture must be made
with a Dama, if possible, rather than with
- If a Dama has more than one way to capture
the opposition’s checkers, then the
player must seek to capture the most Damas.
- If the player has more than one way to
capture the greatest number and the most
powerful checker pieces from his/her opponent,
then the jump which guarantees that a Dama
is captured first in the sequence of jumps
must be chosen.
- A‘huff’ of
a Pedine or Dama is not permitted at any
point in the Italian checkers game.
- If an incorrect move is made by either
player, then it must be retracted and the
correct move made.
- If at all possible, the correct move
should be made with the same Pedine
or Dama that originally move incorrectly.
- This move will not be penalized unless
repeated deliberately by the player.
~ Win or Draw ~
The player who has captured all his/her opponent’s
Pedines and Damas wins the checkers game.
- The player who has successfully blocked
his/her opponent from making any further
legal moves wins.
- The game ends in a draw if both players
agree to this term.
- There is a draw if the same position
is encountered three times.
- The checkers game ends in a draw after
completing 80 Dama moves in a arrow without
the player. advancing any Pedine or Dama
or making a capturing move.
Italian Damone – A Unique Checkers Variant
This unconventional checkers variant uses
the standard checkerboard but employs three
types of checkers men and a board placement
of pieces uniquely different from a normal
game of checkers; however, it is an interesting
way to play the game from a new point of view.
~ Checkers Game Rules of Play ~
~ The Game Board ~
- Players use a standard 8 x 8 checkerboard
consisting of 64 light and dark squares.
- Instead of checkers men and kings, this
game employs three types of playing pieces
in two contrasting colors, one for each
player: Pedine (checker man), Dama (king)
and Damone or Imperatore (Emperor).
~ Object of the Game ~
- The game objective is to capture all
the opponent’s pieces, or alternatively,
capture all the opposing Damones.
~ The Starting Position ~
- Both the starting and playing positions
are unique to Italian Damone.
- Only dark squares are used by the two
players, who each have one Damone, two
Dama and four Pedines.
- The checkers pieces are placed as follows:
Damone in the right single corner to the
player, the Dama situated in the dark square
left of the Damone on the base line and
then the Pedine is left of the Dama on
the row closest to the player; in the next
row, a Pedine is placed on the second dark
square in from the right; in the third
row a Dama sits on the first dark square
and a Pedine on the next dark square left
of the Dama; a Pedine occupies the first
dark square in rows four and five; these
positions are also taken by the opponent
on his/her side of the checkerboard.
~ Game Moves and Captures ~
- A player can move his/her Pedine in
three directions along the diagonal towards
the opponent’s Damone.
- Pedines can move forward and sideways
to the right and left along the game diagonal,
called h1-a8, one square at a time.
- Damas and Damones move one square at
a time forwards or backwards on the diagonals.
- Capturing is mandatory for all checker
- Pedines capture moving forward along
the diagonal or to the sides on adjacent
- All checker men must continue jumping
and capturing as long as they can.
- Pedines may not capture Damas and Damones;
Damas may not capture Damones.
- Damas and Damones move and capture in a forward
or backward direction along the diagonals.
- The Damone’s capturing move ranks
over both the Dama’s and Pedine’s
capturing moves and the Dama’s capturing
move ranks higher than the Pedine’s
- The checker opponents must always follow
the longest capturing line, or if still
equal, then preference must be given to
the capture that will result in the most
pieces; players must capture two Pedines
over one Dama or Pedines/Damas over one
- The two opponents must choose a Damone’s
or Dama’s capturing move before that
of a Pedine, and likewise, must choose
a Damone’s capturing move over that
of a Dama.
~ Promotion to Dama or Damone ~
- Pedines are promoted to Damas when they
move to the squares originally occupied
by the opponent’s Damas.
- Damas promote to Damones on squares
a1 and h8.
~ Special Game Considerations ~
- This Italian checkers game variant is very
different from a regular checkers game because
material advantage is far less important than
the prospect of capturing the opponent’s
- Sometimes a player must be prepared
to sacrifice a few ‘men’ if
this means that the opponent’s Damone
will be exposed to capture.
- A player achieves a gain if a Dama can
be promoted to a Damone because of the
power the piece carries.
- Ultimately, a win will only be achieved
if all the opponent’s pieces are
- Although checkers sources did not clarify
who begins the game, it may be assumed
that the opening is left to random selection
by the players such as the toss of a coin
or simply by players choosing the light
or dark colored checker pieces and determining
if light or dark commences the play; it
is also assumed that the players alternate
turns with each move.