Learn to Move: The Basics of Checkers Moves

Checkers is a classic board game that has stood the test of time, captivating players with its simplicity and strategic depth. If you’re new to the world of checkers, it’s essential to grasp the fundamental moves and jumps that govern the game. In this guide, we’ll explore the basics of how checkers pieces move and jump.

Understanding the Checkers Board

Before we delve into the movement rules, let’s familiarize ourselves with the checkers board. It comprises an 8×8 grid, totaling 64 squares of alternating dark and light colors. Each player positions their 12 checkers on the three rows closest to them, occupying all the squares on their side. The player using dark pieces and the one using light pieces take turns making moves.

Basic Movement Rules

In checkers, the pieces can only move diagonally, and the following rules govern their movement:

  1. Forward Movement: Regular checkers, often referred to as “men,” are limited to moving diagonally forward. They can advance one square per turn in the diagonal direction.
  2. Capturing: Capturing an opponent’s piece is a central aspect of checkers. To capture, a piece must jump over the opponent’s piece diagonally, landing in the square immediately beyond the captured piece. A piece can jump over multiple opponent pieces if they are aligned diagonally and there is an empty square beyond them. This is commonly known as a “double jump” or “triple jump,” depending on the number of consecutive captures.
  3. Becoming a King: When a regular checker reaches the opponent’s back row, it is “crowned” and becomes a king. King pieces have a unique advantage – they can move diagonally in both forward and backward directions. This versatility makes kings formidable pieces on the board.
  4. Backward Movement: Kings have the special ability to move backward diagonally, giving them greater mobility and strategic options. Regular checkers (men) can only advance in a forward diagonal direction.

Forced Captures in Checkers

The “forced capture” rule is fundamental in checkers. If you have a move that results in capturing one or more of your opponent’s pieces, you must make that move. This rule ensures that players remain engaged and actively seek opportunities to capture their opponent’s pieces.

Capturing Multiple Pieces in Sequence

One of the exciting aspects of checkers is the potential to capture multiple opponent pieces in a single turn. When you make a sequence of jumps in which each jump results in a capture, it is referred to as a “multiple capture” or simply a “jump sequence.” The ability to perform these jumps is a crucial skill to master in checkers.


Checkers is a game of skill and strategy that offers hours of entertainment. By mastering the basic moves and jumps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a formidable checkers player. Whether you’re playing for fun with friends or participating in checkers tournaments, these foundational moves are the building blocks of your success. So, set up the board, practice your moves, and embark on your checkers journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *