How to Play Checkers for Kids


Checkers, also known as draughts, is a classic board game that’s both entertaining and educational for kids. It’s an excellent way to develop strategic thinking and concentration skills. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to play checkers and provide essential rules and tips to make the game enjoyable for kids of all ages.

Setting Up the Board

Before you dive into playing checkers, it’s essential to set up the board correctly. Follow these steps:

  1. Board Dimensions: Checkers are played on an 8×8 checked board, just like a chessboard. Ensure you have the right-sized board to get started.
  2. Pieces: Each player has 12 pieces, typically flat round disks, that fit inside the squares on the board. These pieces are usually different colors, with common combinations being black and red or red and white.
  3. Piece Placement: To start, place your pieces on every other dark square. These squares should be staggered by rows, with each player’s pieces on their respective side of the board. Each player should have three rows of pieces, totaling 12 per player.
  4. Positioning: Remember that checkers can only move diagonally on the dark squares, so ensure your pieces are correctly positioned.

Deciding Who Goes First

Before you start playing, you’ll need to determine who gets the first move. Here are some common methods:

  1. Coin Flip: One simple way to decide is by flipping a coin. The person who calls the coin correctly gets to go first.
  2. Rock-Paper-Scissors: An alternative method is to play a quick game of rock-paper-scissors. The winner of this game takes the first turn.

Moving Your Pieces

Now that you know who goes first, it’s time to learn how to move your pieces:

  1. Diagonal Moves: Players take turns moving their pieces diagonally forward one space. This means each piece can only move diagonally towards the opponent’s side of the board.
  2. Capturing Opponent’s Pieces: If your piece lands on a square occupied by your opponent’s piece, you capture their piece, and it’s removed from the board. This is a crucial element of the game.
  3. Kinging: When your piece reaches the opposite end of the board, it’s “kinged.” A kinged piece can move in both directions, forward and backward. However, you’ll need to wait until your next turn to jump out of the king row.

Capturing Your Opponent’s Pieces

Capturing your opponent’s pieces is a vital strategy in checkers. Here’s how it works:

  1. Mandatory Capture: If you have the opportunity to capture an opponent’s piece, you must do so. This rule ensures an active and engaging game.
  2. Multiple Choices: Sometimes, you may have multiple opportunities to capture pieces. In such cases, you can choose which one to take, allowing for strategic decision-making.

Winning the Game

The ultimate goal in checkers is to win the game. You can achieve this in two ways:

  1. Capture All Opponent’s Pieces: If you successfully capture all of your opponent’s pieces, you win the game. This requires careful planning and execution.
  2. Blocking Opponent’s Moves: Alternatively, you can win by blocking your opponent’s pieces, making it impossible for them to move any of their pieces. This strategic approach can lead to victory as well.

Practice Makes Perfect

As with any game, practice is key to becoming a checker’s expert. The more you play, the better you’ll understand the strategies and tactics involved. Consider playing with someone of a higher skill level to challenge yourself and improve your game.

Also see: List of Hideki Kamiya Games

Basic Rules Recap

To summarize, here are the basic rules of checkers for kids:

  1. Set up the board on an 8×8 checked board.
  2. Each player has 12 pieces placed on every other dark square, staggered by rows.
  3. Decide who goes first using methods like coin flips or rock-paper-scissors.
  4. Move pieces diagonally forward one space.
  5. Capture your opponent’s pieces when the opportunity arises.
  6. Win by capturing all opponent’s pieces or blocking their moves.
  7. Practice regularly to enhance your skills and enjoy the game.


1: Can checkers be played with more than two players?

A: Checkers are typically designed for two players, but variations exist for multiple players on larger boards.

2: How do you become a checkers champion?

A: Becoming a checkers champion requires practice, strategy development, and learning from experienced players.

3: What happens if a player forgets to capture an opponent’s piece when they have the chance?

A: It’s essential to follow the rules. If a player misses a capture opportunity, the game continues as usual.

4: Are there different variations of checkers with unique rules?

A: Yes, there are various regional and international variations of checkers, each with its own set of rules.

5: Can kids play checkers without adult supervision?

A: Yes, checkers is a kid-friendly game, and children can enjoy it without constant adult supervision.


Checkers is a timeless game that provides hours of entertainment and helps children develop critical thinking skills. Follow the rules and strategies outlined in this guide to have a fantastic time playing checkers with kids of all ages.

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