Online Checkers Varieties - American Checkers
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Standard American Checkers – American Checkers Available Online

American checkers is by far the most common variation of the game of checkers. It is also known as English draughts or "straight checkers", and is played on an 8×8 board with each player having 12 checker pieces. Below are some of the elements and rules of the game of American checkers.

Board – As mentioned earlier, the checkers board is an 8×8 grid, with black and red squares in an alternating pattern. Only the 32 dark squares of the 64 total squares are used.

Pieces - Checkers pieces are most often made of wood (although plastic ones are quite common as well) and are flat and cylinder shaped. They are grouped into dark and light colors. There are two hierarchies of checkers pieces: "men" or regular pieces and "kings".

Starting Position – American checkers begins with each player arranging 12 pieces on the three rows closest to their side. The first row of each player is called the "king’s row". The player who is assigned black makes the first move.

How to Move? - There are only two possible moves in American checkers. A player may either slide a single checkers piece in a forward movement diagonally to the next unoccupied dark square, or he or she can "jump" over one of the opponent's checkers pieces. A jump is only possible if there is a vacant square on the other side of the piece being “jumped”. While an uncrowned piece is only allowed to jump forward diagonally, a king is also allowed to move backwards, albeit still in a diagonal motion.

Capturing – If the option to jump is available to a player, he or she must make that jump. If there are more than one jumps possible, he or she must make all of them. Any checkers piece that is captured is removed from the board in American checkers.

Kings – Any piece that manages to move into the king’s row of the opposing player is "crowned" and becomes a "king". This piece then gains the ability to move backward, in addition to the normal forward movement. Any piece that has been made a king has to stop to be crowned, and cannot jump back out until the next turn of that player.

End of the Game – The winner of American checkers is the player who manages to capture all of the opponent’s pieces, or renders the opponent unable to make a legal move.

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