Online Checkers Varieties - Halma Greek Checkers
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Greek Checkers or Halma Checkers? What is the Difference?

Where did Greek Checkers Originate?

Greek checkers, or Halma checkers as it is also known as, is a board game that was invented by George Howard Monks in 1883 or 1884. A plastic surgeon at Harvard Medical School, Monks derived the name “Halma” from the Greek word for "jump". The game was inspired by the English game called “Hoppity”.

How to Play Greek Checkers

The equipment used in Greek checkers is a checkered board that is divided into 16 x 16 squares. In two player variants of the game, the pieces are usually black and white, with various colors used in games that have four players.

Each of the players of the game starts out on opposing corners of the board. In Greek checkers, the goal is to move all of the pieces from the player’s own camp into the opponent’s corner. A player can either move a single piece to an open square or jump over one or more pieces in every turn.

In the two-player variants of Halma checkers, each player is assigned a group of 19 squares, while in four-player variants of the game, each player is assigned a group of 13 squares. Each player is also assigned checkers pieces of a distinct color, with the same number of squares that are in their camp.

The player who makes the first move is determined by a random selection process. The game proceeds with the player to the left of the starting player making the next move.

In each player’s turn, he or she is allowed to move a single piece of his or her own in one of several ways. He or she may move one piece to an adjacent empty square, which will end the turn right there. A player may also make one or more jumps over an opposing player’s checkers pieces, provided that there is an empty square adjacent to the checkers piece that will be jumped over. In this scenario, the opponent’s checkers piece that was jumped over remains on the board for further play.

After making a jump, the player has the option to use this same piece to make further jumps, or he or she can end the turn. Once a piece has managed to reach the opposing player’s camp, a play that will result in that piece moving away from that camp will not be allowed. If a player manages to occupy every square of the opposing camp, he or she wins the game.

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