When playing Checkers one-on-one...

Do you *have * to jump your opponent’s piece or is it optional? I’ve been playing online and it’s mandatory there.

I’ve always played under the mandatory jump rule. AFAIK, it is the proper way to play. Yes, I’m pretty certain that if you can jump, you must do so.

Thank you. :slight_smile:

Yes, it’s part of the strategy, it allows you to force your opponent into a move they don’t want to do which sets you up for your own move.

Frankly, if you couldn’t force a jump, then many more games would end in draws, with each player having one or more kings just sliding harmlessly back and forth. Certainly no-one is going to voluntarily make a jump if he gets double-jumped in return. As a result, the players get to endgame with the same number of pieces and no way to force victory.

What, no one here plays “blowing?” That is, when your oppnent refuses to jump (or doesn’t see a jump) you take that checker piece and “blow” on it, and depsit it with the rest of your opponent’s fallen men. it’s right up there with backwards jumping and flying kings, to me.

Is there a three player version out there? Special rules for team play?

TJdude825, no whoosh. Did you miss the part where I said I was playing online? I was wondering if I was being forced to jump by the game site’s software, as opposed to perhaps different rules outside the confines of the game’s site.

1920s Style “Death Ray”, Bryan Ekers and Askia…thanks for the additional information. I only recently began to play Checkers and I’ve been frustrated by having my well thought-out and exquisitely planned strategies short circuited by unexpectedly finding I have to jump a piece somewhere. But more often, I’m so focussed on some strategy I’m trying to engineer that I completely miss the fact that there’s a piece somewhere that I’m in position to jump. If not prompted by the game itself I would miss these, and I was wondering what the consequences of this would be in playing another person, one who may have missed it as well or simply kept quiet if doing so would be in his best interest.

I thought Checkers was supposed to be a kid’s or old man’s game! I can play a pretty good game of Chess, and I’ll usually win in the long run at Backgammon, but I get my butt kicked 80% to 90% of the time at Checkers. :smack:

I fell victim to this on many occasions as a kid. What was weird was that only the black kids seemed to know about these rules. I’d never met a white person who did any of this.

When I play internet checkers and crush my opponent (though many games end in my own crushing), I try to corner his last piece so he can only alternate harmlessly between two squares while I put my remaining pieces in position. Then I force him to make a multiple jump, capturing all my pieces except one on the edge of the board, which then captures him.

Checkers is one of those games that’s very culturally influenced, especially if you grew up in the South. Most black kids I grew up with could play at least three or four variations. When we played, to avoid arguments later, we always called out the rules in shorthand in advance: “We’ll play flying kings, backwards jumping, no blowing, no moving backwards, kings HAVE to take a jump,” for example.

Flying kings = ability to move your king diagonally across the length of the board, stopping in the path of two pieces. In traditional checkers you can move the king in any direction only one space at a time. BOR-ing!


Backwards jumping = taking your opponent’s piece as it goes behind you, same as forward jumping.

Blowing = Taking your opponent’s piece when s/he does not take a jump, allowing you to move your own man next. You MUST blow before you move; if you move first, you forfeit yur right to “blow.”

The combination of flying kings, backwards jumping and blowing makes for a very fast game, the kind you see old black men playing in barbershops in the movies.


Moving backwards = Basically allows you to withdraw checkers. Only little kids play this way, drags the game on forever.

Kings have to jump = because flying kings can move willy-nilly, it provides opportunities for double and triple jumps. But a king can jump forward to his opponent’s side of the board and end up getting jumped at the end of a multiple. Well, tough. Kings HAVE to jump.

Give away = The object is to force your opponent to jump all your men. First person to lose all their pieces, wins. All the above rules (blowing, etc.) may or may not apply.

Chinese checkers = played on an 8x8 board. Essentially the same rules as the marble version.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some. It’s been at least a decade since I last played any serious checkers. I guess it is a kid’s or old man’s game.