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The rules of draughts

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Draughts is a game for two players. Each player has 12 draughts or pieces and the game is played on a board with 8 x 8 squares – with giant draughts the board is substantially larger than the conventional version.


The object of the game of draughts is to take or capture all the opponent’s draughts and/or immobilise them into a position on the board where they are unable to move.


First set out the draughts board (with giant draughts the playing surface needs to be quite large). Position the board so that the white corner squares are situated to the right hand side of both players. Both players lay out their draughts on the black squares, using the first three rows of the draughts board which leaves two clear rows separating both sides. Only the black squares are used for playing draughts.


The player with the black draughts always moves first so players should change colours at the end of each draughts game.


The draughts can be moved diagonally forwards one square at a time. They cannot move backwards. Once a piece reaches the opponents back row it is crowned and becomes a king. Crowning is indicated by placing two draughts on top of each other, effectively making a double draught.


After crowning, the king then gets the power to move both backwards and forwards which is a great advantage in a game of draughts.


There maybe several kings in a draughts game in play at any time.


To take or capture an opposing piece the draught (giant draught or otherwise!) should be moved by a short leap onto a vacant square immediately beyond the target opposition draught. If the capturing draught can continue to leap over other enemy draughts and capture multiple draughts in the same turn of play it is permitted to do so. Draughts that are taken or captured are immediately removed from the board and when the piece finally comes to rest the turn is finished.


If a player fails to capture or take an opposing draughts piece when it is possible to do so, his opponent has the choice of three courses of action.



The winner of the draughts game is the first player to capture or immobilise the twelve opposing pieces.


There are a great number of tactics and strategies that can be used in a game of draughts but practice is the most effective way to improve your game. Draughts is a very simple game to learn and irrelevant whether playing the table version of the giant draughts version, but, as the saying goes, can take a life time to master.