Talk:Draughts

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Draughts[edit]

Is it true that to play this game in its original incarnation, a given player must remove his bowler hat, place the open side of said hat against his buttocks, and break wind thrice for each of his 'men' captured? If so (i.e., it's not just an urban legend or such rot), I believe this information should be added to the article.

I too have heard this rumour; I believe that it's part of American rules, dating back to the 1870s; contrary to popular belief it was the bowler, and not the 'cowboy hat', that was the most popular in the American West, prompting Lucius Beebe to call it "the hat wut done killed all dem injuns". We are all, of course, familiar with the flatulence problems of that time and place, thanks in no small part to the scholarly works of Mel Brooks, so we shouldn't find it at all surprising if our beloved colonial friends were to have formalised flatulence in their games of 'Chequers', or 'Squarey-Board-Stompy-Disk', or whatever it is that they call it over there! — Preceding unsigned comment added by InternationalistChap (talkcontribs) 15:36, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Thai Checkers[edit]

The rule for capture shown here ("A sequence must capture the maximum possible number of pieces, and the maximum possible number of kings from all such sequences.") is DEFINITELY INCORRECT. It is "Any sequence..." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.57.173.251 (talk) 19:45, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

That is right. For example if I have two possible moves, one allowing me to capture a maximum of 4 stones, and another move (with the same stone in different direction, or following a different path, or using other of my stones) that allows me to capture maximum 3 stones, then I can freely chose which one to take. I can chose the sequence that let me capture 3 stones. Any sequence I would chose, I MUST do all possible captures (that is, I can not stop after I make 1 or 2 captures only, and if I took the sequence with 4 captures, then I can't stop after 3). The text in the table is confusing, suggesting that in the case I can capture 1 stone, but I have a different move leading to capture of 2 stones, it would be compulsory to chose the move that lead to capture 2 stones. This is incorrect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 61.7.147.61 (talk) 09:18, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Canadian Checkers[edit]

I'm Canadian, and I've never heard of checkers played on a 12x12 grid with 30 pieces. In fact, I've got a checkers board beside me (in addition to Chess and Backgammon boards..I'm a board-game-aholic), and it's an 8x8 grid. Does anyone have any cites for this "Canadian checkers"? --72.141.60.5 00:22, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Re: Canadian Checkers ("Dames")[edit]

I'm also Canadian, and had never heard of this version. According to the history in the Association québécoise des joueurs de dames, this version of the game was popular in French speaking communities within Ontario, Quebec, and New England and may predate the cession of New France to the English.

The 12x12 board are in the Netherlands always refered to as "Canadian". This doesn't mean Canadians always play the 12x12 version now. I think you should look to the naming the other way around. Basvb (talk) 09:32, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

"Draughts" vs "Checkers"[edit]

A Google search for "draughts game" turns up 2,060,000 results. A Google search for "checkers game" turns up 6,320,000 results.

Is there some reason why this article is biased towards the less popular British name? If Wikipedia's policy is to prioritize the oldest name over the most common name, then probably we should be using some even more ancient tongue.

The general rule is to write articles in the appropriate style of English to the theme of an article (such as American English for US-centric subjects and British English for articles concerning more British themes. Where no particular leaning applies (such as in this case) the general rule is to not change the style the article was started in and to have redirects in the alternative. One might add tthe point that while checkers generally refers to the game in the article, it can refer to other unrelated games such as Chinese checkers. In contrast, Draughts is a specific term for the game and its vairantes in this article. Dainamo 10:31, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Many more poeple call it checkers than call it draughts. The title "Draughts" only serves to confuse people who want to learn about checkers. (PS- show some American pride! U-S-A! U-S-A!) 12va34 19:59, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Shoot, I meant that we should call it checkers. My bad. Anyways, after using Google Trends and Google, I found that searches for checkers far outnumber those for draughts, even in the United Kingdom (for the most part) and that there are a little above 1 million hits for draughts and a little under 10 million for checkers. Also, my Firefox spellchecker doesn't seem to recognize draughts either (if that counts for anything). --76.188.148.173 11:23, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
My British English Firefox spellchecker doesn't recognise "spellchecker", or "Firefox", or "center", or "Wikipedia". Doesn't mean that those words should be removed/changed. As for the google test, we are sometimes hesitant about using that, as Google results (and indeed the internet itself) is often very American-centred. On top of that, a word like "Checkers" can be very ambiguous, so any search for checkers will bring up results for all of those, while a search for draughts will only be results for this game. The same state of affairs goes for check over cheque. Our article is at cheque. Likewise, Aluminum has more results than Aluminium, but Aluminum is pretty much exclusively in American usage, and this is an English language encyclopedia, so we go with the most common usage in the English speaking world, which is Aluminium. --Dreaded Walrus t c 03:26, 31 July 2007 (UTC)


The term "checker" could also be "one who checks" and there are many instances where google will return a hit for "checkers" that is not related to the game.

GothicChessInventor 19:13, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

It could be a hockey player, or Richard Nixon's infamous dog. WHPratt (talk) 16:46, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

So how does the ambiguity of the term in relation to searching decide whether it should be checkers/draughts. Nobody's going to be thrown off if they get a reply for checker's restaurant Also if how the article was written in originally was flawed, then it should be changed not just left the same. The issue is that in this one language they're are two terms that see very widespread use in their respective areas, the US and Britain. I'm not really sure which should be used, but as far as I can tell the current use of draughts has little basis, checkers at least appears to be more popular; which still seems like a somewhat poor basis for encyclo use. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 63.230.55.25 (talkcontribs).

Hi. Do not edit other people's comments, as you did here. Remember that saying "checkers appears to be more popular" is based, probably, on US culture. In the UK, "draughts" is more popular. In the US, "checkers" is more popular. --Dreaded Walrus t c 01:23, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I think a good question is, which term is better known. Most of my brittish friends know it by draughts AND/OR checkers. Few americans would recognize draughts as the name of this game.--71.97.131.193 01:06, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

But that is flawed logic. If British people know what the American name for something is, but the reverse doesn't apply, that just means that British people have been exposed to more US culture than Americans have to British culture. Most British people know that when an American says football, they mean American football, and when they say soccer, they mean what we here in the UK would call football. Does that mean that we should move American football to football, and football (soccer) to soccer? Of course not. --Dreaded Walrus t c 01:19, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Its not flawed logic if your goal is being accessible to the greatest number of people. If most Americans (including this one who just got to the page through random article) only know the game as checkers and most British know the game as both draughts and checkers, checkers is obviously more accessible. I don't really think it matters, though, since the redirect works fine. Atropos 02:53, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Like a troll under the bridge, the dreaded walrus jumps out and clubs with nationalism any idea that is not strictly British. Whether adding extra u's or subbing s's for z's as in colourise, the Union Jack shall prevail. Unfortunately, that unilateralist view ended a century ago when Noah Webster authored a dictionary with "cookie" and "wigwam" in it. As for today, I just spent an extra 10 minutes looking for "checkers" all over the web because of this silly linguistic troll. I skipped the Wiki entry because I mentally thought British Draughts was about British Bitters (and, yes, draft is spelled (spelt) "draught" in the UK and yes, bitters is beer). Eventually, I came back and got the information I needed, but only after a complete waste of time and effort reading far less authoritative articles than this Wiki entry. For goodness sakes, this is a great and useful article, don't cripple it by not at least having a most common word for the subject in the heading. Regarding whose language is better, please, let it go. N0w8st8s (talk) 10:14, 17 March 2013 (UTC)n0w8wt8s

it's 'bitter' for beer, 'bitters' would be, well, Bitters... and to call this disagreement a troll is silly. [User:Dainamo|Dainamo]'s answer above pretty much covers how this has been dealt with across WP. So we have the eng-us spelling of airplane but, in this case, the eng-uk for this game.

God considers the term draughts to apply to the entire family of games, while checkers applies to eight-by-eight English draughts. --Nmatavka (talk) 04:11, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

and it is well established that He is an Englishman...

Checkers has been solved?[edit]

I thought this game has been exhaustively solved for 8x8 at least. Any mention about that? --Sigmundur 09:37, 9 June 2007 (UTC)


That is correct. Using computers, scientists have explored all possible moves in the game (roughly 500 billion billion possible positions) and come to the conclusion that perfect play on both sides leads to a draw. This finding was published in the scientific journal Science (Schaeffer et al., Checkers Is Solved, Science, 14 September 2007;317(5844):1518-1522.). -- Pierre


Sorry, my comment above is inaccurate. Not every move in the game was actually explored. The method used was slightly more complex. -- Pierre

Rules not complete[edit]

  • it does not say how a king can capture
  • it should say if capture is allowed backwards for non-kings
  • it should say how to do multiple captures (not just say its possible)

I would change it myself, but I don't know them!

I guess someone recently added these requests above, but there one more thing:
  • there is no mention that the left down tile is dark. --Luxvero 14:09, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Variants not included[edit]

In some variants:

  • Kings don't need to stop immediately after the last captured piece, but anywhere in the uninterrupted diagonal of vacant tiles next to the last captured piece.
  • Capturing is NOT mandatory, you may choose not to capture by removing the piece that is about to make the jump; when you have 2 pieces in position to capture, only 1 must be removed, this does not count as a move.

Arthurvasey (talk) 09:28, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I've always played the rule where you are forced to jump - if you don't, the opponent can "huff" you - take your piece off the board.

Usually only the second rule is included in the so called "Brazilian checkers" creating this unnamed variant, largely played by amateurs in Brazil.


I've witnessed a variation in which captures were not compulsory. A player would pass up a jump to make a strategic move. That's the way that everybody played it at one place that I worked, and they seemed to consider it standard practice. This version must have been playable, yet I've never seen it referenced anywhere! WHPratt (talk) 16:38, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

I continue to be amazed that there is no version described in which capturing is not compulsory and in which there is no penalty for not doing so. I witnessed the version I described above being played while working in the mail room of an office building in Chicago circa 1970. As many of my fellow workers were immigrants -- most from Latin America, but a few from Germany, Italy and Poland -- I assumed that it was a Spanish or European version. By the way, it was the 8x8 board with 12 pieces to a side. WHPratt (talk) 19:44, 17 June 2010 (UTC)


Arthurvasey (talk) 09:28, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I've come across variations on draughts, as I've always called it - we had a compendium of games that came in a cube - it had six sides on it, one of which was a checkered board for playing chess and draughts on.

With draughts, apart from the traditional version, there were the following variations:

Dammspiel - that's what the manual called it - I think it's also called Damenspiel - you set them up a bit like chess, but they were placed one square forward (hard to explain) - the pieces moved almost identical to regular draughts - diagonally, one square - I think the kings could move multiple squares - a bit like the "Flying Kings" rule people have mentioned - except that you stop short of capturing - my memory is hazy on the issue.

Turkish Checkers - similar set-up to Dammspiel/Damenspiel - it looks a bit like chess with draughts pieces, the set-up being on the same squares you'd use for draughts - pieces move one square forwards, and, if I remember rightly, capture diagonally, like standard draughts - the kings, I believe, move like rooks in chess and jump only once in a straight line - again, my memory is hazy regarding the rules.

One game not listed in the manual was a game known by one of three names - Arrow Draughts, Dagger Draughts or Kings.

Played similar to standard draughts - you play it corner-to-corner and set the pieces up as kings in the shape of an arrow or dagger - you then play it like regular draughts. (actually - in my variation of "Dagger" it's not quite like regular draughts. In order to take an opponent's piece you must first jump over one of your own pieces)

I have played draughts with at least three opponents - a relative, somebody at school and somebody I once shared a house with - and they were convinced that a single man can't take a king. Apparently, according to this page, that's the rules in Italian draughts.

What version was I playing?[edit]

I never played where jumping is mandatory, and I never played where kings can move like a bishop. Their only advantage was that they could move backwards and normal pieces couldn't.


I've played a version the same as English Draughts except that you started with two ranks of men (8 pieces) and you could jump your own men and kings. It made the game very different. In one version you could jump both your men and other men in a sequence and in the other version you couldn't. The people who played it called it checkers and didn't believe my rules (I play English Checkers/Draughts rules). I'm not sure what this version is called.

Interesting. When you jumped your own men, were you required to remove them from the board, like when you jumped the other men? Or do you leave your own men on the board, like "chinese checkers" ?

Simple beginner's question[edit]

The rules here (and everywhere else that I've looked) don't explicitly say what happens when a piece is on the side or edge of the board. When there is no opposite square, is the piece invulnerable to attack unless moved? MrZaius 199.8.170.224 17:26, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yes. When a piece is on the side or edge, that piece is invulnerable to attack. However, it can be drawn out with a forced jump, or by blocking all the other pieces so that it is the only piece free to move.

merging "checkers" and "draughts"[edit]

I think the redirect to check

One minute game?[edit]

Does the game really only take one minute to complete? You have to take all the opponents pieces, that is 20 pieces, so at least 60 moves. Can the game really be played with less than one second per move? I doubt even a robotic arm could move pieces that quick. JayKeaton 16:30, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Even with an 8x8 board and 8 pieces on each team, there will be 4+ moves from either player that don't involve taking + 8 moves that do + 7 moves from the losing player before he loses. So this one minute estimation suggests there will be at least one move every three seconds. That's for an unrealistically short game with rules that are not commonly used and with the losing player trying to lose. I would chage the estimated figure but that would be original research so I've deleted it.--81.131.16.144 21:16, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Playing the game (international 10x10) in 1 minute is possible, althought performance suffers very bad from that. For a 1 minute game (each player 1 min) you should image people mainly focussing on making fast moves (thus making lots of errors) and throwing the pieces away (gently putting them down takes more time). It is possible, but something like 5 or 10 minutes is more common. (And when you go to play competitions etc. 2 hours each, or 80 minutes + 1 minute/move are the standards). Basvb (talk) 09:40, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Flying Kings[edit]

When I was a kid, when we played checkers with "flying kings" it meant that the king could jump any other piece on that same diagonal, no matter how many spaces away it was. Was this just some variant made up by some bored kids, or is this also a variant of the flying kings rule? ~~Unknown Person

That is the Brazilian variant. Flying kings are also used in some other variations such as international draughts. 66.30.113.23 16:35, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Checkers solved[edit]

Why didn't it make the lead that checkers is solved? (Posted by User:Gnixon sometime on 7/19.)

Here's a good article on it.
The game of checkers, as such, has not been solved—only the 8×8 variant is claimed to be solved. The majority of the world plays the more interesting 10×10 variant which remains unsolved.
Herbee 16:34, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Really? I've always played it on the same board as chess. Gnixon 19:33, 20 July 2007 (UTC) ... which, I see from the lead of the article, is probably because I'm American. Gnixon 19:34, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

The Seattle Times article is wrong. It contradicts the other sources by overstating the result to say that the program can choose the best move from any position. Only 21 of the 156 three move sequences have been declared solved. This is why the other reference to the solution calls it a weak solution, not a complete solution. I corrected the statement of the result. 66.30.113.23 16:33, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

The currect description of the weak solution is wrong. They did not go through anything close to all positions. 66.30.113.23 02:36, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

The LA Times article is wrong. Not all positions are in the search tree. Not all positions were solved. The paper in Science is available, linked to http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~chinook/publications/solving_checkers.html, so don't trust a reporter's interpretation instead. 66.30.113.23 02:07, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Why taken out?[edit]

Why was the following taken out? It seems very important to me:

In 2007, draughts was reported to be solved by a computer program. [1]

Bubba73 (talk), 14:55, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

It's already in the article, under History. 64.126.24.11 18:20, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

My Notes on 8x8 Draughts (American Checkers)[edit]

Hello everyone, I am Ed Trice and I did help in some very small way with checkers being solved. You can see from http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~chinook/thankyou/ that I helped to verify the correctness of the endgame databases. Anyway, I did some cleanup regarding some inaccurate statements that were posted in the Wikipedia article. While there are 500,995,484,682,338,672,639 unique checkers positions, these were not all "solved" in order to solve the game of checkers. About 39 trillion positions were "solved" meaning for any of them, their status as being won, lost, or drawn is known. With a massive forward search, these precomputed endgames cannot be avoided. Therefore, as the "front end" hit the "back end" the game was solved.

Also, there was a note about Blondie24 being in there. That really did not belong. I played that program in 1996, and I caputured all of its pieces by move 30. That's hard to do when you consider that 12 moves are jumps to take the pieces off the board! I saw no reason to mention an extremely weak program in the same paragraph as the one that has solved the game. There are much stronger programs that deserve mention.

With my regards,

GothicChessInventor 19:10, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Ed, did you ever try a checkers variation on one of those 10 x 8 chessboards that you must have all over the place? Does a non-square playing field change the game appreciably? WHPratt (talk) 19:55, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Where is the Discussion ?[edit]

I am pretty sure yesterday I added some text to a discussion here, now it appears entirely blank.

GothicChessInventor 17:13, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. It was deleted yesterday, and I guess noone picked up on it. I've restored the page now. --Dreaded Walrus t c 17:20, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Draughts = Sport??[edit]

I have removed the [[Category:Sports]] insertion as I don't believe there is a consensus that this article is to be classified under "Sports". (Whether it is a sport or not is another consideration.) If there is disagreement, please discuss here. --Craw-daddy | T | 09:58, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Crowning - do you actually need a spare piece to do it?[edit]

A man is crowned with another man to become a king. In the unusual situation where there is no available man (not enough having been removed from the board) does this prevent or delay crowning, or can you just distinguish the king in another way?

In casual English play you just use something else; would be worth clarifying for other rulesets though. (Cf. Shogi, where pieces taken from the board are available to be added back, this being an important part of the game.) Lessthanideal (talk) 16:40, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Arthurvasey (talk) 09:07, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

The way I have played it - I've never won a game in my life - if there are no pieces of yours on the board, you put an opposing piece UNDER yours.

What the guy above said. For you to get to the other side, the opponent will have had to lose pieces, it's best to put theirs under your "Kinged" piece. - An old version of Teabagging? ;) --Kurtle (talk) 17:12, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Unclear[edit]

I admit it's many years since I played the game, but doesn't the following need rewriting?

'Notice that captured pieces are removed from the board only after capturing is finished. Thus sometimes the captured but not yet removed piece obliges a king to stop after capturing at a given field where he in turn will be captured by the adversary.'

A 'captured but not yet removed piece obliges a king to stop...'? Rothorpe (talk) 23:36, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

I've tried to rewrite it to clarify the general point that since you don't pick up the captured piece until the whole turn is done, the flying king can come back to a position where he is blocked from any further move (e.g. he could capture another piece, except that a piece he already captured is behind it.) However, since I play English, someone who actually uses this rule (or has a reference, even better :) should probably take a look. Other points that need clarifying:
  • can a flying king capture the same piece again if he wants to move over it?
  • can the flying king stop anywhere along the diagonal, or is "either move one square or go as far as possible"? Lessthanideal (talk) 22:13, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
  • does this "don't pick up the pieces until the turn ends" rule apply in English draughts in some cases?
I'll answer some of those for international draughts. The "don't pick up the pieces until the turn ends" is the characteristic of the combination type called "Coup Turc". For question 1: you can't go twice over the same piece during one move. question 2: In international draughts the king can stop anywhere behind the piece (as long as the positions are free). Basvb (talk) 09:48, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

That given is southern English. In the north it has a short a. Peter jackson (talk) 12:03, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Expansions[edit]

As I am something of a polyglot, as well as a draughts player, I will add a few article stubs in re: regional variations of draughts, i.e. Czech draughts, Italian draughts, et al. Any objections? --Nmatavka (talk) 03:43, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Expansions[edit]

As I am something of a polyglot, as well as a draughts player, I will add a few article stubs in re: regional variations of draughts, i.e. Czech draughts, Italian draughts, et al. Any objections? --Nmatavka (talk) 03:46, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

How to Win[edit]

It is perplexing that the rules of the standard game say nothing about the victory condition or conditions. How do you win? One assumes that it's the player with the only remaining piece or pieces on the board, but that's not stated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Draco von Faust (talkcontribs) 13:52, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Last sentence of first paragraph in General rules section: "In all variants, the player who has no pieces remaining or cannot move owing to being blocked loses the game, unless otherwise stated." Ihardlythinkso (talk) 14:18, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. I had searched for the word "win" and had found nothing relevant, hence my question. That might suggest an improvement for a skilled editor. Draco von Faust (talk) 15:57, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and it's kind of odd too, isn't it, that the objective of a game like Draughts, which has brought joy to millions, is expressed in negative terms (i.e. losing conditions). IBM had a policy (years ago, dunno anymore) their computer manual texts had to express things in positive terms -- not negative. (Don't know why; I'm fathoming because to continually read negative stuff is ... tiring and slightly depressing. Maybe.) Anyway, those IBMers were smart; we can learn from that. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 17:49, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

What is a "long-range king"?[edit]

This article includes "long-range kings" and "no long-range kings" without explaining what a "long-range king" is. I cannot find any explanation of this anywhere on Wikipedia. This should be added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.116.113.66 (talk) 17:06, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Good point. "Long-range kings" was used as synonym for "flying kings". The latter is defined in the article and occurs in the draughts literature (perhaps "long-range" does too but am not so sure), so I simplified the text to use the one term instead of two. Yes check.svg Done Ihardlythinkso (talk) 00:41, 22 June 2014 (UTC)