Internet Checkers: how to play

Checkers is one of the oldest and most popular board games. Now you can play against other people over the Internet.

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To start a game

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type games, and then, in the list of results, click Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click Internet Checkers.

    (Don't see it? Check Where are my games?)

  3. Click Play.

    If your computer is connected to the Internet, the game will start. If not, you'll be prompted to connect. Internet Checkers works only if you're online.

To customize the game's appearance

You can select different game pieces and backgrounds.

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type games, and then, in the list of results, click Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click Internet Checkers.

    (Don't see it? Check Where are my games?)

  3. Click the Game menu, and then click Change Appearance.

  4. Make your choices, and then click OK.

To chat with your opponent as you play

Internet Checkers has two dozen text messages for letting an opponent know what's on your mind.

  1. First make sure chat is turned on by clicking the on button under Chat in the lower-right corner.

  2. In the lower-left corner, click Select a message to send, and then click one of the pre-written phrases.

Picture of Internet Checkers
Internet Checkers

Internet Checkers: rules and basics

The object

Capture all your opponent's checkers, or block all your opponent's legal moves.

The board

Checkers is played on a board of 64 squares. One side plays red, the other white. Pieces move only on the dark squares.

How to play

Moving checkers

Red always moves first, and turns alternate for the rest of the game.

When it's your turn, click a checker, and then click the square where you want to place it.

You must move forward into an unoccupied space, either by moving diagonally one space or by jumping an opponent's piece. (Windows doesn't allow illegal moves.)

Capturing checkers

You capture a checker by jumping it.

Jumps are possible when an enemy piece is in an adjacent square, and an empty space is directly opposite. If a jump is available, you must take it. Windows won't allow other moves.

If your opponent's checkers are spaced properly, you can jump multiple pieces during a single move. But you must execute one jump at a time with your mouse.

"King me"

When a checker reaches the opposite side of the board, it gets crowned and becomes a king. A king can move diagonally forward or backward.

Ending a game

A game can end in two ways.

You can offer a draw by clicking the Draw button or pressing Alt+D. A draw is a tie game. If your opponent accepts the offer, a "Draw" message appears and the game ends. If your opponent refuses, the game continues.

You can also resign. If you resign, your opponent wins. To resign, click the Resign button or press Alt+R.

When a game ends, you can play the same person again, or you can play someone else by clicking the Game menu, and then clicking Find New Opponent.

Hints and tips

Give 'em a nudge. Is your opponent intentionally stalling, or slowing down the game hoping to make you quit? Watch for the Nudge button to appear. By clicking it, you'll force the other player to make a move, or be disconnected from the game.

Attack first. Be the first to capture a piece, and then force a series of equal captures. You'll usually win in this scenario.

Go for two. Try capturing two checkers during a turn so that your opponent will struggle to rescue both. This will weaken your opponent's defenses.

Lose one to get two. Strategically sacrifice checkers to force uneven capture trades. For example, let your opponent capture one of your pieces if you can take two enemy checkers on your next turn.

Be defensive. Position checkers so you can respond to captures with a counter strike. Also, don't spread your pieces too far apart, since it opens you to multiple losses in a single turn.

Think ahead. Increase the number of moves you can make during a turn while limiting your opponent's options. If possible, place checkers to strategically block your opponent's movements.

Back away. Don't vacate your back row too soon. That way, your opponent can't mint kings.