Play Better Checkers

Most people who like the two player kind of board games will be familiar with the popular game of Checkers, Draughts, or British Draughts as it is also known. This article looks at the most popular variant of the game which is played on an 8x8 checkerboard and played with twelve pieces or checkers each.

Skill or Luck?

While the game is all about skill and out-playing your opponent, a certain element of luck also comes into play in many games where the opposing players are not expert at it. After all, to become very good at this game requires many hours of practice and experience as well as a great deal of concentration during the game.

While checkers is not nearly as concentration intensive as chess, it does require that a player learns how to anticipate their opponent's next few moves and take appropriate action to manipulate the game in their favour. This is done by move and counter move while attempting to attain as many doubles or "kings" as possible with the pieces available.

So how can you play the game better?

The Learning Process

Well, the true strategist will tell you that you need to have played hundreds if not thousands of games and committed to memory a wide variety of common move sequences that lead to a given outcome. This can be time consuming and while a good mental exercise in memory, concentration and logic, unless you are training for sponsored championships it is a big commitment of your time.

There are really no shortcuts to learning the more common move sequences, but you can keep these to a workable minimum by reducing the planned ahead moves that you need to be ready for. This reduces your chances of winning by a small percentage, but it's something most players can live with in order to be able to become highly proficient at the game without it taking up a big chunk of their lives.

Playing to Win

Once you have committed to memory the more common move sequences that lead to a favourable situation in any game, its time to put this into practice and mix knowledge and skill with a smidgen of risk taking and bravado. Many games are won by aggressive players who disturb the carefully memorized play sequences of their opponents by introducing an element of surprise.

A true strategy player can be surprised by unconventional play which upsets their logically thought out move sequences and leads them to make mistakes where subsequent moves cannot so easily be anticipated. Learning to play in this way takes some practice and certain tactics will cease to work with the same opponent after a few games, once they figure out your modus operandi and devise counter measures.

But it should also be remembered that checkers is a game that really ought to be played for entertainment as well as the risk it all for glory mentality. Enjoy your game and if you lose some, shrug your shoulders and let it be!