How to Play Draughts

Draughts uses the same design board as for chess with 64 alternate light and dark squares. Players move their pieces around the board on only one of the colours usually the dark colour.

A strategic game for 2 players, each player has a set of 12 flat cylindrical pieces, either the light or dark set. Players move their pieces to take (or capture and remove from the board) their opponents pieces or to get their own pieces is such a position that their opponent cannot move.

How to Play

Place the board in front of the players so that each player has a dark square on the board to their left. Set out the 12 identical pieces on the dark squares in the first 3 rows of the board. The player with the dark set of playing pieces makes the first move.

A move consists of either moving a piece into an adjacent dark square or jumping a piece diagonally from one dark square to another free square. As play goes on players and both sets of playing pieces mix, players can jump over their opponent’s piece into a free square and in that move they capture the piece and take it off the board. If there is a sequence of moves that can be made with one playing piece, that player can continue to jump and capture as they can.

Any playing piece that reaches their opponent’s side of the board without being captured, becomes a king by stacking 2 pieces together. This king can move diagonally forwards, or backwards, to capture more pieces.

Top Tips see below.  Click to view our Draughts set


The first recorded discovery of a game like draughts was in an archaeological dig in Iraq and the game was dated at around 3000 BC.

The Egyptians and Greeks also had similar games such as Alquerque.

It was the French about 1100 AD that first used the 64 square chessboard. That game was called Fierges. Rules continued to change and develop the game and the first world championship was in 1847.

From 1900 a two move restriction on opening play was introduced in the US and UK, but currently the ‘three rule restriction’ is preferred in tournament play. The first three moves are drawn at random from a set of accepted openings which provides more exciting matches.

Top Tips

* Bring in a time limit for each player to make their move. This makes players think quickly and keeps the game moving!