Why Are Checkers Red And Black? 


Why Are Checkers Red And Black? 

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The game checkers may seem old-fashioned, but it is a great game that helps with brain development. Checkers requires a certain amount of strategy and forethought. 

You have to think ahead not only about your next move but your opponent’s next move as well. Playing checkers can help to keep your brain sharp and improve cognitive skills. 

This game has been around for generations, so is there any rhyme or reason as to why the checkers are red and black? 

There is no specific reason as to why the checker pieces were created red and black. Some think that much like a playing deck of cards, red and black were just the color scheme of choice. 

The checker pieces and board are also used to play other games which could also have influenced the choice of the colors red and black. 

For example, one of the many games that can be played with a checkerboard is call hounding the fox. 

You play with one black piece and four red pieces. The fox starts first and can move in any direction. The foxes are only allowed to move one at each turn and only diagonally. 

The object of the game is for the fox to reach the other side of the board without being captured by the hunters. 

To see some popular checker sets just click here. 

Do You Use The Red Squares On A Checkerboard? 

When you set up for a game of checkers, the most important decision is what color you will be. Traditionally whoever chooses the darker color is the player that gets to move first. If you decide to play many games (best out of three) it only makes sense to switch colors between games. 

How do you decide which colors to set the pieces on? Does it matter which color square you use on the board? 

The checker pieces are set up on black squares so the red squares aren’t really used at all in a normal checker game. However if you use your checkerboard for chess then you would use both the red and black squares. 

Some people want to change what color squares the game is played on but unfortunately it won’t work properly. So you have to play checkers on the black squares and leave the red ones empty. 

Is It Better To Go First Or Second In Checkers?

In most games, it feels like the one who goes first always ends up winning. With checkers, it is a bit more complicated than that. Checkers is a strategy game and there are different theories about perfect play in checkers. 

There are strategies set up for the first player and they can force the second player into losing. However, there is also a strategy set up for the second player as well. 

This perfect play theory states that if both players set up their perfect strategy, the game can end in a draw. 

While it may seem like there is an advantage for those who move first in checkers, the odds are still the same for each player. Ultimately you have to make sure to protect your pieces whether you go first or not. 

May the best strategy win. 

Can You Do A Double Jump In Checkers? 

When playing checkers, it typically goes one jump at a time. But what if your opponent has left themselves open for a double jump? Are you allowed to jump and take two of their pieces? What if you can jump three? 

Just how many times can you jump? 

You certainly can do a double jump in checkers. In fact, the rules say it’s a must. If your opponent has left themself open to begin double jumped, triple jumped or quadruple jumped, go for it. 

However, you cannot go backward for a jump, unless you are already a king. Also, if your double or triple jump ends with you being king, that ends your turn. You do not get to turn around and keep jumping on a different diagonal line (although that would be amazing). 

What Is The Secret To Winning Checkers? 

When playing any board game, winning is always the strategy. But are there any tips and tricks to help rule the board when playing checkers? 

There actually are, here are a few tips to be sure to get you crowned king of checkers. 

Control the center of the board

Many think the best strategy is to move your pieces to the corner. However, this can present a problem later on with your pieces being trapped. When you control the center of the board, you have the advantage of keeping your opponents trapped in the corner and can roam the board freely advancing your pieces to get kinged. 

Leave home row until necessary

Do not move your home row pieces… ever! The home row is your very last line of defense and keeps your opponent from being kinged. Your opponent will not want to advance any closer since you have the advantage of taking their piece when they get close. 

Only play defensively with the home row

You may think that playing on the defense is your best offense. However, sometimes sacrificing a few pieces for the win is the better option. No defense will truly stand all the way to the end. 

At some point, you will need to use the pieces on the home row, but by that point, you should be just as close to being king yourself and being able to roam the board freely. 

Get to your opponent’s home row as quickly as you can

The faster your pieces can become king, the better chance you have at winning the game. The king piece is powerful, and typically those who have the most king pieces win the game. 

Being able to move in any direction is very helpful in capturing the rest of your opponent’s pieces for an easy win.  

Move your pieces strategically

When you start to advance and gain control of the middle, it is best to move with a plan. You will want to always “back your pieces.” For example, instead of moving your piece open with the chance of being jumped, move your “backup” piece first. 

This forces your opponent to stay since if they move, you will jump them. The next turn you’ll move your piece into that space and keep advancing because you have your intimidating backup pieces in place. 

Sacrifice pieces, but only if necessary

If your opponent seems to already know about the backup strategy, it may be necessary to sacrifice a piece. This way you will lower their defenses and force them to move their backup row. 

This will typically give you an easy path to follow to being crowned king as well. 

Get your opponent to sacrifice a piece of their home row early

Line up your pieces in such a way that once a home row piece jumps you, you have another piece close by waiting to be crowned king. This king piece can also then be used to protect all other pieces on their way to becoming king. 

Remember not to back your pieces into a corner 

As the end of the game nears, it can be very tempting to hide in a corner and come up with a great defense. However, the game ends when all pieces of one color are captured or until one player can no longer make a move. 

If you have built up a great defense and get trapped, game over. You could have more pieces and kings even, but if you trap yourself and cannot move, game over. 

It is best to remain on the offense and always leave yourself somewhere to go. 

Whatever the reason behind the color choice in checkers, it is still a fun game to play at all ages. Good luck on your next game and strategize well. 

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