What Is Checkers Called in England? A Deeper Insight

In England, the game commonly known as checkers in the United States is referred to as draughts. Draughts is a popular board game that has a long history and is enjoyed by people of all ages. Let’s delve into the details of this classic game and explore its origins, rules, and variations.

Origins of Draughts

The origins of draughts can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where a similar game was played as early as 3000 BCE. Archaeological evidence suggests that this game was played on boards made of stone or wood and used pieces made from pebbles or other small objects.

The game then spread to other countries, including Greece and Rome, where it underwent various changes and adaptations. In ancient Greece, for example, the game was known as “petteia” and was played on a larger board with different rules. The Romans, on the other hand, had their own version called “latrunculi,” which was played on a square board with pieces resembling soldiers.

It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the game gained popularity in England, which eventually led to the creation of the modern-day version known as draughts. During this time, the game became more standardized, with a 64-square board and specific rules regarding movement and capturing.

Rules of Draughts

Draughts is played on a square board divided into 64 equal squares of alternating dark and light colors. Each player starts with 12 pieces, typically round discs, of their respective color, usually black and white. The goal of the game is to capture all of the opponent’s pieces or block them from any available moves.

The pieces can only move diagonally on the dark squares. Regular moves involve advancing one piece forward diagonally to an adjacent unoccupied square. However, capturing moves allow a player to jump over an opponent’s piece and remove it from the board. Multiple captures can be made in a single turn if the opportunity arises.

When a piece reaches the last row on the opponent’s side, it is crowned and becomes a king. Kings have the ability to move both forward and backward on the board, adding an extra strategic element to the game.

The game continues until one player captures all their opponent’s pieces or when a stalemate occurs, where neither player can make a legal move.

Variations of Draughts

While the basic rules of draughts remain consistent, there are several regional and international variations that have emerged over time. These variations add unique twists and challenges to the game, keeping it fresh and exciting. Let’s explore some notable variations:

  1. English Draughts: This is the most common version played in England and other English-speaking countries. It follows the standard rules mentioned earlier, with slight variations in the scoring system. In English draughts, players earn points for capturing their opponent’s pieces, and the player with the most points at the end wins the game.
  2. International Draughts: Also known as Polish draughts, this variation is popular in Europe and is played on a larger 10×10 board. It introduces additional rules and moves, making it more complex than the standard version. One notable difference is that in international draughts, capturing is mandatory whenever possible.
  3. Brazilian Draughts: Widely played in Brazil, this variation is known for its unique rules for capturing pieces. When multiple capturing options are available, the player must choose the move that captures the maximum number of pieces. This adds an extra layer of strategy and decision-making to the game.
  4. Russian Draughts: This variation is played on an 8×8 board and is known for its unique rule regarding kings. Kings cannot capture backwards but have the ability to move any number of squares diagonally. This variation requires players to carefully consider their king’s movements and positioning.

Each variation brings its own set of challenges and strategies, offering players an opportunity to explore different tactics and approaches to the game.

Benefits of Playing Draughts

Playing draughts offers numerous benefits, making it a popular choice for recreational and competitive play. Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages:

  • Mental stimulation: Draughts requires strategic thinking, planning, and problem-solving skills. It helps improve concentration, memory, and analytical thinking. By analyzing the board and predicting your opponent’s moves, you sharpen your mind and enhance your cognitive abilities.
  • Social interaction: Draughts is often played in friendly competitions or casual settings, providing an opportunity for social interaction and bonding. Whether you’re playing with friends, family, or joining a local draughts club, the game fosters social connections and creates a sense of community.
  • Entertainment: Whether playing with friends, family, or against a computer, draughts offers hours of entertainment and enjoyment. The thrill of strategic maneuvering and the satisfaction of capturing your opponent’s pieces create an engaging and immersive experience.
  • Accessible for all ages: Draughts is a game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is easy to learn, with simple rules and straightforward gameplay, making it accessible to young children and older adults alike. However, it also offers enough complexity to keep experienced players engaged and challenged.
  • Improves decision-making: Playing draughts helps develop critical thinking skills, as players must evaluate multiple moves and their potential outcomes. By weighing the risks and rewards of each move, you enhance your decision-making abilities and learn to think strategically in different situations.

In conclusion, the game known as checkers in the United States is called draughts in England. This classic board game has a rich history that dates back to ancient times and continues to be enjoyed by people worldwide. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, draughts offers endless hours of strategic fun and mental stimulation. So gather your friends or challenge yourself against a computer opponent, and immerse yourself in the timeless game of draughts.


Q: What is checkers called in England?
A: In England, checkers is referred to as draughts.

Q: What are the origins of draughts?
A: Draughts can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where a similar game was played as early as 3000 BCE.

Q: What are the rules of draughts?
A: Draughts is played on a square board divided into 64 equal squares. Each player starts with 12 pieces and the goal is to capture all of the opponent’s pieces or block them from any available moves.

Q: What are some variations of draughts?
A: Some notable variations of draughts include English Draughts, International Draughts, Brazilian Draughts, and Russian Draughts. Each variation has its own unique rules and challenges.

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