How to Win at Checkers Every Time
by Staff Writer
Published June 21, 2010 | Updated June 12, 2015
There is no completely fool-proof strategy to winning checkers. However, knowing some basic strategy and playing patiently can quickly increase your win ratio. Above all, practicing checkers as much as possible will help fine-tune your strategy and thought process. If you really want to learn how to win at checkers, get out your checkers set often to practice new strategies. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind the next time you play checkers.
Winning at Checkers:
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- Keep Your Back Row Intact
As long as possible, don't move your back row. As long as you have a back row, you have a final line of defense to prevent your opponent from crowning a piece. If your opponent is able to crown one of his or her pieces, it is going to be very difficult to counter. Checkers is as much a game of outlasting opponents as it is outplaying them.
- Build a Pyramid
At the beginning of a checkers game, form a pyramid shape with your pieces. The pyramid is constructed with the three furthest right pieces on the back row, the two pieces in front of them in the middle row, and the one piece in front of them on the front row. Keep this structure for as long as possible, using your outside pieces to make major moves. Although the furthest left piece on the back row isn't technically part of the pyramid, keep it in place as long as possible to maintain your back row. It will take some practice to know how long to stick to the pyramid in an actual checkers game and when you need to break it up.
- Trade One for Two
As long as it won't open you to a damaging attack, look for opportunities to trade one checkers piece for two. Even if you lose one checkers piece for every two of their pieces, you will still come out on top. Try to make these trades with your outside pieces while keeping your pyramid and especially your back row intact.
- Don't Charge
Although the temptation to crown a checkers piece as quickly as possible is pretty alluring, it won't do you any good if you decimate the rest of your pieces on the way. If you've destroyed the rest of your checkers pieces to crown one or two, chances are your opponent has also crowned a few. In this case, you aren't any better off than when you started. In fact, you might be worse off. Instead of racing to the other side, take your time on defense. Maintain your back row and pyramid and look for opportunities to make two-for-one trades.