International checkers


If you have been searching for a more challenging checkers variant, look no further. In international checkers you move as in traditional checkers, but can capture forwards or backwards. And with the kings flying around the 10 X10 board it is easy to see why this game has remained a favorite around the world.

Players 2


10X10 Checker board
20 white checkers and 20 dark checkers

How to play

Checkers are set up on just the dark squares of the player’s first four rows.

Checkers move forward on the diagonal one square.

Checkers can capture forward or backward on the diagonal by hoping over the opponents checker and landing on the empty behind it. If there is another checker that can be capture when it lands it continues to hop. Captures are mandatory and a player must make as many captures as possible.

When a checker reaches the back row it becomes a king. A king moves as many unblocked squares as the player wishes forward or backwards on the diagonal. When a king captures it hops over the checker and can land on any empty square on a diagonal line behind the captured checker.

A player wins when he or she captures all the opponents’ checkers or block them so they can not move.



Check out this interesting checkers variant from Senegal. The players take turns placing their checkers on the board or moving the checkers he or she has already placed . When a capture is made the player gets to pick an additional piece to remove from the board. This makes for a fast paced game with dramatic changes in fortune.

Players 2
Twelve light checkers and twelve dark
6 X 5 checkerboard
How to play

• The players take turns placing one of their twelve checkers on an empty square or moving one of their checkers that is already on the board

• Checkers can be moved one square orthogonally to an empty square

• A player may capture their opponents checker by jumping over it to the empty square behind the checker being captured. The captured checker is removed from the board. The player then removes an extra checker of his or her oponent’s that is on the board. Multiple captures are possible, and the player may remove an extra counter for each one made. Captures are not mandatory .

• The player who captures all their opponents counters wins the game. A player also wins if the opponent is trapped and can not move any of his or her checkers.

• If both players are reduced to three or less counters the game may be called a draw.

Here is a video of a Yoté game in action. Notice that the board is simply a 5X6 grid of holes made in the sand.

I am not certain how popular Yoté still is. If any readers have experience with this game ,please share it in the comments.

Cloth Game Board Tips


Durable cloth like canvas makes great game boards. They are easy to make, affordable, and store in less space than traditional boards. When making your own please consider the following tips.

After cutting your cloth to size use a sewing machine to stitch a border about a half inch from the edge of the cloth. After a wash in a washing machine the edge will fray up to the stitched border and no farther. This gives a nice rustic edge that lies flat.

Try adding grommets so that you can tie the board down on a windy day.

You can draw the game board with a permanent marker. However, try using paints, embroidery, or even appliqué to decorate it and make it unique.