American Checkers vs. International Draughts

American Checkers and International Draughts are the two most popular variants of this strategy board game for two players. But what are the differences and similarities between them? Do you know the size of the board, the number of pieces and which color starts?
  • Draughts 10x10
  • Checkers 8x8

Differences and similarities between American Checkers and international draughts:

1. Board size

In American Checkers, known also as English draughts the board consists of 64 squares (8x8 checkerboard). On the other hand international draughts is played on 10x10 gameboard, which means 100 squares.

2. Number of pieces

Board size affects the number of pawns. In American checkers each player has 12 pieces (24 in total). In international draughts each player has 20 pieces at the start of a game (40 in total).

3. Which color starts the game?

In both variants one player has the light pieces (usually white) and the other plays with the dark pieces (for example black, brown or red). But there is a big difference in who starts a game. In American checkers dark pieces start, while in international draughts a first move belongs to a player with light pieces, like in chess.

4. How to move pieces?

In both games ordinary pieces (called sometimes as "men") move diagonally foreward, only on the dark fields. But when it comes to capturing opponents' pieces, there are some differences...

5. How to capture opponent's pieces?

In both games capturing is obligatory, but in American checkers you can decide which of capturing possibilites to choose. In international draughts you always have to jump over the most possible number of pieces. It is so-called majority rule.

Moreover in international draughts pieces can be captured foreward and backwards, while in American checkers pieces cannot hit backwards. The only exception is a king.

6. King

When an uncrowned piece reaches a king row it turns into a king. In American checkers a king moves only one square, but unlike regular piece a king can move and capture also backwards.

In international draughts a king is a very powerful figure. Why? Because crowned man becomes a so-called flying king. It means that a king can move any distance along diagonals. The same applies to jumping, when a king doesn't have to stop right after a captured piece.

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