How to play Brazilian Draughts - rules & tips

If you're looking for a fun and challenging game to add to your repertoire, look no further than Brazilian draughts! Also known as "Brazilian checkers". In this article, we'll walk you through the rules of Brazilian draughts and offer some tips to help you improve your gameplay. Whether you're a seasoned board game pro or a beginner looking for a new challenge, you'll find plenty of useful information to help you get started with this exciting game.

How to play Brazilian Draughts - rules & tips

Brazilian draughts (checkers) is a board game for 2 players. Brazilian Checkers follows the same rules and conventions as International Draughts. The only differences are a smaller board (8×8 squares instead of 10×10), and fewer checkers per player (12 instead of 20).

  • Checkers 8x8

1. Board & pieces

Brazilian draughts is played on a 64-squares checkerboard (8x8). To correctly set up the pieces on a board, you must have a dark square in your bottom left corner. Remember! The game is played only on the dark squares.


Each of the 2 players starts with 12 regular pieces, sometimes called men, set in 3 rows. This means that the 2 ranks between players’ pieces are empty at the beginning of a game.


Squares are identified by numbers and letters. Eight horizontal rows are marked with numbers from 1 to 8, and eight vertical columns – lowercase Latin letters from “a” through “h” (a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h).

The letter "a" is always in the bottom left corner of the player who plays white. The same with numbers - they also start in ascending order from the left corner of the player with white pieces. 

It implies that the player who plays white must have the "a1" square in the bottom left corner, while the player with black pieces has the "h8" square in the left corner.


Notation allows you to record the entire game and some positions.  See above an example of how to write down the location of pieces at the beginning of the game:  white – a3, b2, c1, d2, g3, black – a7, b6, b8, d6, f8 etc.

2. How to move pieces?

Men can only move forward to an adjacent dark and empty square diagonally. In Brazilian draughts, the white piece starts a game, and after that, players make moves alternately.


3. Capturing

If you have a piece opposite to your adversary and there is an empty square behind that piece, you must jump over your opponent’s piece and remove it from the board. This is how capturing works.


A few more rules and tips about capturing:

  • in Brazilian checkers, capturing is mandatory
  • if you have several capture options, you need to apply the majority rule

  • you can capture more than one opponent’s piece in one move
  • regular (uncrowned) pieces can capture backward and forward


4. King

Once your regular piece reaches the last (farthest) rank on the board, it becomes a king. And the king is more powerful than an uncrowned piece.

A king in Brazilian checkers:

  • can move and capture diagonally forward and backward with the long range

  • can capture more than one opponent’s piece in one move


5. Winning the game

You can win an American checkers game in 2 different ways:

  • by capturing all opponent’s pieces or
  • by freezing all opponent’s pieces.

Simply stated, you win when your opponent cannot make a move.

The concept of checkers is simple, but you can use strategies to increase your chances of winning. We will teach you the rules and basic gameplay of checkers! Watch our videos to learn more.

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