How to play International Draughts - rules & tips

Are you curious about international draughts and want to learn how to play? Look no further than our comprehensive guide on the rules and tips for playing this exciting game! If you're a beginner, our article has everything you need to know to get started with international draughts. From the basic rules to advanced strategies, we've got you covered. So why wait? Check out our article today and become a master of international draughts!

How to play International Draughts - rules & tips

International Draughts, also known as Polish Draughts or International Checkers, is a strategy board game for two players played on a 10x10 board. This prestigious variant of draughts is very popular in Europe, and the best players play in the professional draughts’ league in the Netherlands.

  • Draughts 10x10

1. Board & pieces

International draughts is played on a big 10x10 board consisting of 50 light and 50 dark squares (100 in total). The correct starting position follows the rules below:

  • a dark square on a draughts board should be in the bottom left corner


  • each player places 20 pieces (5 pieces in 4 rows) only on the dark squares
  • the two middle rows (ranks) remain empty.


2. How to move pieces?

Light-colored pieces start the game and each player can make one move in their turn. 


Tip: The best players usually start the game with the central pieces.

Please remember that:

  • all moves and captures in international draughts are made diagonally, only on dark squares.
  • a regular piece (sometimes called a man) can move only forward to the adjacent, open square.

3. Capturing

Besides moving on the board, you can also jump over your opponent’s pieces and remove them from the board. This is the capturing.

Follow these rules for capturing in international draughts:

  • capturing is mandatory, so if you have an opportunity to jump over the opponent’s piece, you have to do it

Capture1   Capture2

  • you can capture more than one opponent’s piece in a single move
  • the majority rule: if you have a few capturing options, you are obliged to choose the sequence that grabs the maximum number of opponent’s pieces


  • regular pieces (the uncrowned ones) can capture forward and backward


Good to know: sometimes you can sacrifice your own pieces to capture more opponent’s pieces. And it is called the shot. Some of the shots in international draughts have unique and funny names, e.g., the novice shot or coup Napoleon.

Watch our video lesson to discover all the beauty of capturing in international checkers.

4. King

When your regular piece reaches and stops on the last rank of the board (kings row), it becomes a king. And the king is much more powerful than an uncrowned piece.

King1   King2

A crowned piece in international draughts is so-called the flying king. This means:

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


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


  • it can stop on any open square after jumping over the opponent’s piece.


Did you know that in Spanish, a checkers king is called dama, a word that refers to a lady? It sounds like a game of thrones, doesn't it?

5. Winning the game

You can win an international draughts game in two different ways:

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

In simple words, you win when your enemy cannot make a move.

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