You can play several games with checkers and a checkerboard other that the standard game of checkers. Most of these games are shorter and simpler than the standard game. These games are good for playing with children or when you don't have time or patience for a long game.
Fox and Hounds
One player has one checker -- the fox, and the other player has four checkers -- the hounds. The hounds move like uncrowned checkers -- forward only. The fox moves like a crowned checker -- forward and backward. There is no jumping or capturing. The goal for the fox is to break through the line of hounds and reach the opponent's side of the board. The goal of the hounds is to prevent this from happening. This is a fast paced game that can easily be played in less than a minute. Contestants often change sides after every game or every few games.
Five in a Row
This is a variation of a Japanese game that was played in Hollywood in the 1920s. Play starts with an empty board. Players take turns putting one checker at a time anywhere on the board. If one player gets five checkers in a row -- horizontally, vertically or diagonally -- before all the checkers have been placed, that player wins. If all the checkers are on the board with no winner, the players take turns moving until there is a winner. Checkers can move one square in any direction -- horizontally, vertically or diagonally.
Several variations of Chinese checkers can be played on an ordinary checker board. One of the most common is played diagonally across the board. Position the board so that a corner with a dark square is facing each player. Using five checkers, place one in each dark square nearest the player -- this will make an X pattern. The checkers can move like kings and can make jumps as in standard checkers, only the jumped piece is not removed from the board. The first player to get his pieces into the starting formation of his opponent is the winner.
Inverse checkers is played exactly the same as standard checkers, except that the point of the game is to loose pieces. The first player to loose all his pieces is the winner. This one change in the rules makes for a very different game. It is a lot faster, and the very situations you try to avoid in standard checkers -- like double jumps -- become strategic moves in inverse checkers.
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