Checkers is a game of strategy that has been in existence for well over 5,000 years. Today, if you want to play checkers on the fly and cannot find a worthy opponent, you can turn to a computer.
Playing Against a Computer Online
Some computers come pre-loaded with a game of checkers. Check out the games folder on your computer for a quick and simple game, or try one of these alternatives for online play.
Case's Ladder online game of checkers allows you to choose from 10 different levels of play. You may choose to move first or let the computer do the honors. This is a really helpful version of the game for beginners, as available moves are highlighted as you mouse over the game pieces. Its uncomplicated design and ease of use makes it appealing to all ages and skill levels.
Stroud Chess Games
While Stroud's Chess Games focuses on the game of chess, it also offers two online versions of draughts (the British name for checkers). Play the simple free draughts game or a more challenging round of 3-in-1 Checkers which offers variations on the game, such as the "extreme" mode where you try to make turns as fast as possible.
Springfrog offers a simple game of online checkers in bright spring colors. Pieces are highlighted when they move so that you do not miss an important play by the computer. Only one level of play is offered.
Draughts.org's game of checkers is similar to most others online, but it has been designed to look like a realistic checkers game. If you don't enjoy extra graphics or animation and want to keep things simple, this is a good, straightforward game.
Checkers for Kids
Get your kids interested in checkers with some of these fun online versions of the classic game.
Kids will enjoy Learn4Good's game of Koala Checkers. It is played like a standard game of checkers, but all pieces are adorned with the head of a koala. The website also offers a game of Classic Checkers with a more realistic feel.
Many websites offer checkers games that feature popular characters or historical figures to interest children in the game.
- Play checkers with Ben Franklin at ushistory.org.
- You're a giraffe and the computer is a cat in Kidsplaypark.com's checkers game.
Rules and Game Play
For the most part, computer programs use the standard rules of play. They allow king moves (moving one of your pieces to the computers' starting line) and multiple jumps (assuming forward progress and legal jumps). Variations and alternative play methods can also be found online, but are not standard. Many programs do offer different levels of opponents however, giving you the chance to hone your skills. If you have trouble winning at the most challenging level, try a level where the computer has been designed to be a weaker player.
Choosing a Game
While computers are often better at games like checkers than the average human, most of the games you will encounter have been designed to play at the level of an average checkers player. Different online versions will offer a variety of levels of difficulty. Try a few games to see which one presents a good challenge and a comfortable mode of play.