Though the rules for Chinese checkers are fairly simple, it takes a basic knowledge of strategy to become a good player. These advanced techniques center around one main movement: hopping.
Hopping is perhaps the most important move to master in Chinese checkers because it is the most efficient way to advance your pieces. Because multiple jumps can be combined in a single turn, you could conceivably move a piece from your home base to the opposing base in one move. Use pieces on the board to create a "ladder" over which you can jump other pieces and move them the greatest distance possible. This will require you to plan ahead and even anticipate your opponents' moves, but these tasks will get easier with practice. Remember, though, that such ladders are just as useful to other players as they move pieces toward their opposing bases.
There are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of a beneficial hop. One helpful strategy is to keep your pieces clustered along the centerline as you move them across the board. This will help you advance your pieces by giving you a higher concentration of pieces that can be jumped. It's also a good idea to avoid letting pieces get separated too far from the main cluster because you will eventually have to waste a significant number of turns relocating them with simple step moves. Another part of your hopping strategy should be to block your opponents from advancing their pieces. For example, it might be a good idea not to complete a hop if doing so will prevent another player from completing a successful hop. Experiment with these general strategies and you'll be filling your opposing base in no time.
Think you've mastered Chinese checkers? Click over to the next page to learn other ways to play.