How Chinese Checkers Works

Chinese Checkers Variations

If you're bored with the traditional rules of Chinese checkers, you'll be glad to know that there are variations to this classic game. One spin is to play with teams. This version of Chinese checkers can be played with four people paired in teams of two, or six people joined in teams of either two or three. Each player must choose a starting base opposite that of an opposing team member. Like regular Chinese checkers, the goal is to move your pieces across the board and into the opposing base. The first team to relocate all of their pieces into their opponent's home base is the winner.

Another variation is known as "fast-paced" or "super" Chinese checkers. This version is similar in many ways to the traditional game: You set up the pieces in the same manner and attempt to move your pieces into the opposing base using a series of steps and hops. The difference is in how you're allowed to hop other pieces on the board. In conventional Chinese checkers, you're only allowed to jump adjacent pieces, but in super Chinese checkers, you can jump more distant pieces as long as you land at a symmetrical distance on the other side. For example, if there is one space between your piece and the one you'd like to jump, you can hop that piece and land in the second empty space after the jumped piece. Like the traditional game, you can string together as many hops as you like but you can't hop more than one piece at a time.

The final variation, known as "capture" Chinese checkers, bears little resemblance to the traditional game. To set up this version, fill the center hexagon with all 60 pieces; the center hole should be the only one left empty. Two to six players then take turns jumping any piece over any other on the board, regardless of color. Like regular checkers, players collect any pieces that they jump, and multiple jumps can be made in one turn. The game is over when no more jumps can be made, and the player with the most captured pieces wins.

Now that you know the rules, strategy and variations of Chinese checkers, break out that star-shaped board and get to hopping!

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