Start Position
Draughts is played on a 8x8 board with 32 playable squares with one playable square at the bottom left of the board - this is illustrated on the diagram to the left. Each player starts out with 12 pieces placed on opposite sides of the board. The player with the black pieces starts the game by moving a piece one square diagonally forward. Notice that this is different from e.g. chess where the white player always starts. The two players thereafter take turns to move until the game is over.

When one player having the turn has no possible moves, the game is lost, this can happen if the opponent has captured all the other player's pieces OR if the remaining pieces has no legal squares to move to. This is illustrated in the diagram to the right where the black player (moving downwards) has his only legal move square occupied by a white piece.

No black moves = white win

Legal Moves
When a piece reaches the opponents back row the piece becomes crowned (typically by placing an extra piece on top of the piece, but in the illustration to the left it is shown with a crown drawing) and it can now move backwards. The ability to move backwards is the only difference between a crowned piece and a regular piece. A crowned piece is not able to move longer than a regular piece and a crowned piece can also be jumped by a regular piece.

If an opponent piece is placed adjacent to one of your pieces, as shown on the image to the right, you MUST capture the piece by jumping over it. The forced capture rule is the most important rule in draughts and most of the beauty and complexity of the game is the result of this rule. If given the choice between jumps you can choose freely; you don't have to select the jump that captures the most pieces.

Piece capture
If you jump into the opponents back row the piece becomes crowned but it is not crowned until the next turn. This means that you cannot jump backwards in the same turn. The diagram on the right illustrates this; the black player can only jump the first piece. This rule is the cause of some beautiful traps called in-and-out shots (see traps) can you spot the simple shot it in the diagram to the right where it is black to move and white to win ?
Jump into back row