Glossary to Online Checkers - What is a Jump
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The Jump Move in Checkers – Learning the Checkers Jump Move

In the game of checkers, a player can capture one or more of the opponent’s checkers pieces by jumping over it using the checkers jump move. The game starts with each player being given 12 checkers pieces, each of which are placed on the black squares of the three rows closest to their own side. The first row of each player is referred to as the "crownhead" or "kings row". The player with the black or darker colored checkers pieces makes the first move of the game.

When Can You Jump in Checkers?

There are only two ways moves in the game of checkers. Players can either slide a single checkers piece diagonally in a forward direction, landing in an adjacent and unoccupied dark square, or they can jump over one of their opponent's checkers pieces. Once a checkers piece has been crowned king, it is allowed to move backwards as well, although still only in a diagonal motion.

A player can only jump over another player’s checkers piece if there is a vacant square on the other side in which to land in. Just as in a single sliding move, an uncrowned piece is only allowed to jump diagonally forward, while a king is allowed to move diagonally backwards as well. Any checkers piece that has been jumped and is subsequently captured is then removed from the board. These pieces can be placed on top of a crowned piece in order to differentiate it from the other pieces on the board.

When must you Jump in Checkers?

Several checkers jump moves in a single turn are allowed if the opponent has another checkers piece that can be jumped. Whenever a jump is available, the player must make the jump and cannot opt for another non-jumping move. In the same way, if there are several jumps possible in a single turn, the player must make all of the jumps available. If there are several ways to make a jump, the player may choose which particular jump or combination of jumps to make, and not necessarily have to make the jump that will result in the most number of captures. The player however has to make all of the captures in that particular move.

Finally, if a player's checkers piece ends up in the king’s row as a result of a jump, the player’s turn ends right there and the king cannot be used to make other jumps out of that position, even if such jumps are available.

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