Chinese Checkers Rules!

Name: Chinese Checkers

Number of Players: According to most Chinese checkers rules, 2-6 players

Recommended Ages: 8 and up

Average Playing Time: Playing time varies dependent on speed of play and number of players


An engaging and more strategic version of the standard checkers game, the rules for Chinese checkers are a bit different but are easily learned. Played on a standard Chinese checkers board that resembles a six-pointed star, this game relies mostly on strategy and quickness of forethought. The funny thing about this game is that it was not made in China. It was originally created in Germany in 1893 as a variant of an older American game called Halma.

How to Play

For those new to the game and wondering how to play Chinese checkers, it all begins by having each player select a corner of the board and a marker color to use. Have each person take their ten pegs (or marbles) and fill each of the holes in the home triangle that they have selected to use. If you have decided to play with three players, you will want to use triangles that are equal distances from each other. In the event you are playing with two players, Chinese checkers rules require that you use the points that are exactly opposite of each other on the game board.

The main goal of Chinese checkers is to move all ten of your colored pegs from your home triangle across the board, filling up the triangle that is directly across from you. Allow the youngest person in the group to start first by moving a single peg from their home triangle onto the board, then the rest of the players follow suit.

Pegs can be moved in one of two ways. They can either be moved into an empty hole that is directly adjacent to the hole that it is currently occupying or, once yours and your opponents’ pegs are out on the board you have the option to jump over them. If you jump over another players peg, an open, unoccupied space must be on the other side for you to fill. You can jump over just one piece, or, if luck and the board permits, jump over multiple pieces if they are lined up accordingly.

As you are moving your pegs across the game board, Chinese checkers rules permit you to move your pegs into any available spaces, including those in other people’s home triangles that are not your final destination. You will want to keep in mind however that once one of your pegs reaches its destination triangle, it cannot be removed from the area, only moved within its constraints.

Winning the Game

The game is finished and won when one person has relocated all ten of their pegs to fill all of the holes in their destination triangle. While some players may attempt to leave pegs inside their home triangle to prevent an opponent from winning, Chinese Checkers rules create a loop hole around this by stating that in the event that you run out of open spaces in your destination triangle, you can then switch your peg with your opponents in order to win the game.


The rules of Chinese checkers are easy to learn, however, winning requires that you try to use the best strategy that you can to try to make the best use of every turn. Expert players often open the game by moving the end pegs forward and towards the center.

Once you start emptying the triangle, you should keep your pegs in a group as you cross to your destination. Also, do not be afraid to block the progress of your opponents' move across the board, if you have the opportunity.

Final Thoughts

Chinese Checkers rules are easy to learn and follow once you play a few practice games. This game has been a favorite of both adults and children and serves as an excellent party game or thought building exercise for school-aged children.

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