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Checkers King Rules: Movement & Jumps

Checkers King Rules Movement Jump moves
Checkers King Rules

We all want to get kings and they’re a big part of winning in checkers. On a freshly set up checker board, there are no kings. They have to be earned by getting one of your pieces to your opponent’s back row.

This article covers all the checkers king rules for everything you need to know about checkers’ royal pieces.

Checkers King Rules

The good news is a king’s movement isn’t complicated. In fact, if you know how the regular pieces move and jump, you already know half of how the kings move and jump.

While a normal piece can only move and jump forward, a king can move and jump forward and backward. They can move 1 square diagonally forward or backward and they can jump multiple times if the opportunity is there. The following picture shows what the kings can do. (Red is going up, Green is going down the board)

The red king on the top right can double jump the two green kings by following the arrows. Both of these jumps are backwards. The red king on the bottom left can double jump the regular green piece and king by following the arrows. The first jump is forward and the second is backward.

Checkers King Rules
Checkers King Rules

The green arrows show how the kings can move—1 square diagonally forward or backward. The regular green piece can only move forward.

Notice the red king at the bottom can’t make a regular move diagonally forward (to the left) because it has a jump available. Jumping is mandatory in checkers, for regular pieces and kings.

Checkers King Rules Summary

  • When a normal piece reaches the opponent’s back row it becomes a king.
  • Kings can move 1 square diagonally forward or backward.
  • Kings can jump diagonally forward or backward.
  • Kings can’t jump their own pieces or kings, only enemy kings or pieces.
  • Kings must jump if they can (jumping is mandatory in checkers). If multiple jumps are available they must be taken.
  • If you can jump with two different pieces (king or regular) or in two different directions, you can choose which one you want to take.
  • It’s possible for a king to land on the same square twice during a multiple jump.
  • A king can’t jump the same piece twice during a multiple jump.
  • When a normal piece becomes a king the turn ends. Even if you jump into the back row, the turn ends there. You can’t jump in, become a king, and then jump out again over another enemy piece all in one turn.

See Checkers Rules for a more complete look at what you can and can’t do in checkers.

I hope this has answered all your questions about checkers king rules. Why not improve your checkers strategy and put those kings to good use.

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