Holding the Cards

Games & Cards

What Happens in Checkers When You Can’t Move? Do You Lose?

There’s definitely some confusion around this checkers rule, as I’ve seen several wrong answers about what happens when you can’t move.

The answer is simple: if you can’t move in checkers you lose the game! There’s no passing and it’s not a draw.

There are only two ways to win a game of checkers:

  • Capture all your opponent’s pieces
  • Render your opponent unable to move

If You or Your Opponent Can’t Move in Checkers

If at any point during a game of checkers you or your opponent can’t move, the blocked player loses and the game is over. The other player wins.

What If Both Players Can’t Move?

This seems to be where the confusion lies, but nothing changes. There’s no such thing as both players being unable to move, because they move one at a time. If one of the players can’t make a move, the game is over. Whether the other player would be able to move or not doesn’t matter because you’re not playing anymore. That player has already won.

Whoever moves last in checkers wins. Whether you capture your opponent’s last piece or block it, you are moving last. The first player who is unable to move loses. Nothing that could potentially have come into play after that is relevant.

Remember this simple rule for how to win in checkers: last move wins!

Here’s an example: Red has just made the move indicated by the arrow. Green is now unable to move. Red wins!

I hope this has cleared up any confusion you had around what happens in checkers when you can’t move.

Scroll to top