Checkers Learning Hub.

How to play Russian Draughts?

Welcome to the world of Russian checkers, or shashki as they say in Russia! This game is popular in many parts of the world, including the USA, but it's a particular favorite in Russia, the ex-USSR countries, and Israel.

If you've played Pool or Brazilian checkers, you'll find that the rules are pretty similar, but with a few key differences. For one, the men become kings when they pass onto the last line and they can continue capturing immediately as kings. Another big difference is that white side starts the game.

So, let's dive into the rules of this fun and exciting game!

The Setup

The game is played on an 8x8 board, which means there are 64 squares in total. Each player's double corner is on their right-hand side of the board, and the white men start things off.

Moving the Men

The men can move on each square forward left or forward right, as long as the square is empty. When a man reaches the last line, it becomes a king, and if it arrived by capturing an opponent's piece, it can continue capturing as a king.

Moving the Kings

Kings, on the other hand, can move on all the squares that are on the two diagonals that cross where they are, but only if there's no piece between them and the square they want to move to.


If you have the option to capture multiple pieces, you can choose whichever one you want, but you can only stop on a square where there are no more pieces to capture.

Men's Captures

The men can capture pieces by jumping over an opponent's piece, whether it's a man or a king, if there's an empty square behind it. If the man can jump again from the square it landed on, it must continue the capture.

King's Captures

The king can capture a piece if it's on the same diagonal, as long as there are only empty squares between them and the square they want to move to. The king can stop on any square on the same line, and if there's another capture possible from that square, it must continue the capture.

Winning and Losing

The loser is the one who can't make any more moves, whether they have no pieces left or all their pieces are blocked. The winner is their opponent, of course.

If the game gets stale and neither player can win, they can agree to a draw. Alternatively, if the same position is encountered three times or if there are three kings against one, the player with three kings must win within 16 moves, or the game is a draw.

So, that's Russian Draughts for you! Get ready to play and remember to have fun, use strategy, and be ready to improvise when things don't go as planned!