Often overlooked in favor of board games with more difficult reputations, checkers continues to be a beloved game that lets young kids and teens take their first stab at strategic thinking. While you probably remember playing checkers on a tabletop, kids nowadays don't have to wait for a sibling or parent to agree to play a round with them and can play checkers against a computer with the simple click of a button. Of course, you can also take a rule out of their playbook by testing your own skills against these quick-moving CPUs.
Places to Play Online Checkers
The digital gaming community isn't limited to high graphics MMORPGs; rather, there are a lot of dedicated board game players who use computer simulations to continually sharpen their skills. In fact, games like chess have a thriving online community filled with professional players and casual competitors alike who share in their love of these recreational vestiges of the past. However, if you're not quite comfortable playing against a real person or you just don't want to have to wait around for real people to make their moves, you can turn to online checker boards that're set up against a computer. CPUs make for quick and decisive opponents and can be programmed to play at varying difficulty levels, meaning you aren't sacrificing anything when you play against a computer program in lieu of a real person.
You can play checkers all day, every day, at 24/7 checkers. More customizable than most other online checkers programs, 24/7 checkers lets you pick the level of difficulty (easy, medium, hard), the color you want to start as, and whether you'd like to have force jump turned on. The gameboard itself launches in a large enough format that people with poorer vision or who have difficulty looking at screens can play with ease. Similarly, the game is played using a red and green color scheme, meaning that it could be more difficult for red-green color blind folks to see the pieces.
Card Game's Checkers
This simplistic online checkers game is perfect for someone who only wants to play a round or two of the game without having to mess with settings or a complicated opening walkthrough. Just open the link and you're ready to launch an attack against the lightning fast CPU. Another positive feature of Card Game's checkers is that the game shows you each of the possible moves you have available for any one of your tokens at a time. This visual mapping helps newcomers to the game practice the art of seeing the possible moves before they actually appear on the board, much like someone does when they're anticipating chess moves ahead of time.
The Damas App
If you prefer playing checkers on your phone and don't want to have to connect to a game through the internet, you can easily download the Damas app made specifically for Androids. This app is particularly interesting because it lets players not only flex their skills in American checkers but also at Turkish, International, and Spanish draughts as well. Stretch the limits of your global checkers knowledge by downloading the Damas app today.
Cool Math Games' Checkers
Cool Math Games is an infamous website which hosts a variety of kid-friendly loosely educational games, one of which is a simple version of checkers. You can choose to either play against the computer or another player, and fight for the upper hand as the white opponent. While the game does have clear, simple graphics, the CPU can be a bit slower than other online games on this list, meaning that you don't want to head to this game is you're looking for maximum speed.
Take the conventional checkers board and tilt it on its axis with this Isometric Checkers online game. Definitely the most customizable of all the online checkers on this list, Isometric checkers lets you not only change the color of the board and the screen itself but also whether you want the pieces to be able to move backwards, in sequence, or be forced to take any pieces that can be captured. Additionally, you can choose between an easy and hard game, and with a lightning fast CPU program, this version of digital checkers is one of the best out there for both young and mature players alike.
For a super simplistic, stripped-down version of checkers, turn to Springfrog's bright-colored board. Coming in eye-watering blue and purple hues, this small board feels incredibly reminiscent of the early days of the internet when AIM and MySpace were all the rage. Yet, a benefit to selecting a more minimalist approach to a checkers simulation is that you can get back to focusing on the strategy of the game itself.
Strategies to Win Against a CPU
Computer opponents are built to be precise and fast-moving, which can disarm even the best checkers players. However, there are a few different strategies you can employ when you're playing against a CPU to better your chances of beating them every time:
- Look for repeating patterns - Some CPUs won't have programs as sophisticated as others, meaning that the computer you're playing against might have a tendency to repeat moves or sequences between every subsequent game. Therefore, you want to watch out for these sequences so that you can be more prepared to take the computer down earlier.
- Watch the entire board - You might be tempted to focus on advancing pieces on one side of the board to counter the computer's own similar moves being made on the opposite side; however, the computer will often make unexpected moves on your side when you least expect it. Make sure that you're watching the entire board to see if any threatening moves are being made.
- Don't move too quickly - Since CPUs are programmed with different sequences to respond to various moves, they'll seem to make really quick decisions. Don't let this speed influence you to make hasty decisions with your own moves, which can lead you to unintentionally leaving spots open to attack.
- Change the difficulty - If you're really struggling to beat your computer opponent, and you have the ability to change the game's difficulty, you can absolutely do so. This helps you better match your own skill level to the computer, and might be the deciding factor in you finally winning against that dastardly program.
Practice Makes Perfect
As they say, practice makes perfect, and the same goes for succeeding at strategy games like checkers. While it can be really difficult to find people to play against in real life when you have the time to sit down for a game, you shouldn't be discouraged from getting in a round or two and can experiment with different online versions instead. Whether you want to play against real opponents or take your shot against a computer program, there're tons of options out there for you to test your limits with.