Chinese Checkers

The Rules of Chinese Checkers

The Chinese Checkers board is in the shape of a six pointed star. Each point of the star is a triangle consisting of ten holes (four holes to each side). The interior of the board is a hexagon with each side five holes long. Each triangle is a different colour and there are six sets of ten pegs with corresponding colours.
Chinese Checkers can be played by two, three, four or six players. Obviously, for the six player game, all pegs and triangles are used. If there are four players, play starts in two pairs of opposing triangles and a two player game should also be played from opposing triangles. In a three player game the pegs will start in three triangles equidistant from each other. Each player chooses a colour and the 10 pegs of that colour are placed in the appropriately coloured triangle.

The aim of the game is to be the first to player to move all ten pegs across the board and into the triangle opposite. 

A toss of a coin decides who starts. Players take turns to move a single peg of their own colour. In one turn a peg may either be simply moved into an adjacent hole OR it may make one or more hops over other pegs. Where a hopping move is made, each hop must be over an adjacent peg and into a the vacant hole directly beyond it. Each hop may be over any coloured peg including the player's own and can proceed in any one of the six directions. After each hop, the player may either finish or, if possible and desired, continue by hopping over another peg. Occasionally, a player will be able to move a peg all the way from the starting triangle across the board and into the opposite triangle in one turn! 

Pegs are never removed from the board. It is permitted to move a peg into any hole on the board including holes in triangles belonging to other players. However, once a peg has reached the opposite triangle, it may not be moved out of the triangle - only within the triangle.

The first player to occupy all 10 destination holes is the winner.

Debate has always arisen over the situation where a player is prevented from winning because an opposing player's peg occupies one of the holes in the destination triangle. Many game rules omit to mention this implying that it is perfectly legal to block opponents in this dubious fashion.

Masters Games suggests the following additional rule which should be wide enough to capture all such situations: If a player is prevented from moving a peg into a hole in the destination triangle because of the presence of an opposing peg in that hole, then instead of playing in the usual way, the player is entitled to swap the opposing peg with that of his own peg.

Alternatively, you can just say that should one or more of the holes in the target triangle contain a peg belonging to another player, this does not prevent a player from winning. The game is simply won when all the available points within the triangle are occupied.

Copyright © 1999 Masters Games. All rights reserved.

The rules are provided by Masters Traditional Games, an Internet shop selling  games. Quote: "You are welcome to print, copy or pass these rules on but only in their original form including the copyright and the information about Masters Traditional Games." 


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© 2004 - 2006 Vegard Krog Petersen