The diagram shows the board and the pieces in initial position. There are two players, black and white. White begins. Players move - and must move - in turn.
If a player has no legal move he loses the game. This may come about either by being eliminated or being blocked completely. Draws may occur by mutual agreement or 3-fold.
Capture has precedence over a non-capturing move. If the player to move has no capture to make, he has the following options:
A king is a promoted man.
A man moves one square diagonally forwards, provided the target square is vacant. If a man ends its move on the back rank, it promotes to king. A king moves any distance of free squares along an open diagonal.
Capture is compulsory. The direction of capture may be both forwards and backwards.
- If a man is on a particular line, and next to it on that line is a square occupied by an opponent's piece, then the man captures the piece by jumping over it to the square immediately beyond, which must be vacant for the capture to take place. If the man can proceed in a similar way in the same or a perpendicular direction, it must do so, taking care beforehand to establish the route that brings the maximum number of captured pieces. A captured king counts as one piece.
If there's more than one way to meet this criterion, the player is free to choose.
- During a multiple capture, a square may be visited more than once, but a piece may not be jumped more than once.
- A multiple capture must be completed before the captured pieces are removed from the board.
- If a man in the course of a capture visits a square of the back rank without ending its move there, it does not promote.
- A king looks along open lines. If it sees, at any distance, an opponent's piece and immediately beyond one or more subsequent vacant squares, it captures by jumping the piece and landing on one of these squares.
A king is subject to the same rules regarding majority capture: if it can proceed in the same or a perpendicular direction it must do so, and it must likewise take the route that brings maximum number of captured pieces.
Note: the expression "... it captures by jumping the piece and landing on one of these squares", does not necessarily imply choice. In fact, during the capture the king will usually have no choice because it is subject to majority capture. After jumping the last piece it may choose to land on any of the subsequent vacant squares.