Chinese Checkers Strategies to Win

Developed in Germany around 1880, Chinese Checkers was derived from a European game called Halma, meaning jump. Jumping is one of the most significant strategies for winning the game. Read on to learn more about Chinese Checkers’ strategies.

Before we discuss the various strategies, if you’re really new to Chinese Checkers, then I suggest you check out our Chinese Checkers rules game guide first.

Then read this guide, as the strategies discussed here will help you win at any Chinese Checkers game.

Opening Moves

The overall objective of Chinese Checkers is to successfully move all your pegs across the board before your opponents.

One important Chinese Checkers strategy for winning the game is to utilize specific beginning moves to maximize your gameplay.

The Sidewinder

The points of the star on the game board form a triangular shape where your pegs begin and end the game. 

To play the Sidewinder opening move, diagonally move the peg in the front corner of your lineup towards the outer edge of the board. This action creates an exit for the pegs following the initial row. 

The Cross Caterpillar

The Cross Caterpillar opening move is similar to the Sidewinder, however, instead of moving your front corner peg outward, you’ll move the peg toward the inside of the board. 

With either of these options, you are opening the gate to allow easier movement for your marbles to transfer across the board. 

Hopping or Jumping

Remember, when you leave an opening or space between two of your pegs, you can jump marbles, as long as there is an available space after it. 

This is a handy trick for double-time movement across the board. The quicker you get your marbles moving toward the opposing triangle, the better your chances are of winning the game!

If possible, move marbles from the back to the front of the pack to keep your pieces moving together in a group. 

Leaving marbles behind can slow you down and make it easier for your opponents to block you. 

Another strategy is skipping a space between each marble upon entering your destination. You can hop over your own marbles to funnel quickly into the area.

Foul Play

If you are an “anything goes” gamer, you may be inclined to leave one of your marbles in the home triangle to keep an opponent from winning! 

If a player needs your space to be vacant to move his or her marbles in, this is a sneaky little strategy that might buy you some time. 

You may want to discuss this strategy in advance with your opponents because it can be viewed negatively.

Look Ahead

As with all strategy games, looking at the entire playing field and using intentional forethought is critical for mastery. Consider all openings and pathways available on the board. 

Ask yourself some of the following questions: 

  • Are your opponents utilizing some of the previously mentioned strategies? 
  • Which direction is your opponent moving? 
  • Are there spaces or openings on the board that you can utilize for offensive play? 
  • Are there spaces or openings that you can block to play in a defensive manner? 

Chinese Checkers Strategies – Video Tutorials

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