Rules & Instructions for Chinese Checkers Game

By Michele M. Howard
Chinese checkers uses marbles.
marble in a group of marbles image by Ellanorah from

Chinese checkers is not a hard game to learn and is a lot of fun to play. The object is to be the first player to move all of their marbles across a game board to a target location, a triangular point. Although the rules are pretty basic and can easily be mastered, there are a few subtle tips and strategies to learn to improve your chances of winning.

Prepare the board according to the number of players involved. The board is in the shape of a star with six points. The game can be played by two, three, four or six players. Each player has 10 marbles of one color that occupy all the spots in their home point at the beginning of the game.

Set up directly across from the opponent's home point when there are two players. When three players play, set up so that there is one empty point between players. With four players, each player sets up directly across from another player's point. The reason five players cannot play is that the board will not be balanced; one person would be opposite an empty point.

Toss a coin to decide which player will start the game. Once the game is started, the order of play will be clockwise. The first player starts by moving a marble to an adjacent open space or jumps a marble to an open space immediately past that jumped marble.

Jump over any color marble, jump in any direction or jump any number of marbles consecutively in a single turn. Jumped marbles are not removed from the board as in checkers; they simply remain in position on the board.

Move your marbles in a group. This will help to set up consecutive jumping opportunities and advance your marbles faster toward the target point. Always try to jump your last marble forward to avoid leaving it behind. With consecutive jumping, sometimes it may be to your advantage not to take all the available jumps. This is a good strategy to use to block your opponent.

Continue to move marbles toward the destination point until all 10 marbles are in place. Once a marble is in place in the target point, it can't be moved out of that point. The only move allowed is within the point. The first person to move all 10 of their marbles from their point across the board to the opposite point is the winner.