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11 Important Skills Needed to Be a Great Checkers Player!

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

adults play checkers in the drafts club
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So, you want to be a good Checkers player, do you? I, for one, fully understand that. I know how it feels to want to make every move with confidence and win every game without fail. Do you really have what it takes to be a great Checkers player? Are you skilled enough? Believe it or not, there are ways that you can learn the required skills and brush up on your technique to become a Checkers champion! Forget just playing Checkers for fun; soon you might be playing Checkers like a pro. 

11 important skills needed to be a great Checkers player:

  1. Patience, 
  2. Analytical skills,
  3. Problem-solving skills,
  4. Impulse control,
  5. Memory recall,
  6. Concentration and focus,
  7. Confidence and decisiveness,
  8. Social skills,
  9. Strategic thinking skills,
  10. Ability to read others (non-verbal communication skills),
  11. Sound judgment skills. 

Oh no! Don’t have these skills? Don’t worry! If you do not have these skills when you start playing Checkers, rest assured that they will develop the more you are exposed to the game. For me, that was the beauty of Checkers. Pro Checkers players are able to develop the abovementioned skills only because they have applied themselves to the game and have been consistent with practice. If you want to become an excellent Checkers player, you need to do the same.

If you want to learn more about the skills required to be an excellent Checkers player, read on below – I have taken the time to break each one down for you.

Skills Required to Play Checkers Like a Pro

Below are 11 skills that you need to use in a game of Checkers in order to increase your odds of success. When you develop these skills, your Checkers technique will greatly improve. Play like a pro with these 11 simple skills:

1. You Need Patience to Play Checkers.

Two men playing checkers near the bronze sculpture depicting historical players
aquatarkus / Shutterstock.com

Checkers is a game of patience. There is no rush and you need to be able to settle into it. You could be sitting in a room thinking about the same game for several hours. When you apply patience, you get the opportunity to assess the opponent’s move and also plan your subsequent moves better. With patience, you win games. When acting impulsively, you stand the chance of making mistakes and losing. If you watch the best Checkers players that you know, you will notice that they are relaxed, patient, and have their head in the game.

2. To Play Checkers You Need Analytical Skills.

When playing Checkers, you need to watch and analyze each move that is made by your opponent. You also need to scan and analyze the entire board before you make your move. By analyzing the board, you can determine if the move you are thinking about making will have a positive or negative impact on the end result (for you). It’s important to make each move with an educated mindset, so analytical skills are essential. Without analytical skills, you might “wing” too many of your moves.

3. To be a Good Checkers Player, You Need Problem-Solving Skills.

With every move made on the Checkers board, a new problem presents itself and then needs to be solved. Because of this, a Checkers player always needs to be thinking quickly in order to solve the problem and move onto the next. Checkers players are mental problem solvers. Don’t worry if your problem-solving skills are lacking when you first start playing. The more you play Checkers, the more you will develop your problem-solving skills, which can be applied in various other areas of your life. 

4. You Need Excellent Impulse Control to be a Good Checkers Player.

If you act on impulse when playing Checkers, you stand the chance of losing. Impulsive behavior almost always results in losses. Players also need to be able to keep themselves calm and under control even when they see their opponent making a move that could be detrimental to them. 

Two old men are playing a checkers game
Lokal Brand / Shutterstock.com

If you act on impulse, you may say or indicate something that you shouldn’t or didn’t really mean to. Calling it out (blurting it out) could make the opponent think twice, which is not favorable. As a player keeps playing Checkers, the skill of impulse control can be developed. 

5. Checkers Requires Great Memory Recall.

Checkers has many, many possible moves that both players can make. Learning the moves is important so that you are aware of what you can do on the board in order to win. To stay on top it’s helpful to remember the different types of strategies and game plans. Memory recall is quite important in the game of Checkers. 

6. Good Checkers Players Must Have Concentration and Focus.

If a player is distracted during a game of Checkers, they are going to miss a lot of what is happening on the board. While you are distracted, your opponent could be plotting his/her next strategic move (and you would be none the wiser). 

Concentration and focus go hand in hand with patience when it comes to playing a good game of Checkers. Players must concentrate on their own moves as well as their opponent’s. As you can imagine, there is a lot to think about, a lot to observe, and a lot to pay attention to! Focusing on the game, staying present in the moment, and not getting distracted are all skills that a good Checkers player has.

7. Good Checkers Players are Confident and Decisive. 

You might wonder why confidence and decisiveness are important when playing Checkers. It’s actually quite simple to understand. Making a move on the Checkers board comes with a certain amount of pressure. If you make the wrong move, it could mean the end of the game for you (or the beginning of the end). 

Girl and woman playing checkers
Annashou / Shutterstock.com

In order to curb hesitance and stop games dragging on longer than they should, Checkers players need to be decisive and confident about their moves. Again, if you aren’t particularly confident and decisive, you can expect to develop these skills as you play more Checkers.

8. Good Checkers Players Poses Decent Social Skills.

Checkers is not a party – you don’t need to be the life and soul of the party. So, why do you need to have social skills to play a good game of Checkers? It all comes down to comfort levels and having fun. 

When playing a game of Checkers, you could be sitting across the board from your opponent for anything from several minutes to a few hours. In order to do so comfortably, you need to develop good social skills. Small talk might help you through a game, but if you really want to have fun, knowing how to socialize during a game of Checkers can really be a helpful skill to have.

9. Strategic Thinking Skills are Needed to Play Checkers.

While playing Checkers you always need to be thinking strategically. Every move poses a possible new threat as well as a possible new opportunity. Both of these require strategic thinking. You need to be watching each move with a strategy in mind, so that you can pounce (and take possession of your opponent’s pieces) at precisely the right moment. 

10. Good Checkers Players Must Have the Ability to Read Others.

One of the skills that good Checkers players have is to observe and read the opponent’s body language and facial expressions. By watching them, you can pick up on non-verbal communication tells that give away if they have noted something that you have not. 

11. Checkers Players Need Sound Judgement Skills.

couple playing checkers on wooden background
Shutterstock.com

There is a moment before every Checkers move where the player has to judge the situation and determine if the next move is the right one. Sound judgment is something that all excellent Checkers players have. 

Play Checkers & Develop the Very Skills that the Game Demands

As with most board games, a great thing about playing Checkers is that even if you start out with absolutely zero skills, the more you play the game, the more you will develop the very skills that are required to be great at the game. The skills that are needed to play Checkers are actually skills that can benefit just about every aspect of your life. Once you have these skills, you can apply them to a variety of other non-Checkers related life situations. 

Decide if you have what it takes (the skills) to play Checkers, and if you do not, simply work at it. Soon your Checkers playing skills will improve.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.