Italian checkers is played on the dark squares only of a standard checkerboard of 64 alternating dark and light squares, (eight rows, eight files) by two opponents having 12 checkers each of contrasting colors, nominally referred to as black and white.
The board is positioned squarely between the players and turned so that a dark square is at each player's near right side. Each player places his checkers on the dark squares of the three rows nearest him. The player with the lighter checkers makes the first move of the game, and the players take turns thereafter, making one move at a time.
The object of the game is to prevent the opponent from being able to move when it is his turn to do so. This is accomplished either by capturing all of the opponent's checkers, or by blocking those that remain so that none of them can be moved. If neither player can accomplish this, the game is a draw.
Single checkers, known as men, move forward only, one square at a time in a diagonal direction, to an unoccupied square. Men capture by jumping over an opposing man on a diagonally adjacent square to the square immediately beyond, but may do so only if this square is unoccupied. Men may jump forward only, and may continue jumping as long as they encounter opposing checkers with unoccupied squares immediately beyond them. Men may never jump over checkers of the same color. Men may never jump over kings.
A man which reaches the far side of the board, whether by means of a jump or a simple move, becomes a king, and the move terminates. The opponent must then crown the new king by placing a checker of the same color atop it. A player is not permitted to make his own move until he crowns his opponent's king.
Kings move forward or backward, one square at a time in a diagonal direction to an unoccupied square. Kings capture by jumping, forward or backward, over an opposing man or king on a diagonally adjacent square to the square immediately beyond, but may do so only if this square is unoccupied. Kings may continue jumping as long as they encounter opposing checkers with unoccupied squares immediately beyond them. Kings may never jump over checkers of the same color. They may never jump over the same opposing man or king more than once.
Whenever a player is able to make a capture he must do so.
If there is more than one way to jump, a player must choose a sequence of jumps which results in the capture of the greatest possible number of opposing units, men and kings each counting as one unit.
If there is more than one way to capture the greatest possible number of opposing units, the capture must be made with a king, if possible, rather than with a single man.
If there is more than one way for the greatest possible number of units to be captured by a king, the most kings must be captured.
If there is more than one way for the greatest and most powerful forces to be captured, a capture which results in a king being captured earliest in the sequence of jumps must be chosen.