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Checkers

In my Economy of Games page, I point out how most games gave out around 10 - 15 kc per minute, with some giving out slightly more, and some slightly less.

It was brought to my attention that you can win a lot on checkers - suggesting an average of 60 in 90 seconds (45 per minute).

So, I gave it a go, and found that I could often win the game on the hard level between 1 and 2 minutes, with an average game coming in around 90 seconds.

During my tests, I did find that there were some games that I made a wrong move, or the computer did not do what I wanted, and the games took several minutes to win (greatly reducing the average per minute). Still, as I got so I could recognize my strategy better, I found that more often than not, I could win at the pace mentioned above - making this a very profitable game. And on the games when it was obvious that the strategy was not working, I found that if I intentionally died, I could still finish the game in under a minute and get 15 kc (which is still better than most of the games in the arcade).

Before I get into this, I also want to post a warning. I mentioned this in my Cash per Minute thread, but it belongs here as well. As I played this game, I found that I was earning around 2700 kc per hour - which is a bunch - but I started to experience a "Tetris Effect", where I would still be playing the game in my head even when I was away from the computer. Typically, once I recognize this, I actually stop playing and limit long durations at a single task. I have found in the past that this can lead to poor sleep and concentration on other tasks.

For this reason, even though this is a good game to earn a lot of cash, you probably should not play it too much in one sitting, because of the adverse effects.

OK, here is my strategy. Essentially, I only move 5 pieces to get started, and then a 6th for protection -- at least until the game starts to wind down. This tutorial shows how I go from start to getting a King - and then the finish. Once I get the King, it is just a matter of time before I can conquer, usually from the above the opponent's pieces.

As the game begins, I have marked the 5 pieces that typically make up my first 10 moves.

These pieces will be moved up and to the left, with a goal of trying to get the bottom left red to come out of his position. In the rest of this tutorial, I will call that the target piece.

I actually rarely pay attention to where the computer moves in the first couple of moves, unless he moves the target piece - at which point, I still try to position my checkers so that I can get past the target piece.

The next couple of moves proceed in step:

If I didn't move the 5, I risk getting double jumped when I move the 3 into the bait position (next).

At this point, you can see how I am trying to lure the target checker out of its spot. In most games, the computer will jump. If he doesn't jump, I either move the one labeled 6 in future pictures, or move the one that is up and to the right from the 5 - I move it up and to the right to bait the bottom right red checker (in the same manner as I am doing on the left).

At this point, he took the bait. Now, I can jump the Target checker.

9 Times out of 10, the computer will not move into the vacated position of the target, allowing for the next move.

This allows me to get a coveted position - that is one jump away from a King.

Now, I have what I call the "River", where the 1, 3 and 6 are going to protect the 5 as it moves forward. If the game doesn't open up, the one that is below the 5 and 6 will be the next one to move up the river.

The 5 moves up the River.

At this point, I can start to see a double jump opportunity up and to the right. The computer could fill this void, which would cause me to keep moving up the river.

In this case, the computer left the jump open (but took away the double jump). Still, this gives me a direct path to getting a King.

Once I get a King, it is all academic. Now, I can move from behind the pieces and jump them as they leave vulnerabilities. See the videos for some examples.

Ultimately, this game took around 90 seconds to win - 45 kc per minute.

 



YouTube Videos

Now, for some videos.

 
My first five moves are generally the same - trying to get the computer to come out of the upper left hand corner to jump me. In this, case he did not take the bait, and ultimately was left with no moves.

In this game, I was able to win 60 kinz cash in 51 seconds by making it so the computer opponent did not have any more moves (that translates to 70 kc per minute). Although neither of us lost a piece, he had no more moves at the end, so I won.
 
 
My first five moves are generally the same - trying to get the computer to come out of the upper left hand corner to jump me. In this, case he did not take the bait on the first jump, or the second time I offered up my lead checker (although it wouldn't have mattered). Once I got to the back, I was able to build up a wall 2 deep in the very back (which is impenetrable), and I just moved my King back and forth until he ran out of moves.

In this game, I was able to win 60 kinz cash in 75 seconds by making it so the computer opponent did not have any more moves (that translates to 48 kc per minute).
 
 
My first five moves are generally the same - trying to get the computer to come out of the upper left hand corner to jump me. This time, he came out of that corner earlier, but did not take the bait.

I got the board set up with a river down the middle, and worked my checkers down the river from bottom right to top left, until I got a series of double jumps. This game is a very typical example of the strategy at work (90 seconds is a good average for me).

Additionally, you will notice that I didn't lose a single checker in this game.

In this game, I was able to win 60 kinz cash in 91 seconds by getting rid of all of my opponent's checkers (that translates to 45 kc per minute).
 
 
My first five moves are generally the same - trying to get the computer to come out of the upper left hand corner to jump me. In this, case he did take take the bait. Once I jumped at 22 seconds, I was able to get to my choice position in the upper left. Then, I made the river running from bottom right to top left, and started to move my checker up the river. I made a double jump that allowed me to get the King. After that, it was just a series of double jumps to win.

In this game, I was able to win 60 kinz cash in 94 seconds by making it so the computer opponent did not have any more moves (that translates to 44 kc per minute).
 
 
My first five moves are generally the same - trying to get the computer to come out of the upper left hand corner to jump me. This time, he came out of that corner and took the bait.

I then ran up the river down the middle from bottom right to top left. This put me in a position to make a jump to get a King. Once I got the King, I moved behind his pieces until he got stacked up - setting up for a bunch of jumps and double jumps.

In this game, I was able to win 60 kinz cash in 105 seconds by getting rid of all of my opponent's checkers (that translates to 34 kc per minute).
 

If you like the videos, please give them 5 stars.

Enjoy!


New Strategy

I just posted more YouTube Videos on Checkers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrlVdLl-g5s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpeK1g4R0l8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sYG0oiSkqI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TquBJOHB2AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7scjf7gSuYg

These show a slightly different strategy than in my original post - one that seems to be quicker and more effective. Essentially, the goal is to get the three checkers on the front row up one, protecting them, and opening up the far right for the computer to exploit. Usually, this leads to an open double jump. The examples show that - plus they show how to get by when everything doesn't line up perfectly.


 
 

 

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