Jogo de Damas Clássicas, also known as Portuguese Checkers or Portuguese Draughts in English-speaking countries, is the national checkers variant of Portugal. It is a very popular game. Jogo de Damas Clássicas is promoted as a mindsport by the Federação Portuguesa de Damas ("Portuguese Federation of Checkers") besides International Checkers. There are tournaments all over Portugal (e.g. Charneca de Caparica (Almada), Coimbra, Lagos (Algarve), Lisbon, Porto, São João (Madeira), and Tondela).
The game can also be played online on BrainKing.
The board is an 8×8 grid, with alternating dark and light squares. The left down square field should be white.
Each player starts with 12 pieces on the three rows closest to their own side, as shown in the diagram above.
The white (lighter color) side moves first. Players then alternate moves.
The men move diagonally forward to the next square, when nothing can be captured.
When a piece reaches the furthest row from the player who controls that piece, it is crowned and becomes a dama (literally: "lady"). One of the pieces which had been captured is placed on top of it so that it is twice as high as a single piece.
Crowned pieces can move freely multiple steps in any diagonal direction exactly like a Bishop in chess.
Men capture opponents pieces that are diagonally in front and adjacent of them by moving two consecutive steps in the same direction, jumping over the opponent's piece on the first step. Multiple opposing pieces may be captured in a single turn provided this is done by successive jumps made by a single piece. These jumps do not need to be in the same direction but may zigzag changing diagonal direction. A 180° turn, however, is not permitted.
Damas may jump over and hence capture an opponent piece some distance away and choose where to stop afterwards.
The pieces are not removed during the jump, only after the whole move.
Captures are mandatory. Players must continue to capture as long as they can and they must chose the sequence, which captures the largest number of pieces.
If there are several moves that capture the same number, the move must be done which captures most damas. If there are several moves that capture the same number of pieces and the same number of damas, the player can choose between them.
A player wins the game when the opponent cannot make a move. In most cases, this is because all of the opponent's pieces have been captured, but it could also be because all of his pieces are blocked in.