top of page

Chinese Checkers - Dastardly Review #070

Updated: Jul 2, 2018

Chinese Checkers is an ancient game from the remote region of Tibet and was played by Tibetian monks on the slopes of the Himalayan mountains. It was part of their meditation rituals and...

Sorry. That bubble is about to burst.

Chinese Checkers was invented in 1892 in Germany. It was a derivation of an American game called Halma which was played on a square board. Halma was invented in the 1880s by an American surgeon at the Harvard Medical School. Halma in turn was inspired by the English game Hoppity which was created in 1854. No Tibetian monks were involved!

The German version used a star shaped board. Chinese Checkers was originally called Stern-Halma. Stern is the German word for star.

Stern-Halma came to the United States in 1928 but the Pressman Toy Company renamed it “Hop Ching Checkers” as a marketing strategy. It soon became Chinese Checkers.

Chinese Checkers is played on a 6 pointed star board. Each player starts in a point and fills in their point with 10 or 15 colored marbles. Players take turns moving their marbles in checker-like fashion. Legal moves are to move 1 space or to hop (as in Hop Ching Checkers) a single opponent marble.

The winner is the first player to get all of their marbles into the point opposite their starting point.

Chinese Checkers can be played with 2-6 players.

The Good: A fun multiplayer logic game.

The Bad: I went 40 years thinking I was playing an ancient Chinese game. The Dastardly: We used to play it as two players but each of us took two or three points and sets of colored marbles.


bottom of page