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The Game

Raindropchess is a chessgame for all the family. It is fast, pleasant and nice. Because of the cards you always have a chance to win. Secondly, it is therefore easy to learn. Below you’ll find detailed instructions.


Game Instructions

The rules on the right side are simple. You can learn the rules through the videos below. And you can practice the game on www.raindropchessonline.com. There is also an instruction card with the playing characteristics of the six various chess pieces.

Raindropchess Instruction Video
Raindropchess Demo Video

Instruction Demo

What the pieces can do

In Raindropchess, the chess pieces can make the same moves as in regular chess.

Instruction card with move options of the 6 different chess pieces. (see the diagrams on the box and/or the video explanation on the website).

Where can you place the pieces?

The queen, rook, bishop and knight can be placed on any free square you like. White pawns can be placed on any free square in rows 2 through 6, black pawns can be placed on any free square in rows 7 through 3. The king can only be placed on squares where he is not in check (= under attack).

The game starts by turning over cards

White goes first, turns over his top card and places the piece depicted on the card onto a square, following the rules described above. Then it’s Black’s turn. The opponent must always be able to see what card the other player has turned over. Once a card has been turned over, the piece depicted on that card must be placed on the board.

The king on the board

Once a player’s king has been placed on the board, he can choose in the following turns whether to turn over another card or make a chess move. A chess move means transferring a chess piece to another square and, for instance, capturing one of your opponent’s chess pieces or putting his king in check. Once you have touched a chess piece in order to make a move, you must move that chess piece.

Attacking and capturing pieces

Any chess piece on the board can attack the opponent’s pieces, including the king. If the king is attacked (= put in check), this attack has to be neutralised (= defended). You’re only allowed to capture one of your opponent’s pieces once your own king has been placed on the board. Captured pieces are removed from the board and no longer take part in the game.

A piece under attack can be defended by:

  • Using a chess piece to block the attack (one that is already on the board or that is placed after turning over a card)
  • Moving the chess piece under attack (if your king is already on the board)
  • Capturing the attacking piece with a chess piece of your own (if your king is already on the board)

Promotion: using the blue chess pieces

Once a pawn reaches the other side of the board, the player can exchange it for one of his blue chess pieces. The blue chess piece will then take the pawn’s place. This is called promotion. No more than four pawns can be promoted.

When there are no more cards left

Once a player has used all of his cards, he can only make chess moves.

When does the game end?

The game is over once a king can no longer move out of check (= checkmate). This is the case when the following four statements are all true at the same time:
1. The king is under attack (= the king is in check).
2. It is impossible to move the king to a square where he won’t be under attack.
3. The chess piece that is attacking the king can’t be captured.
4. It is impossible to place a chess piece between the king and the attacker.


These can be used in the game as an extra element of surprise. If you decide to play with jokers, just shuffle one or two into each card set before you start. You can then agree that if you draw a joker you’ll get an extra turn or be allowed to remove one of your opponent’s pieces from the board. See the website for more suggestions.


Place the game board on a table and the chess pieces on their designated spots. Separate out the jokers and shuffle the two packs of cards, stacking the white ones face down next to the white player and the black ones next to the black player, or in front of the board.

Raindropchess International

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