HALMA (Greek for " jump "), a table game, a form of which was known to the ancient Greeks, played on a board divided into 256 squares with wooden men, resembling chess pawns. In the two-handed game 19 men are employed on each side, coloured respectively black and white; in the four-handed each player has 13, the men being coloured white, black, red and green. At the beginning of the game the men are drawn up in triangular formation in the enclosures, or yards, diagonally opposite each other in the corners of the board. The object of each player is to get all his men into his enemy's yard, the player winning who first accomplishes this. The moves are made alternately, the mode of progression being by a step, from one square to another immediately adjacent, or by a jump (whence the name) , which is the jumping of a man from a square in front of it into an empty square on the other side of it. This corresponds to jumping in draughts, except that, in halma, the hop may be in any direction, over friendly as well as hostile men, and the men jumped over are not taken but remain on the board.
In the four-handed game either each player plays for himself, or two adjacent players play against the other two.
See Card and Table Games, by Professor Hoffmann (London, 1903).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)