Chess Terms
Crazyhouse Chess

Crazyhouse Chess

Do you like the idea of pieces falling on the board to create chaos and crush your opponent's defenses? If so, then Crazyhouse is the type of chess variant you need to play!

What Is Crazyhouse Chess?

Crazyhouse is one of the most popular chess variants. It is very similar to Bughouse, but it is played by just two players at a time. This game is characterized by its rules on capturing and dropping pieces.

A game of Crazyhouse.
A game of Crazyhouse.

How To Play Crazyhouse Chess

Most rules of standard chess also apply to Crazyhouse. Piece placement and movement are unaltered, as well as the possibility to promote pawns and the goal of checkmating your opponent. There are some rules, though, that are different from regular chess.

Piece Capturing And Piece Dropping

Whenever a player makes a capture, the piece captured leaves the board just like in regular chess. The difference is that the player who wins the piece can later add it to their army by "dropping" it back on the board.

For example, if White captures Black's knight, it is placed right on the side of the board and becomes part of White's extra-piece bank.

A piece capture in Crazyhouse.
A piece captured in Crazyhouse is stored and can be used later.

White can then call for the help of the captured knight and put it back on the board on any free square. This is known as "piece dropping," and it is a big part of Crazyhouse chess.

Dropping a knight on Crazyhouse.
A knight drop.

Players cannot drop a piece when their kings are in check unless they do so to get out of check. Piece dropping can also be used to reinforce defenses, to deliver checks, and even to checkmate an opponent. This leads to crazy positions where potential threats abound, and taking the initiative is more decisive than ever.

Protect yourself in Crazyhouse by dropping pieces.
You can drop a piece to block check.

Pawn Dropping And Pawn Promotion

Pawns are the only pieces with dropping restrictions. Players can drop pawns anywhere on the board except for the first and eighth ranks.

You cannot automatically promote a pawn in Crazyhouse.
You cannot drop a pawn on the first or eighth rank.

Like in regular games, pawns can also be promoted to any minor or major piece once they reach the farthest rank from where they started. After a promoted pawn is captured, though, it can be dropped back on the board as only a pawn, not as the piece it was promoted to.

A promoted pawn returns as a pawn in Crazyhouse.
A promoted pawn goes back to being a pawn after being captured.

When Is The Game Over?

Just like in regular chess, a Crazyhouse game ends only when a player is checkmated, resigns, or runs out of time, or when one of the standard drawing rules applies. Since pieces can be "recycled," ties are much rarer than in regular games of chess.

Crazyhouse Special Notation

With the added feature of piece dropping, the notation for Crazyhouse chess contains the "@" symbol to signify that a drop has been made.

Imagine, for instance, that a bishop was just dropped on the b3-square. The notation for that move would be B@b3. Other standard symbols also apply: if a knight is dropped on the g5-square and checks the black king, the notation for that move would be N@g5+.

Special notation for dropped pieces in Crazyhouse.
This is what the move N@g5+ looks like in a game of Crazyhouse.

Where To Play Crazyhouse Chess

The best place to play this great variant is on! Our interface makes it easy for you to drop captured pieces, since you do not have to worry about finding two complete chess sets to play with. Besides, it not only allows you to play with your friends but also with others from around the world.

How To Play Crazyhouse On

1. Place your cursor over Play on your left-hand side, and click on New Game.

Click on New Game
2. Select a time control under Time.

Select the desired time control.

3. Under Type, select Crazyhouse.

Select Crazyhouse.
4. Click the orange Play button.

Click the Play button.

Do you want to check out great Crazyhouse games being played here on Take a look at this video of the 2018 Crazyhouse Championship with IM Daniel Rensch and GM Yasser Seirawan.


Crazyhouse chess is an exciting variant that is full of action and tactical opportunities. If you are in the mood for fast-paced chess that can get your blood pumping, this is undoubtedly the right call for you. Head over to Live Chess right now and create a Crazyhouse challenge.

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