Backgammon is one of the oldest games in existence alongside Go and Chess. It is probably about 5,000 years old and originated in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). An excellent pictorial history can be found in the hardback version of “The Backgammon Book” by Oswald Jacoby and John R. Crawford. If you can enter one or more of your checkers from the bar, but not all of them, you must do so. Before getting started, of course, you’ll need to set up a Backgammon board. See our New to Backgammon collection of articles or take a free beginner Backgammon 101 class.

If the opponent accepts the offer, the value of the game doubles, and they take ownership of the cube. The player can decide to move one checker or split the moves between two checkers. For instance, rolling two sixes means the player can move six spaces, four times. Remove all 15 of their discs, wins the game according to the backgammon rules.

  • Now the de facto standard is eXtreme Gammon (XG) which is undoubtedly the strongest bot to date.
  • Otherwise, they must accept the double and play on for the new higher stake.
  • After a redouble only the owner of the doubling cube can make a subsequent redouble.
  • A player who is offered a double may refuse to accept it, in which case they concede the game and pay one point.
  • A plethora of books also appeared in the 1970s and 1980s, amongst them “Backgammon” by Paul Magriel, still known as the bible of the game.

Also know that there’s no limit to how many checkers you can place on a point. Five checkers on 13 (the midpoint).Three checkers on 8 and five checkers on 6. The vertical divider in the middle of the board is called the bar, and the bear off trays are located on the side of the board. There are many backgammon books available, albeit the vast majority of them only from specialist stockists such as Carol Joy Cole’s Backgammon Supplies a la Carte and Chris Ternel’s BG Shop.

Understanding The Backgammon Board:

Chris Bray is the author of multiple backgammon books, including Backgammon for Dummies, and is the backgammon columnist for The Times of London. He posts a weekly column on our website called Bray’s Learning Curve. At the end of the game, the loser pays the winner the value of the doubling cube in whatever units they have agreed to play for.

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Your checker can only be moved to an open point (a point that is not occupied by two or more of your opponent’s checkers). Chouette is a social form of backgammon for three or more players. One player, the box, plays on a single board against all the others who form a team lead by a captain. If the losing player wasn’t able to bear off any checkers, they are gammoned and lose two games. If a player bears off all fifteen checkers and the opponent was able to bear off at least one checker, that person wins. The numbers on the dice determine how many points the player can move their checker. A player can only move to a point that is not occupied by two or more of the opponent’s checkers.

MATERIALS: Backgammon Board, Checkers, Dice, Cups

If a player refuses a redouble, he must pay the number of points that were at stake prior to the redouble. Otherwise, he becomes the new owner of the cube and the game continues at twice the previous stakes. Each game starts at a stake of one point (where in our example one point equals $1). During the course of the game, a player who feels they have a sufficient advantage may propose doubling the stakes. The player does this by turning the doubling cube to the next appropriate value. Each face of the doubling cube bears a number to record progressive doubles and redoubles, starting with 2 and going on to 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64. At the commencement of play, the doubling cube sits on one side of the board centered between the two players with a displayed value of 64 (representing 1).

A point occupied by a single checker of either color is called a blot. During the course of the game, a player who feels he has a sufficient advantage may propose doubling the stakes. He may do this only at the start of his own turn and before he has rolled the dice. A player who is offered a double may refuse, in which case he concedes the game and pays one point. Otherwise, he must accept the double and play on for the new higher stakes. A player who accepts a double becomes the owner of the cube and only he may make the next double.

Gammons and Backgammons

The box can double the individual team members, and each team member can decide whether and when to double the box. With multiple cubes in play, it is possible for the box to win against some players while losing against others. So the question arises, when does a player get to keep the box? The usual rule is that a player retains the box if he defeats the captain. One to three points can be awarded during the backgammon game dependant on where the loser’s checkers are on the board when the winner wins.

Comprised of 30 checkers, 2 dice, and a board of 24 pointed triangles, Backgammon has gone through many iterations through it’s long lifespan. Eventually it became popular with ancient roman royalty and elites as a strategic gambling game. Like any really good game the rules can be easily learned in 30 minutes. You can get a good understanding of the basics in a matter of weeks, become adept in six months and a reasonable player within a year.

The idea behind the rule is that without restrictions on doubling, the player who is behind in the match would double at his first opportunity every game. This reduces the number of games needed to win the match, lessening the value of the points held by the player who is winning. The Crawford rule was devised by John R. Crawford, co-author of The Backgammon Book. If you are playing a match up to n points and one player reaches n – 1 points, the Crawford rule says that the doubling cube is out of play for one game. This one game without doubling is called the Crawford game.

How To Play – Backgammon Rules

The “expert” of the 1970s would be hard-pressed to hold their own with many of today’s intermediates. It is important to remember that you cannot bear off any checkers unless all of your checkers are on your home board. For example, if one or Bacanaplay Casino more of your checkers are on the bar, you cannot bear off any checkers, even if all of your other checkers are on your home board. Erik Arneson is a highly respected board game expert, sharing his 20 years of knowledge on gaming strategies.

Thus, if the roll is 63 and their 6-point has already been cleared but they have checkers on their 5-point, they may use the 6 to remove a checker from the 5-point. They may, if possible, move a checker inside their home board the number of spaces equivalent to one of the numbers rolled. The rules require that a player must use both numbers of their roll (all four in the case of a double) if possible. If they can make moves that don’t involve bearing off, they are free to do so. Otherwise, they must bear off if that is the only legal play. They then move one or more of their checkers in accordance with the numbers on the dice.

A player is under no obligation to bear off if he can make an otherwise
legal move. A player must have all of his active checkers in his home board in order
to bear off. If a checker is hit during the bear-off process, the player must bring
that checker back to his home board before continuing to bear off.

The result of this roll is also used by the first player to make the first move of the game, though some players prefer to have the first player roll his or her dice for the first roll. If the opponent doesn’t want to resign, he may accept the double, and agree to continue play at double the previous stakes. He places the cube on his side of the board with the number 2 face up. The number 2 represents the fact that the stakes are now doubled. The position of the cube means that player now owns the doubling cube and only he may make the next double. At the beginning of the game, the doubling cube is placed halfway between the players, either on the bar or at the side of the board, with the number 64 face up. (Most doubling cubes do not have a 1, so the number 64 is understood to represent 1)  The position of the cube, halfway between the players, indicates that both players have access to it.