Once a player plays on the board, you may use your future rolls to move discs further down the board. Backgammon is played on a board consisting of twenty-four narrow triangles called points. The quadrants are referred to as the player’s home board and outer board and the opponent’s home and outer board. The home and outer boards are separated from each other by a ridge down the center of the board called the bar.
- That player does not roll the dice again; they play the two numbers just rolled on their first turn.
- The game’s goal is to bear off, or remove, your pieces from play.
- The triangles alternate in color and are grouped into four quadrants of six triangles each.
- Re-entry is made on a point equivalent to the number of one of the dice cast, providing the point is not owned by the opponent (occupied by two or more of the opponent’s checkers).
- If a player has any checkers on the board, they must be moved first if possible.
- For example, White’s 5-point (or 5-pt) is Black’s 20-point.
The backgammon game usually comes in an easily transportable case resembling a small suitcase. The suitcase’s lining serves as the game board, and the inside contents include 30 checker pieces, two sets of dice, and two shakers. Both players start the game by rolling one die each, this is called the opening roll. If the same number rolled in the opening, both players must make a re-roll. Backgammon players will generally sit across from each other with the backgammon board between them, similar to how you would set up to play chess.
If there are no checkers on higher-numbered points, the player is permitted (and required) to remove a checker from the highest point on which one of his checkers resides. A player is under no obligation to bear off if he can make an otherwise legal move. Any time a player has one or more checkers on the bar, his first obligation
is to enter those checker(s) into the opposing home board. A checker is entered by moving it to an open point corresponding to one of
the numbers on the rolled dice.
At it’s core, backgammon is a simple game with the objective of removing your pieces from the board by passing through the opponents half of the board. It’s a strictly 2-player game, which is why it was a popular strategic gambling game throughout history for two players. A player who is offered a double may refuse to accept it, in which case they concede the game and pay one point. Otherwise, they must accept the double and play on for the new higher stake. A player who accepts a double becomes the owner of the cube, the cube is placed on their side of the board (showing the new value), and only they may make the next double.
Q: Can I pass when it’s my turn?
There’s a number of movement restrictions to consider when moving your checkers across the board. How to Play Backgammon, by Chris Bray is a 25-page booklet that expands on the concepts in this article. It is a great resource to help new players get started with confidence. 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.
Your 13-point is your opponent’s 12-point, your 3-point their 22-point, etc. The point numbers in the diagram above are shown from Black’s perspective. If one or more of your checkers are on the bar, you must get those checkers back on the board before moving any others.
Once you hit, the opposing checker gets placed on the middle bar. A gammon (2 points) is when you have borne off all your checkers and your opponent hasn’t borne off any checkers, as illustrated in the following image. A single (1 point) is when you have borne off all your checkers and your opponent has borne off 1 to 14 checkers, as illustrated in the following image. If you are new to the game, and are interested in developing a winning backgammon strategy, check out this post. Learning MyStake Casino is one thing, but what if you actually want to win? There’s a number of Backgammon strategies that could help you achieve that goal and give you the edge over your opponents.
Q: How do you use a doubling cube?
In a single-cube game, the only decision that the members of the team make individually concerns takes. If the box doubles, each team member can decide on his own whether to play on or drop out. Those who drop out each pay off to the box and no longer participate as team advisers. If the captain drops out while there are others on the team who wish to play on, the captaincy is assumed by one of these players and the previous captain drops to the bottom of the rotation. Once a player has moved all of his fifteen checkers into his home board, he may commence bearing off. A player bears off a checker by rolling a number that corresponds to the point on which the checker resides, and then removing that checker from the board.
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 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.
This dice is never rolled and is instead used as a tracker to keep track of the bet multiplier. One half of the board represents each players home board, with one side belonging to each player. The pips are numbered from 1 to 24 (mirrored for each player). Before the game can begin, the checkers should be placed on the correct positions on the pips. Backgammon is often considered one of the oldest known board games in existence.
You will learn about the history of the game, the basics of how to play, and some rule nuances frequently asked by new players. 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. For example, if playing for one dollar a point and the doubling cube shows 4, then the loser pays the winner four dollars. In the case of a gammon or backgammon, this amount is doubled or tripled. At any point during the game, a player who thinks he has a sufficient advantage may double the stakes.
Now that someone has the cube, it’s up to them when/if they want to use it again to double the stakes at a later turn. There is no bonus for winning more than the required number of points. When playing a match to a certain number of points, the winner is the first person who wins that number of points. It doesn’t matter if they win more than that number, or how many points their opponent has scored. The sole goal is to win the match, and the final score is immaterial.
A checker may only be moved to a point already occupied by one or more of the player’s own checkers or to an open point, meaning one that is not occupied by two or more opposing checkers. A checker may move to a point if it is occupied by only one of the opponent’s checkers. In this case the opposing checker is “hit” and placed on the bar. If the game later turns around and the player who owns the cube feels he now has an advantage, he may redouble the stakes to 4. His opponent may refuse and give up the current stakes (now two units) or he may accept and continue play at quadruple the initial stakes. Both players have their own pair of dice and a dice cup used for shaking. A doubling cube, with the numerals 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 on its
faces, is used to keep track of the current stake of the game.
For example a roll of 3 and 3 can be used to move 3 spaces up to 4 times. The dice can be used individually to move two separate checkers, or on the same checker. Note that while a player may forfeit a roll they never forfeit their right to double at the start of each turn, should they have access to the doubling cube. The diagram above shows the board set up and ready for play. Each side has five checkers on their 6-point, three checkers on their 8-point, five checkers on their 13-point and two checkers on their 24-point. A player’s 6-point and 8-point will always be on the near side of the board and the 13- and 24-points will always be on the far side. From the point of view of the opposing side the point numbers are reversed.