Backgammon is an exciting, tactical game. This Cheat Sheet gives you some of the essential info you'll need on your way to becoming a master backgammon. Setup. Backgammon is a game for two players, played on a board consisting of twenty-four narrow triangles called points. The triangles alternate in color and. A comprehensive and fun guide to Backgammon! Backgammon is one of the oldest games in the world, the originsof which date back some years - and its.
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Backgammon is a board game in which players on two opposing sides use the roll of two dice each in a race to get 15 playing pieces around a board with The object of Backgammon is to be the first player to remove all your men from your inner table. This is called "Bearing Off." To start, line up pieces as shown in. The rules of backgammon are of moderate complexity and can usually be learned for each individual game is short, backgammon is often played in matches.
This rule is generally waived any time a play is forced or when there is no further contact between the opposing forces. Common Questions: Q: Who goes first? To decide who goes first, you and your opponent each roll one die. In the case of a tie, you both roll again. The player who rolls the higher number goes first.
That player does not roll the dice again; they play the two numbers just rolled on their first turn. Notice that the player who goes first never has doubles on their first turn because ties on the first roll are always broken.
Q: What is the object of the game? The object in backgammon is to move all of your checkers around the board into your home board and then bear them off.
The first player to get all their checkers off the board is the winner. Q: What is the ace-point? The ace-point is another name for the one-point, the last point you can move your checkers to before bearing them off. No, you must play your roll if there is any legal way to do so.
Yes, if you hit a checker, you are allowed to run your hitter to safety. But the standard game has no such restriction. Q: What is a doubling cube?
A doubling cube is a cubical block, a little larger than a regular die, with the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 printed on its faces. It is sometimes simply called the cube. The purpose is to allow players to bet on the game as they are playing. Q: How do you use a doubling cube? 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.
The 64 means that the stakes have not been doubled yet. That is, either player can make the first double. At any point during the game, a player who thinks he has a sufficient advantage may double the stakes.
He can do this only at the beginning of his turn, before he has rolled the dice. When a double is offered, the opponent may refuse the double , in which case he resigns the game and forfeits the current stakes. The current stakes is the value of the cube before the double is offered, in this case one point.
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.
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. There is no limit to the number of doubles and redoubles in a single game, except that no player may double twice in a row. 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.
Yes, you can double at the start of any turn. Some people play that if the two players roll the same number on the first roll of the game, then the doubling cube is automatically turned to 2. The cube stays in the middle but now the first voluntary double of the game will be offered at 4. If the players roll the same number again, then the cube is turned up another notch, though players often agree to limit the number of automatic doubles to one per game. Introduction Q: What is match play?
When backgammon tournaments are held to determine an overall winner, the usual style of competition is match play. Competitors are paired off, and each pair plays a series of games to decide which player progresses to the next round of the tournament.
This series of games is called a match. Set up your backgammon board as in Diagram 1. Black you have moved all your checkers around the board from the white Inner Board, to your Inner Board.
You are now about to start 'bearing off', i. This is how the game ends and you win - taking off all your checkers before your opponent does. If you roll you can remove one checker from the 3-point and one checker from the 2-point.
If you roll a die higher than the highest point occupied, checkers can be removed from that highest point; that means that if your highest occupied point is your 4-point and you roll you can remove a checker from the 4-point using the 6 and a checker from your 2-point. Doublets allow you to remove four checkers if possible. If you roll a die for a point that isn't occupied then you must, if possible, move within your inner board until a die is equal to an occupied point or is less than your highest occupied point.
If only one die can be moved then the higher is moved if possible, else the lower one. You cannot move one die then claim that the other is impossible to play - if both dice can be moved legally then you must move both of them; however, you can move either die first, for example, you roll a , you can move the 3 down inside your board and then remove your highest checker with the 5.
Exercise 1: This first exercise is a simple one where all you have to do is bear-off your checkers as efficiently as possible. Set up your home board as in Diagram 1 and move the following dice rolls bearing off a checker each time: Diagram 2. You now roll again; taking a checker off your 5-point using the 6 and because you don't have any checkers on your 2-point you now have to move within your home board.
When bearing off in backgammon you want to make certain that you get as many checkers off each roll as possible and to this end the 2 is moved from the 4-point to the empty 2-point ensuring that on your next roll you will remove at least two checkers. This tactic is very important when bearing off without the possibility of being hit by an opponent more on this subject later and is used in the next exercise.
Always try to maximise the checkers off on the next roll by filling empty points. Rolling dice that correspond to gaps in your home board can lose you the game and therefore it is vital you concentrate on covering as many points as you can - and preferably the lower ones as opposed to the higher ones. Exercise 2: Now reset your board to Diagram 3 again and practice on your own until you are happy with the bearing off element of backgammon.
Keep setting up and rolling until you are confident with your bearing off. There's nothing to gain by skimping this important part of the game; if you fail to bear-off correctly or efficiently you may well lose the game. A checker is hit by an opponent landing upon the same point occupied by a single checker of the opposing side; single checkers are called blots and are very vulnerable to being hit - blots are protected by having two or more checkers of the same colour on a point, this point now belongs to that player and cannot be landed on by the opponent although, if dice rolls allow, they can be leapt over providing both dice rolls are not blocked.
As you might have gathered, having a blot hit while you are bearing off is a major setback and is to be avoided if at all possible. Thinking ahead can result in fewer positions in which this can occur. The 'start' for blots that are hit is the bar or point as it is sometimes referred to the bar is the central divider between the two halves of the board.
The checker on the bar can only re-enter into an opponent's inner board by rolling dice that correspond to the point numbers in his opponent's inner board 1 to 6, which are in fact points down to for the player on the bar which are either unoccupied or are occupied by a blot or one or more of his own checkers.
Points 'covered' by your opponent two or more checkers on a single point cannot be used to re-enter upon. Also, no other checker can be moved on the board anywhere until all checkers on the bar have re-entered. The longer you spend on the bar the more moves your opponent can make without you being able to stop them. If you have two checkers on the bar and your dice roll only allows one of them to re-enter, then the remaining die is forfeit. Blots in your home board are in great danger against opposition and must be avoided wherever possible.
In Diagram 2 you have a blot on your 3-point and in Diagram 3a in Exercise 2 you have several blots! Many games that should have been won are lost when a blot is hit during the bear-off. Hopefully this section will teach you how to avoid this.
Exercise 3: Set up as Diagram 4 , with an opponent on the bar, his point. If white rolls a 6 from the bar it must be a 6 not , or or or as these are blocked - remember, dice rolls are not added together, they are individual on his turn he will hit your blot and force it to restart from the bar in his inner board - and, whilst there is a checker on the bar, remember no other piece can be moved until it has re-entered, sort of like rolling a 6 in ludo to start a checker off.
If you are on the bar and cannot re-enter then no other checkers can be moved and your move is forfeit. This is often called dancing or fanning and, if you have any blots exposed it is likely that your opponent can hit them too!
With this in mind assuming that white never re-enters on his roll except when there's a blot to hit play the remaining rolls as safely as you can bearing off when you can and down when you can't: Now, it is getting quite difficult to take checkers off without leaving a blot - do you know how many rolls leave a blot next time? Don't forget that you are using two dice so each roll is in fact two rolls! To explain: Imagine you are using two different coloured dice, one black, one white and you roll a ; with the black die on 3 and the white die on 2, but it could be the other way around, white die on 3, black die on 2 and still be only one move, If you have two checkers on the bar and your dice roll only allows one of them to re-enter, then the remaining die is forfeit.
Blots in your home board are in great danger against opposition and must be avoided wherever possible. In Diagram 2 you have a blot on your 3-point and in Diagram 3a in Exercise 2 you have several blots! Many games that should have been won are lost when a blot is hit during the bear-off. Hopefully this section will teach you how to avoid this. Exercise 3: Set up as Diagram 4 , with an opponent on the bar, his point. If white rolls a 6 from the bar it must be a 6 not , or or or as these are blocked - remember, dice rolls are not added together, they are individual on his turn he will hit your blot and force it to restart from the bar in his inner board - and, whilst there is a checker on the bar, remember no other piece can be moved until it has re-entered, sort of like rolling a 6 in ludo to start a checker off.
If you are on the bar and cannot re-enter then no other checkers can be moved and your move is forfeit. This is often called dancing or fanning and, if you have any blots exposed it is likely that your opponent can hit them too! With this in mind assuming that white never re-enters on his roll except when there's a blot to hit play the remaining rolls as safely as you can bearing off when you can and down when you can't: , , , and finally another leaving the position in Diagram 4a.
Now, it is getting quite difficult to take checkers off without leaving a blot - do you know how many rolls leave a blot next time? Don't forget that you are using two dice so each roll is in fact two rolls! To explain: Imagine you are using two different coloured dice, one black, one white and you roll a ; with the black die on 3 and the white die on 2, but it could be the other way around, white die on 3, black die on 2 and still be only one move, In fact, using two dice there are thirty-six combinations of dice rolls; so plenty to choose from!
Back to the position in Diagram 4a. How many of those thirty-six possible rolls will force a blot? Don't cheat by looking at the correct answer, write them all down. You should have twenty-five rolls that leave a blot. Exercise 4: Practice a few bear-offs with a checker on the bar setting up as in Diagram 4 and see if you can avoid leaving blots, using your own dice rolls.
It's not always possible to do so, but, often, with a little forethought you can considerably reduce the chances of doing so. This expertise is essential in playing winning backgammon and it is well worth the time taken to master it. Also, remember that you can move either die first. Diagram 4b Look at Diagram 4b.
Perfectly legal. It is fine to move either die first; and often, the order in which you move them can make a big difference. Sometimes beginners forget they can do this and they leave a blot — cheering up their opponents who are just waiting for a blot to appear and to turn the game around with a timely hit.
One tip is try to keep your top two points evenly distributed, looking for the bad rolls next time. Once you've mastered the tactic of bearing off safely against opposition from the bar we'll move on to opposition within your inner board. This is quite likely to happen and it is very important that you fully understand how to minimise your losing chances when your opponent is waiting to hit you back onto the bar from an occupied point within your own inner board.