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BACKGAMMON RULES

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Backgammon Rules

Backgammon basic rules and information

The Basic Rules of Backgammon are simple and not hard to remember. It is a two player game played over a wooden board separated in 24 positions. Each player has 15 checkers of different colors. Using the two dice (marked from 1 to 6), the players move the checkers according to the numbers they rolled. The checkers are moved by each player counterclockwise, according to the numbers they rolled. The wooden board has 4 compartments; each compartment contains 6 positions marked with long triangular shapes of differentiating color. Starting from the lower-right side of the board the positions are numbered from 1 all the way up to 24. The goal of the game is for player to remove all his checkers from the board first. This occurs only when the player moves all his checkers to the lower-right side compartment and then according to value rolled and the corresponding position the checkers are slowly removed off the board. It is customary for the players to throw the dice into their right-hand compartment of the board. Both dice must land completely flat on the board in order for them to be valid. If one die crosses into the other compartment, or falls off the board, or does not land flat, or ends up resting on one of the checkers, the dice are not valid and the player must repeat the throw of both dice.

 

Backgammon rules - Movements and Actions


Still there are certain restrictions in the movement and actions of the checkers. To begin, the checkers of one player cannot reside in any position already occupied by the opponent’s two or more checkers. This obstructs possible movements of the player’s checkers, forcing the player to make unnecessary movements often not to his benefit. When a position is occupied by 2 or more checkers then the position is blocked and cannot be used by the opponent. Next rule is that a player has the option to hit his opponent’s checker when exposed at a single position occupied by one checker. If a position is occupied by only one checker, then the position is defenseless and if the opponent rolls the appropriate number then he can hit the exposed checker. When this happens the opponent removes that checker to the bar (the middle part of the wooden board) and has to re-enter the checker into the game by rolling the dice and placing the checker to the appropriate position of his opponent’s home compartment, in the upper right hand side. Frequently because some positions in the opponent’s home compartment are blocked by his checkers (if there are 2 or more), the player may not be able to enter the game easily, and forced to lose his turn and try multiple times until he can. Each of the 4 compartments is divided into 6 positions, corresponding to the 6 numbers of the die. so, for example if a player’s checker was hit and is waiting on the bar and he rolls a 5 and 3 then, permitting he can place his checker on position 5 or 3 and then play the other number left. As a final point, the player can only start collecting his checkers off the board only when he moved all his checkers into his home compartment (lower-right side). In some cases, during the procedure of collecting the checkers the opponent might hit one of the player’s exposed checkers, for example if one of his checkers has been hit and waiting to re-enter and manages to hit one of opponent’s checkers. In this case the player must stop the procedure of collecting and re-enter his checker from the other’s home position, and resume the collecting when the checker has been moved to the final compartment.

The exciting element of backgammon is that everything changes really quickly and the fortunes of the players can change from one single throw, because of this its often used into casino websites. The threats and opportunities are continuously shifting. Usually when someone plays backgammon he will play a match of 3, 5, 7 or more points. If the winner collects all his checkers before his opponent even moved all his checkers to his home position then the winner will be appointed double the points. This is what we call gammon. If the winner collects all his checkers before even the opponent has removed all his checkers from the winner’s home position (upper right hand compartment) then the winner gets triple the points and scores a ‘backgammon’.


Backgammon rules - The Setup

As explained earlier the board of backgammon is separated into 24 equal positions marked by long triangles of alternating color. The board is separated into 4 compartments and numbered from 1 to 24 (position 1 being the position on the far lower right corner). The checkers move from the upper right hand towards the lower right hand which means for the player an anti-clockwise and for his opponent a clockwise movement. Therefore, position 1 for one player is position 24 for the other. Each player places his 15 checkers accordingly: 2 checkers on position 24, 5 checkers on position 13, 5 checkers on position 6 and 3 checkers on position 8.


Backgammon rules - The game

The game begins with each player rolling one of the dice. The player with the higher number begins. If there is a tie the dice are thrown once again. Then each player rolls the dice alternately till the end of the game. Each number shown on the dice have to played independently, meaning if someone rolls 6 and 2 then he will have to move his checker or checkers 2 positions and then 6 positions. If someone rolls a double, for example double sixes, then he must play 4 times the number 6, again separately. If a player cannot move his checkers due to blocked positions caused by the opponent’s checkers, then he must play one of the numbers or skip his turn.

When the player has moved his entire group of checkers to his home compartment (lower right hand) then he can start taking off his checkers. As previously mentioned if the player receives a hit from his opponent, then he must stop the collection process and once again move his checkers to the home position. For each value of the dice the player collects accordingly. Therefore if the player rolls 6 and 2 then he must collect a checker from position 6 and one checker from position 2. If there is no checkers on position 6 then the player must collect from the next position, for example if there is no checkers on position 5 and 4 then he must collect from position 3. The same thing does not apply for smaller positions.

The player who manages to get his checkers off first wins, resulting to 1 point (if a doubling cube had been used then the point is doubled accordingly). If the winner scores a gammon, meaning the loser has not taken off any checkers off the board yet, the winner gets 2 points. If the winner scores backgammon, meaning the loser hasn’t moved all his checkers out of the winner’s home compartment yet, then the winner gets 3 points.

Backgammon rules - The doubling Cube


Some players prefer to use the doubling cube for a backgammon match. This cube is used mostly when people are gambling and playing for money. This cube has numbers 2 through 64 printed on its 6 sides in the sequence of powers of two (2, 4, 16, 32, and 64). This element was added around the 1920’s and certainly added a new challenge to the game. When using the cube the rules are slightly different. The game commences with the cube turned on the 64 side placed the bar (center of the board). This indicates that no betting has been placed, yet. Both players have access to the cube. When its one of the players turn to roll the dice he can choose to double the stakes (for money or points) providing the cube is in the middle or in some cases his side. If the opponent accepts the challenge then the cube is turned to the number 2 and so on. When a player doubles the stakes then the cube resides his side. The only way for the opponent to regain access of the cube is if he challenges the player to re-double the game and the player accepts. If the player declines then the game’s doubling will remain to its original side.

BACKGAMMON RULES

 

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