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
player’s checkers, forcing the player to make unnecessary
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.
this happens the opponent removes that checker to the bar
middle part of the wooden board) and has to re-enter the
checker into the game by rolling the dice and placing the
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
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
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
for example if one of his checkers has been hit and waiting
to re-enter and manages to hit one of opponent’s checkers.
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
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
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
a new challenge to the game. When using the cube the rules
are slightly different. The game commences with the cube
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.