Backgammon Rules

With MPLAYER Releasing Online Backgammon, here is some guidance to help.

Components:

  • The Board.
  • Two sets of checkers (15 each)
  • Two pairs of dice
  • Two players

High-Level Objective

  • Move your checkers around the board
  • Get them off of the board
  • Prevent your opponent from doing the same

Both players begin by rolling a single die, the highest roll starts (if it is a tie roll again).  When the higher roller is determined, those dice are used to make the first move.

With each turn going forward you roll both dice, with the numbers shown dictating how far you may move your pieces.

  • If the dice have the same number (example: 3-3) – treat it as if there were four dice.

When you move you move the top piece of a triangle, and you can only move to certain triangles that have

  • No checkers
  • Your checkers
  • A single(one) opponents checker

If you move your piece on top of that single opponent’s checker, that checker gets removed to the middle of the board.  The owner must put it back on the board and start from the beginning. Until all their pieces are back on the board, they cannot make other moves.  Aka if you have a checker in the middle, getting it out is the first thing you have to do.

backgammon jumping

If one of your pieces made it around the board, you can remove them (aka bearing off).  To bear it off you need:

  • Roll a number which is exactly how far the piece would have to travel to exit the board.
  • Your unused dice all show values greater than what’s required to bear a piece off.  If this happens you can bear off the piece furthest from the end.

Pieces travel around the board, and somewhat in a circle:

backgammon checkers movementGet your pieces off the board to win the game/round

There are two different terms to denote a great win.

  • Gammoning: Player wins before opponent bears any checkers off the board
  • Backgammoning: Player wins before opponent checkers off the board, and still has a piece left in the first quadrant/bar.

Fun Fact: Backgammon is about 5,000 years old found in the Middle East, making it one of the oldest board games.

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