|Layout of the Playing Board:|
Backgammon is 2-player game of skill, played on a unique board which is broken down into four quadrants, with each player having his Home and Outer quadrants, or Boards. Each quadrant consists of 6 black and white triangular points, making a total of 24 points across the entire playing board. The points are numbered 1-24 for each player, starting at the player's Home board (so that Point 1 for player A will be point 24 for player B and vice-versa). The board is also split vertically down the center by a partition, known as the Bar, which separates the home and outer boards. |
Each player receives 15 checkers, colored either white or black, which are initially laid out across the board in the set starting position. In addition, players also have 2 regular playing dice and a special Doubling Cube, which is used to keep track of the stakes of the game.
|Object of the Game|
|The object of the game is for players to move their checkers around the board and into their respective Home boards and then to remove, or Bear, the pieces off the board. The first player to bear all 15 of his checkers off the board wins the game.|
|How the Game is Played|
To decide who will start the game, each player rolls a single die and the player with the highest number begins, using both his number and that of his opponent in his opening move. This is called the Opening roll.|
Advancing checkers The number of points, or pips, that a player may advance his checkers is decided by the roll of the dice, with each die representing a separate move. For example, if you roll 4 and 2, you can either move one checker a total of 6 pips, provided that the intermediate point is open, or you may move one checker 4 pips and another checker 2 pips.
Rolling doubles If a player rolls doubles, the numbers are played twice. For example, if both dice read 5, you have four moves of 5, which can be played in any legal combination you wish: four checkers moved 5 pips each, one checker moved 20 pips (4 x 5 pips), or any such combination.
Direction of play A player's checkers may be moved in only one direction around the board, in an imaginary U-shaped trail starting at Point 24 of the opponent's home board and ending at Point 1 of his own home board. Backwards moves are never permitted.
A checker may only be advanced to an Open Point: that is, any point that is free of checkers or is occupied by the players own checkers, or has no more than one of the opponents' checkers placed on it. There is no limit to the amount of checkers you may place on a single point that is in your possession. A Checker may not be advanced to a point that is occupied by two or more of your opponents' checkers.
Can I pass on a turn?
As long as a legal move may be made, a player may not pass on his turn. If it is not possible to play both rolled numbers, a you must use the higher of the two, provided that this constitutes a legal move, otherwise you may use the lower number. A player forfeits his turn only if neither number can be played.
|Hitting and Entering|
A single/lone checker on a point is known as a blot. If a player's checker lands on an opponents blot, either as an intermediate move or as a final landing point, the blot is removed from the board and placed on the bar. This is known as a hit. If a player's checkers have been hit, his first priority is to enter them back onto his opponents Home board. Until this has been done, he cannot advance any other checkers around the board. |
To return a checker to the board, you must roll a number corresponding to an open point on his opponents open point. Any number remaining having returned a blot to the board must be used in the normal fashion to advance a checker. If neither of your rolled numbers corresponds to open points, you must then forfeit and wait for your next turn to try again.
Once all 15 checkers have been advanced to the home board, you can begin bearing them off. The dice are rolled as normal, and checkers are then removed in correspondence to the numbers rolled. For example, you roll 4 and 1, you may then remove a checker from points 4 and 1. |
If there are no checkers on the point indicated by the dice, the player must move checkers from the next highest point to a lower number. For example, if you roll 4 and 5, but do not have checkers on these points, you must advance any checkers that you have on point 6 down by the number of points indicated by the dice.
If the only points occupied by checkers are lower than the numbers rolled, the player may bear off checkers from the next highest point down. For example, if you roll 4 and 6, but you only have checkers on points 1, 2 and 3, then you can remove two checkers, beginning with those on point 3.
If a player's checker is hit while bearing off, it must first be entered back onto his opponent's home board and then advanced back around to his home board before he can continue to bear off.
The Doubling Cube is used to increase and keep track of the stakes of the game. It is marked with the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64. A player can offer to double the stakes of a game at any stage after the opening play, and before he rolls the dice for his turn. His opponent must decide to accept or decline the offer to double the stakes. If he decides not to double the stakes, he loses/forfeits the game at its present stake. If he accepts, the stakes are doubled and the cube is turned to display the new stake. |
Once a player accepts the double, he is given possession of the cube and then only he can re-double the stakes. If the stakes are re-doubled, control of the cube will pass back to the other player and so on. Doubling may continue up to 64 times the original stake only. The Doubling Cube option may be turned on/off in the "Match Terms" pop-up window before play begins.
If a player accepts an offer to double or re-double the stakes, and then immediately offers to double the stakes himself, he is given the advantage of keeping control of the Doubling Cube. This is called a Beaver. As before, a player who declines a re-double immediately forfeits the game. The Beaver option may be turned on/off in the "Match Terms" pop-up window before play begins.
|Gammons & Backgammons|
|If at the end of the game the losing player has removed one or more of his checkers from the board, he loses whatever stake is shown on the Doubling Cube. If all his checkers are in his home board, but he has not begun to remove them, he loses twice the stakes shown on the Doubling Cube: this is known as a Gammon. If at the end of the game, the loser has one or more checkers in his opponent's home board or on the bar, he loses three times the stake indicated by the Doubling Cube: this is known as a Backgammon.|
|If a player comes within one point of winning a series, then the next game will be played without the option of using the Doubling Cube, if you decide to play using the Crawford Rule.|
|If neither player has accepted a Double during a game, then Gammons and Backgammons count as 1 point only, if you decide to play using the Jacoby Rule.|
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