Backgammon rules

Backgammon is a board game for 2 players. The object of the game is to move checkers around the board by throwing 2 die and bare them off at the end. The first person to do so wins the game.

The board is split into 4 compartments. Each section has 6 points. One player starts from one side of the board and the other on the opposite side and they each move their checkers around the board going in the opposite direction. Your starting section would be your opponents finishing section and vice versa. Each player has different coloured checkers depending on the board. The most common colour is brown and cream.

The first player to remove all their checkers is the winner. If the loser of the game removes at least one checker then 1 point is scored. If the loser has not removed any of their checkers then this is called a Gammon and 2 points are scored. If the loser still has checkers in the home board then this is called Backgammon and 3 points are scored. Different versions of Backgammon may have a different scoring system.

Each player rolls a die to determine who goes first. The highest die goes first. You use your opponents opening die with your own for your first move. If the same die is rolled then you throw again. Both players then take turns to throw the dice and move their checkers around the board. Each dice corresponds to the amount you are allowed to move. For example, if you throw a 5-3, then you would move either one checker 8 or 2 checkers 5 and 3. You can’t move more than 2 checkers. If you throw a double, for example, 4-4 then you can move 4 times with up to 4 checkers.

You can’t place a checker on a point occupied by 2 or more of your opponents checkers but you can place as many as you want on points occupied by your own checkers.

If your opponent has one checker on a point then this is called a blot and can be hit, removed of the board and placed on the bar. The bar is in the centre of the board, in between the 4 sections. You then have to throw to get back on the board at the very start. More than one checker can be placed on the bar when hit, even both players checkers simultaneously. This would be a very exciting game. You cannot move any other checkers in play if you have one or more on the bar. You must have all checkers in play before you can carry on with the game. It’s not always easy removing checkers from the bar as your opponent may have the points covered with 2 or more checkers. You would have to find a spare point and roll the die corresponding to it to get you back in the game.

When all your checkers have been moved into your finishing section of the board then you can start bearing them of. The checkers are bared off with the amount you throw with the die. The 6 points correspond to the die. For example, you throw a 6, then you move off a checker at point six. If you don’t have a checker on point 6 then you would take off either a 5 or 4 and so on. You could still be vulnerable to be hit if your opponent has checkers on the bar. If you are hit then your checker is placed on the bar and you must start from the beginning. Remember, you cant continue the game until your checker is removed from the bar and you can’t bare any off until you have managed to play that checker back around the board and into your finishing section.

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