Backgammon Rules

Backgammon rules are not terribly complicated, but there is some level of education necessary just for the game to make sense. Another obvious necessary is a backgammon board. These can be found at nearly any hobby store or giant retailer with the word "Super" in front of it. The backgammon set will consist of a board, dice, and checkers.

Once you have your board in your possession, it is time to set up. You will see twenty-four triangles. These are called "points". They are divided into four quadrants. Two will belong to you and the other two will belong to your opponent. Players face each other with the board perpendicular to them. Each player's home board is typically the right two quadrants, with the two left quadrants serving as the two outer boards. The outermost point in each player's home board is called the "twenty-four point". These two twenty-four points serve as the opposing player's "one point".

Each player starts out with fifteen checkers, either white or red. Typical backgammon rules require this set-up: Two checkers on each player's 24 point, five on the thirteen point for each player, three the eight points, and five on the six point for each player. In addition, the players will also use a pair of dice apiece and a dice cup to shake those dice with. To win the game, a player must move all of their checkers into his or her home board and then "bear them off". Whichever player does this first wins. The red checkers move clockwise, while the white checkers move counterclockwise. Once the first player rolls the dice, he or she moves their checkers that amount of spaces. These are called "pips". A player may only move a checker to an open point, though, which means that the point may not have two or more opposing checkers. Since there are two dice, a player may move one checker the amount of spaces present on one die, and then move another checker the amount of the second die. If the player does not wish to do this, he or she may instead move one checker the amount of spaces on both dies collectively, providing that the points representing each individual die are not taken up. If this the case, the player is forbidden to perform this action. If a player rolls doubles, he or she can play each individual number twice, using any checkers he wants in order to do this. A player has to use both of the die numbers for each roll unless it is not legally possible. If this is the caes, the player must play the number that is possible to be played. If neither numbers are playable, the player must forfeit his turn.

If a player lands on a point that his opponent has a checker on, the opponents checker is placed on the "bar", which is the hinged area separating the quadrants.

Once a player has all of his checkers on his home board, he can start bearing off by trying to roll the corresponding number for a checker. For instance, if a player has a checker on the six point, he or she must roll a 6 on one of the dies. The player must make a move if his number doesn't correspond to a point, so long as there is a legal move to make.

These are the basic backgammon rules, which have enthralled and entertained millions of people the world over for time immemorial. Why not pick up a board and start joining in the fun?