How To Play Backgammon - Understanding The Rules

By: Gen Wright


When it comes to playing backgammon for the first time, it could be quite confusing to understand the board set up, placing backgammon chips and the game-play. The backgammon is played keeping in mind specific rules that are unique and enhance the game-play. Learning these rules will help you to understand how to play backgammon.

After setting the board up and selecting black or white chips you want to play with, it is time to roll the dice and start the game. Every player throws to work out who will play first. If both the players get the same number, roll again. You need to roll both the dice in order to find out who will play first.

Backgammon chips always moved in the forward direction stating from the farthest right-hand upper corner. You will be moving counterclockwise and so does your opponent. Your object is to move the chips according to the numbers you get from 1 to 24 towards the inner board on your side. Every number you roll out corresponds to one point. For instance, if you get 4 and 2 after throwing both dice, the 4 corresponds to 4 points and 2 correspond to 2 points.

After the rollout, you can move either two chips or one, according to the strategy you want to follow and the availability. In simpler means, you can move one chip 4 points and another one 2 points. Alternatively, you can move one your chips to 6 points if you have a clear course.

Finding a clear course could be quite difficult. You are not allowed to move to the point on which your opponent has two chips and is considered a block. Your chips can only be placed at points that already have your own single chip, are unoccupied or only have single chip of your opponent. If none of these options are available then you have to give up your turn. In instances where you only have the option of moving one chip legally but not the others, you will have to make such a move.

When you get doubles on the rolling the two dice that is considered as a special scenario, and you are allowed number options to make your move. For example, if you roll out two fours, then you can either move one of your chips to 16 points, move two chips 8 points each, move one chip 12 points and another 4 points, move two chips 4 points each and another one 8 points or move four of your different chips 4 points each.

Now, if your chip lands at the place already occupied by the single chip of your opponent, then that chip is considered as a blot and your chip landing on top of it represents an attack. The blot or the chip of your opponent under attack now has to be removed from the play and is moved to the bar that is located in the center of the board.

Your opponent is not allowed to make further moves until he or she can move the blot from the center legally. Additionally, the blot can only be placed back on the inner board, which means your opponent has to start over again. You also have to start over again if you get the blot.
In order to secure a win, you are required to have all your chips on your inner board, which means that they all must be placed on your 1 through 6 points. After that, you can commence the "bear off" which means moving your pieces off the board according to points you get on rolls. The first player who does that wins the backgammon. Double victory is attained, if your opponent could not bear off even a single chip of theirs. Triple victory is awarded if your opponent could not reach the bear off stage and still has blots or any chips in the inner table on your side.

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