How to Play Backgammon Beginners Guide Play Online for Free

Blue must now use her roll to enter her checker into White’s home board before moving any other checkers. Now if Blue rolls 1-3, since White is occupying the 3-point Blue is forced to enter on the 1-point. A checker is entered by moving it to an open point in your opponent’s home board. If Blue rolled 6-3 and was unable to enter (often referred to as "dancing") it would automatically end her turn. The game is over and a winner is declared whenever someone removes their last checker from the game. This often becomes a race to roll the correct number near the end of the game as each player has moved their pieces into their own home board and began bearing them off one-by-one. Once a player has successfully entered all their pieces into their home board, they can start bearing off.

The first player to bear off all their checkers wins the game. The numbering of points is based on the point of view of the player whose turn it MyStake Casino is to move. Each point therefore has two numbers, depending upon who is on roll. For example, White’s 5-point (or 5-pt) is Black’s 20-point.

  • This one game without doubling is called the Crawford game.
  • Once one or more discs enter on your side, you may use future rolls to move them further down the board.
  • This would likely be one of the oldest board games ever invented; Backgammon.
  • If you can land on a point with only ONE of your opponent’s pieces, known as a “blot,” then you can hit your opponent and move their piece to the bar.

If a player is able to enter some but not all of his checkers, he must enter
as many as he can and then forfeit the remainder of his turn. Backgammon is a two-player game, and each player has their own colored set of fifteen checkers. Both players also need two dice, a dice cup, and a doubling cube that has the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64. The objective of backgammon is to move all your checkers into your home board and then bear them off. It’s only possible to bear off checkers when all of your checkers are in your home board.

However, you can move a disc on the home board just as you would on a normal move. In the preciding position shown in the image, White rolls 53. As you can see White is unable to move any of his backmost checkers as Blue is occupying the points with 4-prime.

The initial bet is the agreed upon amount each player will wager at the beginning of the game. Make sure to keep in mind that this bet could double one or more times during the course of the game. Comprised of 30 checkers, 2 dice, and a board of 24 pointed triangles, Backgammon has gone through many iterations through it’s long lifespan.

In the event that both players roll the same number, each rolls again to determine who makes the first move. In the event of subsequent ties this process is repeated until the dice show different numbers. Some people play that if the two players roll the same number on the first roll of the game, then the doubling cube is automatically turned to 2. The cube stays in the middle but now the first voluntary double of the game will be offered at 4.

Do you want to learn how to play backgammon, but don’t know where to begin? Our free Backgammon 101 series is for you!

The player rolling highest becomes the box; second highest becomes the captain of the team playing against the box. The captains plays for the team, and has the final say on all checker-play decisions. The idea behind the rule is that without restrictions on doubling, the player who is behind in the match would double at his first opportunity every game.

Hitting Your Opponent’s Blot

Once one or more discs enter on your side, you may use future rolls to move them further down the board. You must use your whole turn when re-entering the game from the bar. If you roll a 3-4, you can re-enter on the 3 or 4 point and then move your disc according to the remaining die, as you would on a normal turn. You can hit an opponent’s piece on the home or outer board. For example, if players rolled double 2s, they could move four 2s in any format they would like. So essentially, instead of moving two pieces, two spaces each, you get to move four pieces, two spaces each.

How To Play Backgammon – Rules, Tips and Strategies to Win

There are some variations of backgammon, played in the Middle East, where hit-and-run is not allowed in the player’s home board. To decide who goes first, you and your opponent each roll one die. That player does not roll the dice again; they play the two numbers just rolled on their first turn. After the last of a player’s checkers has been entered, any unused numbers
on the dice must be played, by moving either the checker that was entered
or a different checker. An alternate arrangement is the reverse of the one shown here,
with the home board on the left and the outer board on the right.


So much so that it’s origins can be traced back nearly 5000 years to the Mesopotamian region. This was the first known game to use dice, and the oldest versions actually used human bone to form the dice. Backgammon tournaments are normally decided by single elimination matches. Competitors are paired off and each pair plays a series of games to decide which player will progress to the next round. A player who has made all six points in their home board is said to have a closed board.

There is some terminology that comes along with playing backgammon. The bar separates the outer side from the home side of the board. The 24 triangles on the board are known as the points, and the checkers are called discs.

See our New to Backgammon collection of articles or take a free beginner Backgammon 101 class. Through a series of iterations, rule changes and cultural differences, Backgammon slowly evolved into the game we see today. Tournament play is far more difficult than money play because the score influences doubling decisions and checker plays. Thirty round stones, fifteen each of two different colors, generally referred to as checkers. The bots have forever changed how we think about the game and the player of 2022 is light years ahead of their 1980 counterpart.

Rolling Doubles

A doubling cube is a cubical block, a little larger than a regular die, with the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 printed on its faces. The purpose is to allow players to bet on the game as they are playing. A player who is offered a double may refuse, in which case he
concedes the game and pays one point. Otherwise, he must accept the double and play on for the new higher
stakes. A player who accepts a double becomes the owner of the cube and only
he may make the next double. In Dutch backgammon, all discs start off the board as well. Players roll to enter their discs onto their opponent’s home board.

You can enjoy this fun board game with your friends and family on your very own customized backgammon board to boot. A tip for beginners playing backgammon is to always ensure the two dice land flat and on the right side of the Backgammon board. On a player’s turn, they will roll both dice to determine their movement. The game’s goal is to bear off, or remove, your pieces from play. You do this by getting your pieces around the board into your home section.

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