Backgammon Rules - Getting Started

Backgammon is straightforward to pick up and play. The object of the game of Backgammon is for each player to bring all of their checkers into his home board, and then to bear them off the board. The first player to clear all their checkers off the board wins the game.

The rules of backgammon online are the same rules as playing at home on a traditional backgammon board. Backgammon is played on a board consisting of 24 narrow triangles called points.

In backgammon rules, each player starts with 15 stones of one color (either light or dark, normally black or white stones) that are placed along the 24 points of the board. The points sometimes known as pips or triangles alternate in color and are grouped into four quadrants each containing 6 points. The backgammon board quadrants are referred to as a home board and outer board. The board is divided in half by a center partition called the bar. All points on a backgammon board are distinguished by numbers. A players' outermost point is the twenty-four point, which is also his opponents one point.

A doubling cube with the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64, is used to keep track of the current stake of the game.

To start a backgammon game, each player rolls a single dice. This determines both the player to go first and the numbers to be played. If each player rolls the same number, then both players have to roll again until the numbers differ. The player who throws the highest number moves first. After the first roll, the players throw both dice and take turn about. The roll of the dice indicates how many points a player can move his stones. Stones are always moved forward, to a lower-numbered point. A stone can only be moved to an open point (one not occupied by two or more opposing stones).

The numbers on the two dice constitute separate moves. For example, if a player rolls 5 and 3, he may move one stone five spaces to an open point and another stone three spaces to an open point, or they may move the one stone a total of eight spaces to an open point, but only if the intermediate point (either three or five spaces from the starting point) is also open.

A player who rolls doubles plays the numbers shown on the dice twice. A roll of 6 and 6 means that the player has four sixes to be used when moving his backgammon stones, they may move any combination of stones they feel is appropriate to complete their turn. A player must use both numbers of a roll if legally possible or all 4 numbers in the case of a double roll.

The backgammon rules state that when only one number can be played, the player must play that number. If either number can be played, but not both, a player must play the higher one. When either number can't be used, a player loses his turn and doesn't move, the same applies for a double roll.


Backgammon News
Backgammon Strategy
Backgammon Gambling

Getting Started
Hitting and Entering
Bearing Off
The Doubling Cube
Gammons & Backgammons


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