Backgammon is a table game for two players. The players have 15 checkers each and have to move them across the board consisting of 24 points (long triangles). Their moves are determined by the number of dots on two dice. In order to win, you have to move your checkers into your home board in a horseshoe-like pattern, and bear them off. You move your checkers counter-clockwise and your opponent moves his in the opposite direction.
The board is divided into four quadrants: the player’s home board and outer board, and the opponent’s home board and outer board. Each quadrant consists of 6 points of different colors (24 points in total). In the middle of the board, there is a bar.
Each player has a set of 15 checkers (black or white). The opponent’s checkers are of a different color. You can customize your checkers in the Settings section.
You move your checkers counter-clockwise and your opponent moves his the other way round.
The players use 2 dices to determine who starts the game and then to determine the moves during the gameplay. You can roll the dice by yourself or they can be rolled automatically.
At the beginning, the players roll the dice to determine who starts the game. The person who rolls the highest number can make the first move. At the same time, the numbers on dice are counted first moves of the player. For example, if one player rolls 3 and the other rolls 6, then the player who rolled 6 goes first and can move his checkers 3 and 6 points.
The numbers on the two dice constitute two separate moves. On the basis of our previous example, if you roll 3 and 6, you can move one checker 3 spaces and the other one 6 spaces. Also, it is possible to make one bigger move with the use of one checker only – you can move one checker 9 spaces.
You move your checkers counter-clockwise in a horseshoe-like pattern. The goal is to bring all the checkers to the home board and bear them off. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? However, there are some obstacles to overcome and rules that need to be followed:
- You can move a checker only to an open point – one that is not occupied by 2 or more checkers belonging to your opponent.
- A player who rolls doubles plays the numbers shown on the dice twice. For example, if you roll 3 and 3, you can make four moves by 3 points.
- If there is only one checker on a point, it can be hit by the opponent’s checker and placed on the bar. When one (or more than one) of your checkers are on the bar, you have to enter them into the opposing home board before you can use other checkers. It may happen that it will occur impossible because the opponent’s fields will be occupied by two or more checkers. Then, your moves will be blocked until the opponent moves his checkers.
When you move all of your checkers to your home board, you can start bearing them off. If one of your checkers gets hit during bearing off, you can’t continue this process until you bring it back home. The player who bears off all of his 15 checkers wins the game.
When one of the players feels he has an advantage and his chances of winning are high, he may offer to double the stakes. If the other player turns it down, he must pay the number of coins that were at stake prior to redouble, and the game is over.