Backgammon Rules

Thu, 29 May 2008 16:56

Backgammon Rules

Backgammon online official board game rules.

Like in any other games, an individual who wants to play must first learn the basic rules followed in a specific game. So for those who intend to experience the thrill and fun of playing backgammon, here are some important details regarding backgammon rules. The information on backgammon rules could provide helpful tips to both amateur and professional players.

Backgammon is defined as a game played by two players using a 2 x 12 board with 24 triangles (points or pips). These points are of alternating colors (four quadrants); each quadrant having six points. Each player is given a pair of quadrants - a home board (inner board) and an outer board. A ridge called "bar" separates the boards of one player from that of the second player's boards. The numbering of points begins from each home board. The initial position is indicated below:

* 24 points - two checkers each
* 13 points - five checkers each
* eight points - three checkers each
* six points - five checkers each

Each player is given two dice plus a cup to shake the dice. A cube is positioned in the center with 64 facing up. Once a challenger renders a double, he turns the cube to its succeeding higher value and passes it to his opponent. Backgammon gaming rule declares that: if the opponent accepts the double, he can then place the cube on his side and automatically owns it.

Backgammon's objective is to have the checkers removed or taken out from the home or inner board of the player. This is done by moving the checkers forward in the board. A checker's movement would depend on the numbers that the dice will show. When all the checkers have reached your home or inner board, that is the time when you can remove them from the board (bear off). By bearing off all the checkers first, you automatically become the game's winner. However, acquiring stakes also matters in playing backgammon.

To begin the game , players should throw a die. The one who acquires the highest digit gets to start first. If the players come up with the same numbers, they should keep on rolling the die until they get different results. After that, the players play alternately -- rolling two dice every turn. Rolling of dice will indicate how many pips the participant will be allowed to transfer the checker. There are backgammon rules that control the checker's movement:

* Those numbers that the dice show will be taken as two distinct moves. You can make use of the total amount to let the checker move, or use the individual numbers to forward two different checkers. For instance, you rolled a six and a two. You can opt to forward a checker eight spaces, or forward it six spaces and the other checker two spaces.

* Moving the checker into a pip, which has your checkers, is allowed. However, you cannot make a move to a pip that is already filled up by the checker of your challenger.

* Once the player gets identical numbers after the dice rolled, he will play the amount that appeared twice. One roll of a double three means you are allowed to move three points. The move can be made four times using whatever combination. The one who rolls more usually wins.

* If possible, the two digits of one roll including the doubles, should be used by a player. If not, a player may decide to make use of a number higher compared to the other. You can opt to use the moves in as much as you want once you have rolled doubles. A player may lose a turn if he cannot use any number.

More than one checker in one pip is deemed a made point (owned point). The challenger may not land on an owned point but can jump over it and move beyond that. You can put more checkers as you like on any pip. More than one owned point in one row is a prime.  A prime of six is a 'full'. Any rival checkers behind the prime are immobile unless full prime remains unbroken.

One checker positioned on a pip or point is said to be a 'blot'. Checkers with different colors could not occupy the same pip. Once your opponent goes to a blot, then the blot will be removed. The checker will then be put inside the bar.

When inside the bar, moving any checker forward towards a pip is not allowed until it enters the home or inner board of your rival. You can re-enter your checker if the numbers that the dice show will put the checker to one pip, which is not yet filled up by your rival's checkers.

If a number of checkers are still inside the bar, then they must enter again a board before moving the other checkers. If you still acquire unused numbers after you have entered again, you are allowed to use the digits to put forward your checkers. If you cannot enter due to pips that the dice specified, then your turn will be given to your challenger.

Bearing off is the last phase in backgammon. This can be done by taking or removing the checkers out from your specific home or inner board. You are only allowed to remove the checkers if all the checkers that you possess have entered your home or inner board. Bearing off of checkers depends on the number shown in the dice. Rolling a 5-1 enables you to put the checker off on the fifth point and the other checker at the 1-point.

If no checker is positioned on the points, then the challenger should move using one checker, which is situated on a much higher number point. If no checker occupies those points, one is allowed (and obliged) to eliminate the checker situated in the highest pip where checkers of the challenger dwell.

Bearing off is unnecessary once there is an appropriate move to play. This can be helpful if the checker of the challenger is put in a bar. It is also useful when your opponent owns a point in your board.

If throughout the game, you sensed that you're on the advantageous position, you may opt to have the game's stakes doubled. One can do this through showing doubling cube's number 2. You can do it during your turn before the dice roll.

If your adversary wants the stakes to be doubled, you can opt to pass, to drop, to decline or to accept. Declining the double will automatically cause the game's forfeiture. Accepting the double means you become that particular cube's owner, thus you alone can make the stakes re-double. There is definitely no limit in redoubling your stakes, although redoubling often happens after the level four.

Backgammon is over if one player decides to remove all the checkers he owns. When the loser bears off one checker alone, he then cannot have the number shown by the cube. However, if he is unable to get the checker off, he is considered gammoned and automatically loses two times the worth of the particular doubling cube.
If the game's loser does not remove any checkers that he has, and he still has checker/s inside the middle ridge or inside the board (home) of his rival, he is considered backgammoned. He loses thrice the worth of the particular doubling cube.

Still on the subject of backgammon rules, situations below are frequently encountered when money is involved in playing backgammon:

1. Automatic Doubles

If the players roll similar numbers upon knowing the person that should begin, the cube automatically turns to 2.

2. Jacoby Rule

Gammons and backgammons count as one game if no player would attempt to double as they are playing backgammon. This is done to expedite the game through eliminating the situation wherein a player shuns from doubling to proceed with the game for the gammon.

3. Beavers

This occurs if any player gets one double that comes from his challenger for doing a redoubling right away while keeping the cube.

On match plays - backgammon not played for money -- the rule of Crawford is typically used. It says that the next game will be played without using the cube (doubling) after the player arrives within one winning point.

Sometimes, irregularities cannot be avoided. In case of unavoidable circumstances, here are other backgammon rules that can be done:

1. If a die does not land flat, or it lands on a checker or outside the right-hand board, the player must roll both dice again.
2. Once a challenger gets/picks the dice, then that specific play will be considered as a completed turn. If a particular play is said to be incomplete or illegal, the challenger can decide to accept that individual play as it is, or require his opponent to play in accordance with the rules.
3. If one player has not yet ended his turn and the other picks and rolls the dice, that particular roll is considered void.

To know more about this exciting game, you can surf the internet and be informed on the different strategies of backgammon.