How to Play Backgammon

It is said that there are two kinds of people: Those who love backgammon, and those who don’t know how to play backgammon.

For those that don’t know how to play it but have always been curious, the rules are not terribly complicated. One can learn how to play backgammon in about ten minutes.

See all our Board Game and Card Game rules here.

The backgammon board is set up to have four quadrants with six triangles, or “points” in each quadrant. The points are numbered from 24 to 1, with 24 being the upper right point on the outer board, and then so forth going down counterclockwise. Two checkers are placed on each players 24 point, five on each players 13 point, three on the 8 point, and five checkers for each six point. The end result should evoke a mirror image of separate colors.

backgammon-classic

The first player rolls both dice and then must move a checker the corresponding number of spaces that is equal to one of the dice. He must then move a second checker the amount of spaces indicated on the second die.

 

backgammon points

He may move one checker the amount of total spaces, but only if both individual numbers are not occupied by two or more checkers of his or her opponent. Motion continues counterclockwise for each player. If you can’t move any of your checkers because both of the numbers indicated on the dice lead to points that are filled up, you must forfeit your turn.

backgammon roll dicegif

You can download backgammon for 99c.

If, however, you roll doubles, you are granted the opportunity to move your checkers twice as many times. For instance, if you rolled two fours, you can move one checker four spaces, another checker four spaces, and then you are allowed to repeat the process again. You may also, in that instance, move a checker eight spaces if the four space is not taken, and then move another checker eight more spaces.

If you should land on a space that your opponent is on, he or she must put their checker on the ‘bar’. This is the hinged space between the quadrants.

Once you have moved all your checkers onto your side, or “home board”, you can begin bearing off. This process is done by rolling the dice and trying to match one or both of the dice numbers to the corresponding numbers of the points where your checkers reside. If you make a match, you may remove that checker.

backgammon beraring off

You will continue until all the checkers are removed from your home board. Once this is done, you have officially won your first game of backgammon!

You can download backgammon for 99c.

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