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Rules of Backgammon

There are some rules in playing backgammon but no so hard to follow:

1. The numbers on the dice are two separate moves. One checker can be moved the full amount or each of the two numbers can be moved with separate men. For example you have a 5 and a 4. You can move one checker 9 points or you can move one checker 4 points and another
checker 5 points.

2. A stone cannot land on a point occupied by two or more of the opponent's stones. You aren't allowed to make that move even if you have only one piece left and there is no other move you can make. A point occupied by two or more stones is called closed or made. However, if you can't share a point with the enemy you can jump over it. Moves are always compulsory even when is in your best interest to stay still. If you can use only one of the two numbers you rolled then you must do so. You must always try to move the highest number.

3. If you roll a doublet, that is: the same number on the two dice, you have various possibilities of moving your stones.

Say you throw a double of 3. You can play the number 4 times rather than 2 times:

  • One piece 12 points
  • One piece 9 points and one piece 3 points
  • Two pieces 6 points each
  • Four pieces 3 points each

4. A single stone resting on a point is a target. It's called a blot. When you land on an enemy's blot is called a hit. The blot is then retired to the bar. The blot must be entered and become a stone again before you can move any of your other pieces. The lonely blot must enter the enemy�s home table on an open point.

If a single stone of the enemy's occupies one of those open points you can hit it and send it to the bar. If none of the points are open and your enemy's stones have crowded all available space you are shut out and you don't even get to throw the dice. Your blot remains on the bar and you can't move. Your turn is over.

5. When you have collected all your stones in your home table you can bear off, that is remove all your stones from the game in the order determined by the dice. If the number you rolled is higher than the number of points you have yet to travel, you simply bear off the piece that's farthest away. If you are hit after you've started to bear off, your stone becomes a blot on the bar. You must enter it and bring it around to your home before you can go back bearing off.

Gammon and backgammon

The game ends when either player bears off his last stone. If the loser has borne off at least one stone then the loser has lost just one game. But if he hasn't borne off at least one stone, the loss counts double. This is called a gammon. If the loser has a stone left in the winner's inner table or on the bar, the loss counts triple. This is called backgammon.


You can really ratchet up the stakes by using a tactic called doubling. Either player can make the first double of the game. You simply declare your intention to double before you roll the dice. For this you will use the doubling cube.

Before the game starts the doubling cube is placed at the side or on the bar with number 64 on top which indicates the game is being played for one point or unit. If one player feels he has advantage he turns the cube so 2 is facing up. Of course the other player doesn't necessarily has to accept the doubling. Either player can make the first double, but after a double is accepted the player who took it is said to own the cube and only he is allowed to redouble the stakes. There's no limit to the number of doubling but 4 level is rarely passed.