Backgammon rules

Backgammon game rules

Backgammon is one of the ancients board games known, and more played dice game in the world.

Board and pieces

Two players take part in the game. Each of them uses 15 pieces (checkers, chips), black and white respectively, distributed on a board with 24 triangular boxes (points).

Both players advance their pieces on the points, oppositely, according to the rolls of the dice, trying to complete the route and remove (bear off) all the pieces before the opponent.

Movements

Two dice are thrown each turn. In the opening of every game both players roll one die, and who gets the highest number plays the first turn using those two rolls.

Pieces are moved according to these rules:

  • One move is made for each number, advancing the same piece or different pieces.
  • The moves of both numbers can be done in any order.
  • Pieces can´t land on any point occupied by two or more opponent pieces.
  • When the piece land on a point occupied by one only opponent piece, this is captured.
  • There is no limit to the amount of pieces placed on the same point.
  • In case of rolling a double (twice the same roll) four moves are made with the same number, instead of two.
  • If possible, it is mandatory to complete the moves of the rolls. If there is one only piece that can be moved with both rolls but not the sum of both, the highest number must be used.

Forced moves are made automatically.

Whenever you can choose between two rolls for the same piece, you must click on any of the dice that appear over the piece.

Captures

When one piece lands on a point occupied by a single opponent piece (blot), this is captured and placed on the board central bar.

Pieces placed on the bar must re-enter the game through the opponent's home board before any other move can be made. A roll of 1 is used to place de piece in the furthest point from the bar, and a roll of 6 to place it in the closest one.

If the opponent´s home board is completely closed (the six points are occupied by two or more checkers), that player doesn´t roll because there is no possibility of any move.

Bearing off

The player who has all pieces in the own home board can start removing them. This is called bearing off.

Pieces must be removed using an exact number. Highest numbers may be used to bear pieces off, but only when there is no option to use the full value because all the furthest points are already empty.

The bearing off phase is interrupted when a piece is captured, and may be restarted when the captured piece arrives again to the home board.

Doubling cube

Each player has the option to use the double the bet before rolling the dice. In this case, the opponent has two options:

  • Take the cube: the game goes on, and its final result is multiplied by two. Thenceforth, the player who takes the cube has the option to redouble.
  • Refuse the bet: the player who doubled wins inmediately the game.

The Roll automatically option must be disabled to double, because the bet must be done before rolling the dice.

End of the game and gammon

The player who bears all pieces off before the opponent wins the game.

The winner achieves a gammon, and gets a double victory, when the opponent hasn´t removed yet any piece.

The winner achieves a backgammon, and gets a triple victory, when the opponent hasn´t removed yet any piece and has still at least one piece on the bar or the winners home board.

Play modes in Ludoteka

Ludoteka offers three very different modes to play backgammon online:

Backgammon Match

Players accumulate their scores. The winner of every game gets at least one point, but the value is multiplied if case of gammon or backgammon, and every time the cube is taken.

The match in Ludoteka ends when the winner of the game sums up to 9 points.

The Crawford rule is applied when one of the players reaches 8 points: during the next game there is no option to use de doubling cube.

Tavla

This is most common mode to play backgammon in Turkey and Middle Eastern countries. It is distinguished by:

  • The goal es to reach 3 points.
  • The initial roll that decides who starts the game is not used to make the first move.
  • The doubling cube is not used.
  • During the bear off, the sum of both moves must be the highest possible, even if this implies to take a higher risk.
  • The pick and pass move is forbidden during the bearing off: the piece that captures with the first roll can´t be moved to a safe point with the second roll.
  • The Gammon rule (double victory) is applied, but the Backgammon rule (triple victory) is not applied.

The web Backgammon Galore gives the complete rules of Tavla

Hyper-backgammon

There are many backgammon-based games. We have selected Hyper-backgammon because it has been one of the most successful, games are very quick, and it can be a good training to practice backgammon-type calculations.

Hyper-backgammon is that simple:

  • Each player has only 3 pieces, initially placed on the first points of their route.
  • The rules concerning to moves and doubling cube are the same as in Backgammon Match.
  • Games in Ludoteka are played to 9 points.