The Basic Fundamentals of Backgammon

Despite the prevalence of so many board games, Backgammon remains one of the most widely played, and its numerous variants and prominent online presence is testament to its strong following. While a strategic game, the basic rules are not that hard to follow.

First, one has to be familiar with the equipment. There are the dice (two for each player), the 30 black and white checkers (15 for each player, and also known as "men", markers or stones) and the Backgammon board itself.

The board is divided into four equal parts, and each player is given a home and outer board. There are 24 triangles of alternating colors, and numbered 1 to 24, the 1 point of player "white" being the 24th of player "black". There is a beam running across the entire Backgammon board, and is termed the "bar".

The Backgammon checkers are placed by the players, in a traditional game, in the following positions: 2 pieces on the 24th, 5 pieces on the 13th, 3 on the 8th and the last 5 checkers on the 6th.

The objective of Backgammon is, starting from the 24th point, to move the checkers into their home board. Once all the checkers are there, the process for removing the checkers (bearing off) can begin. The first to bear off all pieces wins the game.

Backgammon rules state that the game begins with a dice throw, and the one with the higher number starts. He throws two dice, and the resulting numbers will determine the movement of his checkers. If the rolls turn up 4 and 5, he can move one checker 9 places, or split the number between two checkers.

If the dice shows a double (66, 55 etc) then Backgammon rules states he can move any number of checkers for twice the value (i.e., 66 = 24 moves, 55 = 20).

A blot refers to a checker that is standing "alone". If your checker occupies that spot, the blot is hit and is placed on the bar. Only by throwing a number, not a combination, corresponding to an empty point in his home board can the blot reenter. .Until that time the player forfeits all his moves.

Bearing off takes place when you roll a dice corresponding to the number occupied by your checker on your Backgammon home board. If that is not occupied, then you may remove the next closest to it.

Backgammon rules, as you can see, are not that difficult to comprehend, but yet the game lends itself well to numerous strategies.

The best way to learn the game and its tactics is to play, and you will soon learn why so many are riveted by the game.