How to Play Backgammon

Backgammon is one of the oldest games know in history; its very roots trace back to Ancient Mesopotamia. In itself Backgammon is very easy to learn. This article's aim is to get you acquainted with Backgammon's very basics. The points laid out are cut out of "Real" Backgammon but they are applicable on Backgammon games offered in Online Casinos as well.

The Basic Setting

Backgammon is a two player game. For a standard Backgammon game, 30 checkers are required in general – 15 white and 15 black, and a pair of dice. Backgammon is played on a simple board consisting of two separate smaller boards, segmented by a bar in the middle. Both these boards have 12 narrow triangles, each side of the board has six of these – with their colors alternating. There are six points for the home board and six points for the outer board – each player represents a side of the Backgammon board. The whole board has 24 such triangles - which are commonly called "Points". These points have numbers ranging from 1 to 24, on each player's side of the board – traveling clockwise. The object of Backgammon is for players to move all the checkers on the board to their own home board and then bear them off. The player who does that wins the game.

The Game Itself

On the onset of every Backgammon game, both players throw a single die. The highest roller is the player who initiates the first move. In case of an equal number, the players roll dice again. The player who rolled the highest dice then moves his checkers according to the numbers displayed on the dice. After the starting point, players roll two dice in order to determine their moves. In standard Backgammon, checkers can be only moved to points which are not occupied by 2+ checkers of your opponent. The checkers themselves are moved according to the intervals dictated by the dice. A "blot" is a point occupied by one single checker, when an opposing checker lands on the blot, it is considered hit and the checker is placed on the bar (also called wall).


The player should move any of his checkers that are on the bar, onto the board of the opposing player. This is done by moving the checker into an open point, corresponding with the roll of the dice. For example if John rolled Four and Six, he could put a checker on David's Four or Six point, provided David does not have two or more checkers on any of these points. If both points are not open, John loses the turn.

Bearing Off

Once a player has all his 15 checkers on his home board, he can "bear off". This is done by rolling a number accordant to the point where his checker is located. For example, if David rolls a four, he removes a checker from the four point on his home board. The first player to bear off all checkers wins.