Backgammon is a two-player board game played with checkers and dice. It’s a one-on-one game like chess, and the player who manages to remove all his pieces from the board before his opponent, becomes the winner.
Two players play the game, and each player is given 15 checkers to play with. Their given checkers are of different col or from that of each other. For example, if player A plays with black checkers, player B will play with white or red checkers.
The board, for playing backgammon, has 24 triangles on it. The triangles are called ‘points’. The checkers (round objects which look like the playing pieces of carom) are placed on those points. The checkers are moved according to the roll of dice. Two dice are shaken in a small cup and thrown onto the board. The checkers are then moved from one point to another point, depending on the number shown on the dice.
The board has 4 equal parts, or 4 quadrants. Two of these quadrants are called ‘home boards’ and the other 2 quadrants are called ‘outer boards’. Each player has his own home board. The checkers have to be moved from the direction of an opponent’s home board and to a player’s own home board. For example, player A’s checkers will initially be placed on player B’s home board. From there, the checkers will have to be moved to the outer boards, and finally to player A’s home board.
If player A has moved all his checkers to his own home board, then he can remove them from the board one by one. If he removes all his pieces from the board before his opponent, player A will win the game.
Some important rules:
1) The game will start with both players rolling the dice at the same time. The player whose dice registers a larger count wins and makes the first move. Then his opponent will roll the dice and make his move. After that, they both take alternate turns in rolling the dice and making their move.
2) A checker piece cannot be moved to a point which is occupied by 2 or more pieces of the opponent. If, on the other hand, the point is occupied by only 1 piece, then the player’s piece will remove the opponent’s piece from that spot.
For example, player A is playing with the black pieces and player B is playing with white. If, according to the number shown on the dice, player A has to move one of his black checkers to a point which is already occupied by 2 white checkers, then the black checker cannot be put there. But if only 1 white checker is lying on that particular point, then the black checker will replace the white checker and the white checker will be removed from the board. And Player B will have to start playing with that replaced white piece all over again from the beginning.
3) A player can only start removing the checkers from the board when all his 15 checkers are in his home board. Not a single piece can be removed before all the pieces are brought to the home board.
Backgammon is sort of like chess, but much more simple. It is a game of strategy, although luck plays an important role in the game. A bit of luck may favour you and enable you to win 1 game, but to win 10 games, you need more than luck. You need firm tactics and thoroughly made strategies.
Good luck and have fun!!
You can play the game online here.