A Beginners’ Guide to Backgammon


If you haven’t heard of this game before, then worry not as you are not the only one. To enlighten you about the game, we have created this detailed guide which includes all the basics about backgammon. Without wasting much time, let’s jump straight into the basics.

What is Backgammon?

Backgammon is a strategy game which is played by two players. As a strategy game, it means players need to have a certain degree of skill in order to play the game. In addition to skill, luck is also needed when playing backgammon hence in essence, we can say the game has elements of both chance based games and skills based games.

Where the Game is played

Backgammon is a board game. The game is played on a board that has 24 triangles (the triangles are technically called points when playing the game). These triangles come in different colours and they are grouped in four sets of six triangles each. The four sets are divided by an open space in the middle of the board known as the bar.

How to Play the Game

The four sets of six triangles are equally divided between the two players. The first two sets are referred to as the home board or outer board. The other two sets are referred to as the opponent’s home board or the opponent’s outer board.

To start the game, players have to line up their checkers on their respective boards. Each player is given 15 checkers. Of these fifteen, the player has to place two checkers on the twenty-four point (point marked on the board), five checkers of the thirteen point, and three checkers on the eight-point and the other five of the player’s six point.

Before the game starts, the players also have to ensure that they have their dice, a dice cup and a doubling cube (whose face values range from 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64).

When playing the game, one player will have to move his checkers in a clockwise direction while the other player has to move his checkers in the opposite direction. The number of steps that a player moves his checkers is determined by the roll of the dice. The player can only move his checkers to a point that is not already occupied by the opponent’s checkers. When it comes to rolling the dice (player rolls the dice twice at once), the player may add the total value of the dice rolls (suppose one dice roll returned 2 and the other 5, the player will add the two to get a total of 7) and thereby move his checkers for a number of steps that correspond with the total of the two dice rolls. At the same time, the player may choose not to add the total of the two dice rolls, rather, he will move one checker two points and the other checker 5 points.

updated: Saturday, May 16, 2020