The Game of Backgammon
History of Backgammon
In the past, it was a game of the elite, enjoyed by Egyptian pharaohs. In 500 B.C., backgammon was also popular among the Greeks, with Homer, Sophocles and Plato mentioning the game in their works. History books say the earliest version of the backgammon board originates in 3000 B.C. in the royal cemetery in southern Mesopotamia. Backgammon has long been popular among the British, who introduced the game to the United States in the 17th century.
How to Play the Game
Backgammon is a board game between two players who each have fifteen checkers. The object of the game in online as well as in offline variants is to move all of your checkers around your inner board, then bear them off the board. The first player to remove all of his checkers is the winner. A game can have a value of two or more points due to doubling, a gammon or backgammon.
A match consists of one or more sets. In a three-set match, the first player to win two sets wins; in a five-set match, the first to win three sets is the winner. By having more short sets in a match than one long set, you reduce the element of luck and minimize the impact of a bad game. In a recommended set size, the first player to get seven or more points wins.
Each player rolls a die and the higher number makes the opening move. Each player's turns includes the rolling of his dice and moving one to four of his checkers. For example, if you roll a 5-3, you have the following options:
- Move one checker 5 spots, then another 3 spots
- Move one checker 3 spots, then another 5 spots
- Move one checker 5 spots, pause then move it 3 more spots
- Move one checker 3 spots, pause, and move it another 5 spots
Players can have an unlimited number of checkers of the same color on a point. You can pass over points owned by the opponent and have those counted in the move. If a player has only one checker on a point, that checker is a blot and can be hit. A blot hit by an opponent must be placed on the bar. Points have alternating colors to help you quickly count points for your moves. Each board has six points so a roll of six will move a checker from a point on one board to the same point on the next board.
When a checker is hit, it is placed on the bar. A player who has one or more checkers on the bar must move all of them before making any other move. Checkers are moved from the bar into a point in the opponent's inner board based on the number rolled on the die.
As soon as a player has moved all of his checkers into his inner board, he can start "bearing off" or removing checkers from the board. If a player's checker is hit while he is bearing off, he can not continue until the checker placed on the bar is returned to his inner board.
Now that you know the basics, you can start practicing backgammon online. Good luck with the practicing part!
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