Backgammon – Playing to win

Backgammon is without a doubt a far more fascinating game than most of the modern players realize. It has been around for many years, the instructions are easy to follow which means anyone can play Backgammon.

Backgammon is a game that should be taken very seriously if you plan to play it for money. Although many gamblers presume that backgammon is just like any other gambling game, backgammon is in fact very much a game of skill.

The main goal of the game is for each player to get all their game pieces, (checkers) onto the home board and then to remove all the pieces off the Backgammon board, (bear off). The first player to achieve this is the winner of the game.

The movement of the pieces is dictated by the number of spots on each of the two dice rolled. As in chess or checkers only one player can move his pieces at a time and to determine who moves first, each player takes one dice and rolls it onto the right side of his board on the playing surface.

The player with the higher number plays both numbers and moves either one checker or two separate checkers the corresponding number of spaces equivalent to the spots on each die. In case of a tie, each player rolls one dice again until there are different numbers for each player.

The players will first roll the dice before every move. The player moves with whatever consists with the roll of the dice. If he rolls a 5 and 2, then he will move seven slots. You can break the moves up between two game pieces. In other words, he can move one five spaces and the other piece two. If the same number would appear on both dice rolled, then the active player would be allowed double what the number is. For example, if he rolls a 5-5, then the roller is allowed four moves of five, instead of two moves of five.

The checkers must always be moved forward around the board according to the numbers shown on the dice. The numbers on the two dice constitute separate moves. For example, if a player rolls 4 and 6, he may move one checker four spaces to an open point and another checker six spaces to an open point, or he may move the one checker a total of ten spaces to an open point, but only if one of the intermediate points (either four or six spaces from the starting point) is also open. The bar is not counted as a space.

The checkers are always moved around the board from a player’s outer board to his inner or homeboard.

A checker may be moved only to an open point, one that is not occupied by two or more opposing checkers. A checker may move to a point if it is occupied by only one of the opponent’s checkers. In this case the opposing checker is hit and placed on the bar.

The Bear Off is the final stage of the game when you remove your checkers from your home board. You cannot start this process until all 15 of your checkers have made it to your homeboard.
After all your checkers (or men as they are also known) are in the home board, you may bear them off according to the numbers on the dice you throw. You must use your entire roll, so if you roll a 5 and have no checkers on the 6pt or 5pt, you must take a checker off of the next highest point with checkers on it.
If you roll a 5 and have no checkers on the 5pt but you do have a checker on the 6pt, you must move the checker on your 6pt five spaces to the 1pt. You do not have to bear a checker off if you have another legal move which can be useful when your opponent is on the bar or still owns a point in your board.

If your opponent hits a blot while you are bearing off, you must enter that checker and bring it all the way around back to your home board before you can continue to bear off checkers. The first player to bear off all 15 checkers wins the game!