Backgammon Rules

Contents:

Custom gameboard

15 checkers for each player

2 dice

Object of the Game:

Advance your checkers and move all 15 of them off the board before your opponent.

Terms:

The 24 triangular areas are called “points.”

The “home board” is the half that includes both players’ home areas (which could be on your left or right depending on which pieces you’ll be playing). The other half is called the “outer board”

The middle line on the center of the board is called the “bar.”

If a single checker of either color is located on a point, it is known as a “blot.”

The process of removing your checkers from the board is called “bearing off.”

Setup:

To start, your board should look like the picture below (You are the white checkers, and your opponent is the black checkers):

Place five of your checkers on the point closest to the bar, but within the home board, on your side. Your opponent should do the same on their side.

Place two of your checkers on the point farthest from the bar and within the home board on your opponent’s side. Your opponent should do the same on your side.

Place three of your checkers on the second point from the bar and within the outer board on your side. Your opponent should do the same on their side.

Place five of your checkers on the point farthest from the bar and within the outer board on your opponent’s side. Your opponent should do the same on your side.



Gameplay:

Start by determining who will go first. Each player rolls one die. The player with the higher roll goes first, moving their checkers according to the numbers that have been rolled on both dice.

Moving Checkers:

On your turn, roll both dice, and move one or more checkers if a legal move is available. The number rolled on each die determines how many points you can move. Your checker can only move to an open point (a point that is not occupied by two or more of your opponent’s checkers).

Each die makes up a separate move. For example, if you roll a five and a two, you can move one checker five spaces to an open point and a different checker two spaces to an open point. Or you can move one checker seven spaces to an open point.

You must always use as many of your dice rolls as possible, even when doing so might not be to your advantage. If only one legal move (the number on one die) is available, you must take that move. If either move would be legal, but not both moves, you must use the higher number. If no legal move is available, you lose your turn.

Rolling Doubles:

If you roll doubles, you get a total of four moves of that number. For example, if you roll double 5’s, you take four moves of five spaces using any combination of checkers.

Hitting Your Opponent’s Blot:

If your checker lands on an opponent’s blot, the opponent’s checker is removed from the board and placed on the bar.

If one or more checkers are on the bar, you must get those checkers back on the board before moving any other of your checkers.

Checkers can be moved off the bar by moving your checker to an open point on your opponent’s side of the home board, corresponding to one of the numbers you roll. If both numbers rolled correspond to points that are not open, you lose your turn.

If you can enter one or more of your checkers from the bar, but not all of them, you must do so and lose any remaining moves.

After your last checker has been returned to the board, any remaining numbers on the dice must be played. You may move any checker, including the one that was just returned to the board.

Bearing Off:

Once all your checkers are on your side of the home board, you may start bearing off. If one or more of your checkers are on the bar, even if all of your other checkers on your side of the home board, you cannot bear off any checkers.

You may bear off a checker by rolling the number that corresponds to the point the checker is on. For example, if you roll a three, you may bear off a checker from the third point.

If you roll a number for which there is no checker on the related point, you must make a legal move using a checker on a higher numbered point. If there is no higher numbered point, you must bear off a checker from the highest point available.

For example, if you roll a two and all of your checkers are on the third point or higher, you must move one of them forward two points. In addition, if you roll a five and all of your checkers are on the fourth point or lower, you must bear off a checker from the fourth point.

You are never required to bear off if another legal move is available.

Winning:

The first player to bear off all 15 of their checkers wins the game.



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