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How To Play Backgammon


How To Play Backgammon

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How To Play Backgammon

How To Play Backgammon

Backgammon: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering the Classic Board Game

Backgammon, an ancient strategy game of Persian origin, has captivated players for centuries. With its enthralling mix of chance and skill, the game has endured as a beloved pastime enjoyed by people of all ages. This detailed guide will provide a comprehensive understanding of how to play Backgammon, from its basic rules to advanced strategies.

Game Setup

The Backgammon board comprises 24 elongated triangles called points, arranged in four quadrants of six points each. Each player has 15 checkers (pieces) of their chosen color. The board is set up as follows:

  • 2 checkers on the 24-point (outer edge) of your opponent
  • 5 checkers on the 13-point
  • 3 checkers on the 8-point
  • 5 checkers on the 6-point


The goal of Backgammon is to move all your checkers around the board and off the far edge, known as bearing off, before your opponent does.


Rolling the Dice

To begin the game, both players roll two dice. The higher-roller moves their checkers first.

Moving Checkers

Each die determines the number of points a checker can move. For example, a roll of 5 and 2 means you can move one checker 5 points and another 2 points. If you roll doubles, you can move four checkers the number indicated by the dice.

Hitting and Capturing

If you land on a point occupied by only one of your opponent’s checkers, you "hit" it and place it on the bar (a holding area). The opponent must bring this checker back into play by rolling the exact number needed to move it to an open point. If they cannot, the checker remains on the bar.

Bearing Off

Once all your checkers have reached the six points on your side of the board, you can start bearing them off. To do this, you must roll a number that corresponds to a point where you have one or more checkers. For example, if you have checkers on the 2-point and 3-point, you can bear them off by rolling a 2 or 3.


If you bear off all your checkers before your opponent moves any checkers off, you win a gammon. This is the most decisive victory in Backgammon.


If you win a gammon and your opponent has checkers on the bar or in your inner board, you win a backgammon. This is the most significant victory, worth double the points of a gammon.

Advanced Strategies


Blocking your opponent’s checkers on their inner board can prevent them from moving or bearing off.

Building Primes

Creating a stack of two or three checkers on a single point can make it difficult for your opponent to hit them.


Moving all your checkers around the board as quickly as possible can put pressure on your opponent.


Leaving one checker vulnerable on a point to set a trap for your opponent.


Q: How do I start playing Backgammon?
A: Find a Backgammon board and pieces, and invite a friend or family member to play.

Q: What is the best way to learn Backgammon?
A: Reading books, watching tutorials, and playing against experienced players can all help you improve your game.

Q: What is a "cube"?
A: The cube is used to double the wager of a game. If one player accepts a double, the game becomes more challenging and rewarding.

Q: What is the "crawford rule"?
A: The crawford rule states that if a player is behind a certain number of points, they cannot accept a double.

Q: Is Backgammon a game of luck or skill?
A: Backgammon combines elements of both luck and skill. While dice rolls determine the moves you can make, strategy plays a significant role in determining the outcome of the game.


Mastering Backgammon requires patience, strategy, and a bit of luck. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a curious beginner, the game offers endless challenges and rewards. Embrace the ancient tradition of Backgammon and let its timeless allure captivate you.