Backgammon Basics – A Simple Guide to Playing

The history of Backgammon goes back years, which means that there are thousands of game strategies. There are hosts of articles on the internet featuring advanced game strategies. However reading up on automatic doubles, beavers, and the mysterious Jacoby rule is pointless unless we already have backgammon basics firmly in our minds. So let’s set advanced backgammon tips aside for the moment. Some families do so forever because they like a clean simple dice game without kids arguing about how they work.


Backgammon Basics After You Open the Box

Check the contents are all there. You should find a square open box, thirty discs in two colors, and two dice. You can’t play the game if anything is missing, but you can use discs from checkers if you are missing a few. Set up the game according to the diagram provided. If it’s a loose sheet of paper, paste it somewhere on the box so you can find these essential backgammon basics when you need them.

1. Each player rolls one dice. The one with the higher score adds it to the lower one to get their ‘first roll’. After that, the players alternate throwing and moving. Here’s how to try to win using backgammon basics.

2. Keep moving your discs from your inner board to your outer board as part of your backgammon strategy and then through your opponent’s space until you are ‘home’ again. The correct direction is clockwise from each player’s side of the board.

3. You may not land on a triangle where the other player has more than two pieces. You can move the total of the two dice or the individual values provided your first move is valid. This is one of the cardinal rules of backgammon basics and you can’t change it.

4. If you roll a double, you must move twice the total value. There can be any number of discs in a single triangle. If you can only move one disc and only by the count of one dice then you must use the higher value. If you can’t move, you miss your turn.

5. In the middle game, you reach a point where the two players’ discs start crossing over. If you land on a triangle where your opponent has a single disc, backgammon basics allow you to ‘hit on it’ it by placing on the dividing bar. Your opponent must play that disc as soon as possible and it must land on an empty triangle on your home board.


How to Win at Backgammon – First Principles

The backgammon basics for winning are equally simple as the backgammon rules. You just have to be the first player with no discs on the board. As soon as you have all your fifteen pieces of the triangles on your inner board, you can start to bear them off. Each of your inner board triangles has a number one to six. Roll that number, and you can remove one disc from that triangle if you have any there. If not, backgammon basics dictate you lose your turn.

That’s the backgammon basics in a nutshell, although there are more complex rules as we mentioned. If you’re interested, you can order a quality backgammon set from us here. It should last a lifetime with good care. And there’s not a single backgammon rule it can’t play.

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