Backgammon Guide for Beginners

The game of backgammon has its ancestry from Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Iran, despite its rising popularity, there are still many people who might be confused about the game's set up and rules. This article will guide you through your backgammon experience.

The backgammon board usually looks like a little suitcase. Flip it open and distribute the checkers on each side. Each side of the board has 12 long triangles. These triangles are black and white and they are called points. The points, numbered 1 to 24, are all connected and from a track in the shape of a horseshoe, which is also the direction in which the checkers are moved.

The 1st point is the triangle of your own color (either black or white) and is located either at the outer left or right of your board. This part of the board is called your home board or inner board since it is the goal to get every checker out of your home board in order to win.

Each player has two checkers in their 24-point, and five checkers set up on their 13-point. These points are on the opponents side. Then each player also has five checkers on their 6-point and three checkers on their 8-point. These are set up on your side of the board.

Checkers are moved in opposing direction, each player has to move their checkers from the 24-point to the 1-point. Also make sure that the checkers form a mirror image of each other. Points 7 to 12 are called outer board, point 7 is referred to as bar point and the 13-point is the mid point.

Two dices are used for backgammon, the highest roller gets the first move with the number rolled. You can only make a move if there is no checker from the opponent blocking the point. If there is only a single checker blocking the point, then you may kick the checker out of the board. Your opponent now has to go back to your inner board and roll the dice for an available point. The only way to secure your checkers is to have a minimum of two checkers on a point so that your checkers cannot be kicked out of the board.

When rolling the dice, you must always try to play both numbers or arrange your checkers to be able to move on both numbers. If for example you rolled a 3 and a 4 with your dice, you may not use the sum of the numbers and simply advance to that point. Both points have to be available in order for you to use the sum, in this case a 7. You may roll your dice again if you roll the same number.

When your checkers are in your home board, you can start taking them off the board only with the exact number rolled. When all your checkers are out of your inner board, the game is over. The winner is the first person to take all their checkers out of their inner board. The last thing you need to do is practice and improve your skills at backgammon.