Backgammon Variant: Hyper-Backgammon

One of the many backgammon variants being played today is hyper-backgammon. In this variation, players are given three checkers each and whoever bears them all off first, wins hyper-backgammon. It does seem that playing this variant is easy as pie, but don't be fooled. More often than not, those new to this variation find it rather intimidating without enough lessons learned from playing its more popular predecessor. So, how does one play hyper-backgammon?

First of all, the board setup is very minimal. Each player is responsible for three pieces, each of which is placed on the 24-point, 23-point, and 22-point. As with the regular game, players use their own pair of dice and dice cup. What's more, the same rules in checker movement and bear-off are also followed.

The doubling cube also comes into play in this backgammon variant which goes hand in hand with the Jacoby rule. That is, double game and triple game wins don't count unless the cube was offered and accepted at any point during the current game.

Also, it's in the form of a match play where players vie in a match point to seven or higher. And what makes hyper-backgammon different from the regular game, other than the number of checkers played, is that it's much more exciting and it's much faster to play.

Given the nature of hyper-backgammon, a player can either evade or attack the opponent. Since every piece will meet opposing checkers on the way to their respective home boards, being sent to the bar is a very likely occurrence. But making points, or in this case, making just one point (which is the only choice with three pieces on the board) is very useful in deterring a hit. But when your opponent is quick to turn it in to a pure race, making points is hardly a useful tactic.

Hyper-backgammon is an exciting and fast-paced backgammon variant with very minimal board setup. Only three checkers are used per player and each piece is placed on the 24-point, 23-point, and 22-point each in starting positions. The goal and rules are similar with the regular game. Also, the doubling cube is used in accordance with the Jacoby rule which ignores double game and triple game wins unless the cube was turned at any point during the game. Although the mechanics are fairly simple, the effectiveness of strategy will depend largely on whether you're skilled in maximizing rolls in terms of checker movements without being sent to the bar more than a few times.