Backgammon board game rules – how to play backgammon

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor


Hey there! Let’s talk about backgammon rules. It’s a really cool game that’s been around for ages. If you’re new to backgammon, don’t worry. I’m here to explain everything you need to know.

So, what’s the deal with backgammon? It’s a board game that uses special dice and checker-like pieces. The goal is to move all your pieces off the board before your opponent does.

Now, let me break it down for you. Each player has 15 pieces that start off the board. You roll the dice to decide who goes first, and then you take turns rolling the dice and moving your pieces around the board.

You have to follow some rules when moving your pieces. For example, you can only move your pieces in one direction, according to the numbers you roll on the dice. You can also move multiple pieces at once, as long as the spaces you want to move to are open.

But be careful! Your opponent can block your pieces by having their own pieces on the same space. In that case, you can’t move your piece to that space. It’s like a strategic battle on the board!

And here’s another twist. If one of your pieces gets captured by your opponent, you have to bring it back into the game. You do this by rolling the dice and moving it to a specific space on the board. Once it’s back in play, you can continue moving it towards the goal.

The game keeps going until one player successfully moves all their pieces off the board. That’s when they win the game! It’s all about strategy, luck, and making the right moves at the right time.

So, there you have it! The basics of backgammon rules. I hope you’re excited to give it a try. Remember, practice makes perfect, and the more you play, the better you’ll get. Have fun and enjoy the game!

Did you know that backgammon has been around for thousands of years? It’s true! The modern version of the game was first introduced in the 1600s, but the rules can be traced back over 5000 years. That’s a long time!

Backgammon is a great game for family game night. It’s suitable for players who are 6 years old and above, so it’s perfect for kids and adults to play together. The game is designed for two players, and it’s a fantastic way to teach younger players about critical thinking and problem-solving.

How to Set It Up

What You’ll Need

When you play the game of backgammon, you’ll usually find it in a convenient, portable case that looks like a small suitcase. Inside this case, the lining of the suitcase serves as the game board. You’ll also find 30 checker pieces, two sets of dice, and two shakers.


Playing backgammon comes with its own set of terms. The board is split in half by a bar, which separates the outer side from the home side of the board. The 24 triangles on the board are called points, and the pieces are called discs.


Did you know that the board in backgammon is made up of 24 triangles? These triangles are called “points.” To make things even more interesting, the board also has discs in different colors. There are 15 discs of a light color and 15 discs of a dark color.

When setting up the board, you’ll need to follow a specific diagram. For the light-colored discs, place five discs on the 6th point, three discs on the 8th point, five discs on the 13th point, and two discs on the 24th point. As for the dark-colored discs, put two discs on the 1st point, five discs on the 12th point, three discs on the 17th point, and five discs on the 19th point.

The goal of the game is to move all your discs to your home board and bear them off. To succeed, you can try to hit your opponent’s unprotected discs, which are called “blots,” along the way. It’s important to come up with a strong strategy and make your moves wisely to outsmart your opponent.

Backgammon board game rules - how to play backgammon


Let’s get started! First, we each roll a die. The person who rolls the higher number goes first. After that, we’ll take turns.

On your turn, you’ll roll both dice to see how far your pieces can move. The goal of the game is to remove your pieces from the board, which we call bearing off. To do this, you need to get your pieces into your home section.

Moving your pieces

Remember, we always want to move our pieces towards our home board. You can only move your pieces the exact number of spaces shown on the dice. But be careful – you can only move to points that are not already occupied by two or more of your opponent’s pieces. If there’s only one of your opponent’s pieces on a point, you can move your piece there and “hit” your opponent. We’ll talk more about this in the section called “Hitting a piece.”

Backgammon board game rules - how to play backgammon

When you roll the dice, you have two options for moving your discs. You can move one disc the same distance as the first die, and move a second disc the same distance as the second die. Alternatively, you can move one disc the total sum of both dice, but only if the first die moves the disc to an open point. You can stack as many of your discs on a single point as you like.


If you roll doubles, you get to move twice the number. For example, if you roll two 2s, you can move four 2s in any way you choose. Instead of moving two pieces, two spaces each, you can move four pieces, two spaces each. It’s important to move the entire count of the roll, if possible. If you’re unable to move, you lose your turn.

Hitting a piece

Hey there! Let me tell you an exciting strategy game called Backgammon. In Backgammon, if you can capture one of your opponent’s pieces, which is called a “blot,” you get to hit them and send their piece to the bar in the middle of the board. The bar is where the board folds in half. Cool, right? And guess what? You can hit more than one of your opponent’s pieces in a single turn! But here’s the twist – when your opponent’s pieces are on the bar, they can’t make any other moves until they get their pieces off the bar. To do that, they have to re-enter the board on your home board.

Now, when it’s your turn to re-enter the game from the bar, you have to use your whole turn. Let’s say you roll a 3 and a 4. You can re-enter your piece on the 3-point or the 4-point, and then move your disc according to the remaining die, just like you would on a normal turn. Oh, and check this out – you can hit your opponent’s piece on either the home board or the outer board! How exciting is that?

Now, let’s talk about bearing off.

Before we get started, it’s important to know that all 15 pieces need to be on the home board before we can start bearing off. Now, when it’s time to bear off, we roll the dice and remove the corresponding discs. Let me explain how it works.

For example, let’s say we roll a 6 and a 5. With these numbers, we can remove one disc from the 6 point and one disc from the 5 point. It’s pretty straightforward, right?

But what happens if we roll a number higher than where our highest disc is on the board? For instance, if our highest disc is on the 5 point, but we roll a 6. In this case, we can remove a disc from the highest point, which is the 5th point. The rule is that the dice need to be higher than the highest point where our disc is located.

On the other hand, if the lowest point our disc is on is, let’s say, the 3rd point, and we roll a 2. Unfortunately, we cannot remove a disc from the 3rd point. However, we can still move a disc on the home board, just like we would for a normal move.

Now let’s talk about what happens at the end of the game.

Hey there! Want to know how to win at backgammon? Well, let me explain the rules to you! The goal of backgammon is to be the first player to remove all of your discs from the home board. If you can do that before your opponent has removed any of their discs, you win the game!

But wait, there’s more! If you manage to remove all your 15 discs before your opponent even gets a chance to remove any of theirs AND your opponent still has a disc on your home board, then you’ve scored a backgammon! This is worth a whopping 3 points, instead of the usual 1 point for a regular win.

Now, let’s talk about the doubling cube.

So, in modern backgammon sets, you’ll often find a cool thing called the doubling cube. It’s not necessary for the game, but it can definitely spice things up! Basically, this cube lets you increase the stakes of the game. It has numbers like 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 marked on it, signifying how much you’ve multiplied the value of the game. It’s mostly used in competitions, but you can definitely try it out even if you’re just playing for fun.

If you decide to play with the doubling cube in backgammon, you’ll start the game with one point. But here’s where things get interesting. When one player feels like they have the upper hand and are likely to win, they can unleash the power of the doubling cube and double the points from one to two. It’s a risky move, but the rewards can be great.

Now, the other player has a choice to make. They can accept the challenge by picking up the cube and placing it on their side of the board. This means they’re willing to keep playing with the stakes raised. But if they’re not feeling confident or don’t want to take the chance, they can simply concede the game right then and there and lose only one point instead of two.

If the opponent accepts the challenge, the player who accepted it can then double the game once again if things start going their way. This time, the points go from two to four. It’s a high-risk, high-reward situation. Now, the opposing opponent has the same choice to make – accept the challenge and keep playing, or concede and lose two points instead of one.

It’s a thrilling alternative way to play backgammon that adds an extra level of excitement and strategy to the game. So, if you’re up for a challenge and want to take your backgammon skills to the next level, give the doubling cube a try. It could be the game-changer you’ve been looking for.

Let me tell you about a couple of different ways to play backgammon. These variations give you the opportunity to play a game on the same board, but with some changes from the standard version.


One major difference in this variation is that all the discs start off the board. When it’s your turn, you roll the dice and move discs from your pile onto your opponent’s home board. Once you have a disc on the board, you can use your future rolls to move it further down.

The game gets its name from the 1-2 rule. If you roll a one and a two, you have some special privileges. You get to move your discs, choose any double roll you want to declare and move your discs, and then you get to roll the dice again. However, if you can’t use a die to move your discs at any point during this process, you have to forfeit the rest of your turn.

In this game, we don’t use the doubling dice, and the scoring is not affected by backgammons and gammons. To score, the winner gets 1 point for each disc that hasn’t been born yet and any disc that hasn’t entered the board.


In Dutch backgammon, all discs start off the board. Players roll to place their discs onto their opponent’s home board. Once one or more discs enter on your side, you can use future rolls to move them further down the board.

The other major change to the standard backgammon rules is that you can only hit your opponent’s blot once you have at least one of your own discs in your home area.


What does a backgammon board look like?

In the game of backgammon, the playing board is divided into four sections, each consisting of six triangles. These triangles alternate in color, creating a visually captivating pattern. The four sections consist of your home board, your outer board, your opponent’s home board, and your opponent’s outer board. These home boards are separated from the outer boards by a bar.

So, how exactly do you win a game of backgammon?

The goal of the game is to be the first player to remove all 15 of your discs from the board. This process is called bearing off, and it signifies victory according to the rules of backgammon.

Now, what happens if you roll a number that you can’t play?

If you roll a number that you’re unable to play, you have no choice but to forfeit your turn. It’s a stark reminder that even in this game of strategy and skill, luck can sometimes be an unforgiving companion.

But what about when you roll the same number on both dice?

If you happen to roll the exact same number on both dice, you’re in luck! This special occurrence grants you the opportunity to move twice as far. It’s a thrilling moment that can turn the tide of the game in your favor.

If you roll a double on the dice, it doubles the number of spaces you can move. Let’s say you roll two 5s, you get to move ten spaces with your game pieces.

If you want more dice games to play, we’ve got a bunch ready for you!

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