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Gammons and Backgammons Usually, when the winning player bears off his fifteenth and last counter, his opponent has already born off at least some counters too.
The doubling cube At the start of the 20th century a Russian noble, the Grand Duke Dmitri, invented the doubling cube.
You may also like. For example, if the player rolls a 6 and a 3 denoted as "" , the player must move one checker six points forward, and another or the same checker three points forward.
The same checker may be moved twice, as long as the two moves can be made separately and legally: six and then three, or three and then six.
If a player rolls two of the same number, called doubles, that player must play each die twice. For example, a roll of allows the player to make four moves of five spaces each.
On any roll, a player must move according to the numbers on both dice if it is at all possible to do so. If one or both numbers do not allow a legal move, the player forfeits that portion of the roll and the turn ends.
If moves can be made according to either one die or the other, but not both, the higher number must be used. If one die is unable to be moved, but such a move is made possible by the moving of the other die, that move is compulsory.
In the course of a move, a checker may land on any point that is unoccupied or is occupied by one or more of the player's own checkers.
It may also land on a point occupied by exactly one opposing checker, or "blot". In this case, the blot has been "hit" and is placed in the middle of the board on the bar that divides the two sides of the playing surface.
A checker may never land on a point occupied by two or more opposing checkers; thus, no point is ever occupied by checkers from both players simultaneously.
Checkers placed on the bar must re-enter the game through the opponent's home board before any other move can be made. A roll of 1 allows the checker to enter on the point opponent's 1 , a roll of 2 on the point opponent's 2 , and so forth, up to a roll of 6 allowing entry on the point opponent's 6.
Checkers may not enter on a point occupied by two or more opposing checkers. Checkers can enter on unoccupied points, or on points occupied by a single opposing checker; in the latter case, the single checker is hit and placed on the bar.
More than one checker can be on the bar at a time. A player may not move any other checkers until all checkers on the bar belonging to that player have re-entered the board.
If the opponent's home board is completely "closed" i. When all of a player's checkers are in that player's home board, that player may start removing them; this is called "bearing off".
A roll of 1 may be used to bear off a checker from the 1-point, a 2 from the 2-point, and so on. If all of a player's checkers are on points lower than the number showing on a particular die, the player must use that die to bear off one checker from the highest occupied point.
When bearing off, a player may also move a lower die roll before the higher even if that means the full value of the higher die is not fully utilized.
For example, if a player has exactly one checker remaining on the 6-point, and rolls a 6 and a 1, the player may move the 6-point checker one place to the 5-point with the lower die roll of 1, and then bear that checker off the 5-point using the die roll of 6; this is sometimes useful tactically.
As before, if there is a way to use all moves showing on the dice by moving checkers within the home board or by bearing them off, the player must do so.
If a player's checker is hit while in the process of bearing off, that player may not bear off any others until it has been re-entered into the game and moved into the player's home board, according to the normal movement rules.
The first player to bear off all fifteen of their own checkers wins the game. If the opponent has not yet borne off any checkers when the game ends, the winner scores a gammon , which counts for double stakes.
If the opponent has not yet borne off any checkers and has some on the bar or in the winner's home board, the winner scores a backgammon , which counts for triple stakes.
To speed up match play and to provide an added dimension for strategy, a doubling cube is usually used.
The doubling cube is not a die to be rolled, but rather a marker, with the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 inscribed on its sides to denote the current stake.
At the start of each game, the doubling cube is placed on the midpoint of the bar with the number 64 showing; the cube is then said to be "centered, on 1".
When the cube is centered, either player may start their turn by proposing that the game be played for twice the current stakes. Their opponent must either accept "take" the doubled stakes or resign "drop" the game immediately.
Whenever a player accepts doubled stakes, the cube is placed on their side of the board with the corresponding power of two facing upward, to indicate that the right to re-double belongs exclusively to that player.
For instance, if the cube showed the number 2 and a player wanted to redouble the stakes to put it at 4, the opponent choosing to drop the redouble would lose two, or twice the original stake.
There is no limit on the number of redoubles. Although 64 is the highest number depicted on the doubling cube, the stakes may rise to , , and so on.
In money games, a player is often permitted to "beaver" when offered the cube, doubling the value of the game again, while retaining possession of the cube.
A variant of the doubling cube "beaver" is the "raccoon". Players who doubled their opponent, seeing the opponent beaver the cube, may in turn then double the stakes once again "raccoon" as part of that cube phase before any dice are rolled.
The opponent retains the doubling cube. An example of a "raccoon" is the following: White doubles Black to 2 points, Black accepts then beavers the cube to 4 points; White, confident of a win, raccoons the cube to 8 points, while Black retains the cube.
Such a move adds greatly to the risk of having to face the doubling cube coming back at 8 times its original value when first doubling the opponent offered at 2 points, counter offered at 16 points should the luck of the dice change.
Some players may opt to invoke the "Murphy rule" or the "automatic double rule". If both opponents roll the same opening number, the doubling cube is incremented on each occasion yet remains in the middle of the board, available to either player.
The Murphy rule may be invoked with a maximum number of automatic doubles allowed and that limit is agreed to prior to a game or match commencing.
When a player decides to double the opponent, the value is then a double of whatever face value is shown e.
The Murphy rule is not an official rule in backgammon and is rarely, if ever, seen in use at officially sanctioned tournaments. The "Jacoby rule", named after Oswald Jacoby , allows gammons and backgammons to count for their respective double and triple values only if the cube has already been offered and accepted.
This encourages a player with a large lead to double, possibly ending the game, rather than to play it to conclusion hoping for a gammon or backgammon.
The Jacoby rule is widely used in money play but is not used in match play. The "Crawford rule", named after John R. Crawford , is designed to make match play more equitable for the player in the lead.
If a player is one point away from winning a match, that player's opponent will always want to double as early as possible in order to catch up.
Whether the game is worth one point or two, the trailing player must win to continue the match. To balance the situation, the Crawford rule requires that when a player first reaches a score one point short of winning, neither player may use the doubling cube for the following game, called the "Crawford game".
After the Crawford game, normal use of the doubling cube resumes. The Crawford rule is routinely used in tournament match play.
If the Crawford rule is in effect, then another option is the "Holland rule", named after Tim Holland , which stipulates that after the Crawford game, a player cannot double until after at least two rolls have been played by each side.
It was common in tournament play in the s, but is now rarely used. There are many variants of standard backgammon rules.
Some are played primarily throughout one geographic region, and others add new tactical elements to the game.
Variants commonly alter the starting position, restrict certain moves, or assign special value to certain dice rolls, but in some geographic regions even the rules and directions of the checkers' movement change, rendering the game fundamentally different.
Acey-deucey is a variant of backgammon in which players start with no checkers on the board, and must bear them on at the beginning of the game.
The roll of is given special consideration, allowing the player, after moving the 1 and the 2, to select any desired doubles move.
A player also receives an extra turn after a roll of or of doubles. Hypergammon is a variant of backgammon in which players have only three checkers on the board, starting with one each on the 24, 23 and 22 points.
The game has been strongly solved , meaning that exact equities are available for all 32 million possible positions. Nard is a traditional variant from Persia in which basic rules are almost the same except that even a single piece is "safe".
All 15 pieces start on the 24th wedge. Nackgammon is a variant of backgammon invented by Nick "Nack" Ballard  in which players start with one less checker on the 6-point and midpoint and two checkers on the point.
Russian backgammon is a variant described in as: " In this variant, doubles are more powerful: four moves are played as in standard backgammon, followed by four moves according to the difference of the dice value from 7, and then the player has another turn with the caveat that the turn ends if any portion of it cannot be completed.
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They also offer a range of different games of skill, including dominoes, chess and cribbage. Tournament Backgammon Gambling. The most exciting way to play Backgammon is in Backgammon tournaments with live, face to face human opponents.
The chances are there won't be any local tournaments in your area, but if you can travel to a tournament and you think you're proficient enough, then by all means do so.
You may move your checkers onto any Point so long as it is occupied by your checkers, is empty, or has 1 opponent checker.
You may not move your checkers onto a Point with two or more opponent checkers. If you land on a Point with one opponent checker, you knock the opponent's checker off the board and send it back to the beginning.
The opponent must now roll and move into an empty spot in your home territory to get that checker back into gameplay.
They may not move any other checkers until that knocked off checker is returned. Beware though! Leaving your checkers open with only one on a point leaves them open to be knocked off by your opponent as well!
Once you move all your checkers into the upper right quadrant in the single player backgammon game , you may start bearing off. This means you can place your checkers into the slot on the right, removing them from the board.
Whoever manages to do this first wins! One to three points can be awarded during the backgammon game dependant on where the loser's checkers are on the board when the winner wins.
If the losing player has not borne off any of their checkers by the time the winner has won, the winner will achieve 2 points, and is known as losing a gammon.
In a regular game, backgammon is worth three points. How to Play Backgammon. Each die plays separately.
So, you can move one checker forward six spaces and another checker four points ahead. Or, you can select one and advance it ten spaces total.
Then, the opponent will roll a fresh combination and gameplay continues from there. With each roll of the dice, a few things can happen.
You can play each die separately and move one of your checkers forward for the number of pips indicated. Then, you can choose a second checker and move it the number of spaces as shown on the second die.
You can select one checker and move it forward for the number of spaces indicated based on the total of the dice roll.
Meaning, a game space where your opponent has only one checker resting and is vulnerable to a hit. That means you start it at the opposite end of the board across from your last space before bearing off.
The rules for bearing off are as follows. You can play each die separately with two separate checkers. The opponent then has the following two options.
Decline the double-up and take a -1 score for the game. Accept the double and then retain control of the doubling cube. When can a player issue a double-up challenge?
There are two rules for using the doubling cube in backgammon. No Chance This game is played without the dice. Instead, players choose their numbers and move accordingly.