Despite its rather porcine name, Backgammon is a board game that involves both skill an chance. It is one of the oldest board games known to man and has been extensively studied by computer scientists who have since developed computer software that mimics a human backgammon player and can even beat a live human player.
Backgammon dates back to the Byzantine era, around 461 AD where it was known as Tabula. From there it spread to ancient Egypt, Greece and Turkey and evidence of Backgammon boards have been found in numerous archaeological digs. Backgammon jumped across to the New World in the 1920’s, where it became a wildly popular game to play not only at casinos but at social gatherings too. Today Backgammon is played in casinos across the world, both online and brick and mortar. It is also a popular board game that is played social settings much like chess. There are numerous Backgammon tournaments organised worldwide, both professional and amateur. How to play backgammon is a question often asked as the game is not as widely known as chess.
The first step in learning how to play Backgammon is to become familiar with the equipment needed. Backgammon is a board game played on a board marked with twelve long triangles, or points, per side. The moving pieces are called Checkers, Men, Stones or Draughts and are either red or white. Both players have their own pair of die, and a cup to shake them in.
How to Play Backgammon
The object of the Canadian casino games is to remove your pieces, or bear them off, before your opponent can do the same. The game opens with one die being thrown by each player to determine which player goes first.
Each player throws his die to determine how many moves, or Pips he may move his pieces. Pieces must be moved forwards, and can only go to an open point, that is a point with two or less opposing pieces on it. Each dies number represents a move, for example if he throws a 2 and a 4, a player may move one piece two spaces and another four. This obviously is dependent on open points. Alternatively he may move one piece six places, as long as there is an open point in between, either at two or four moves. If a player rolls double, he moves the numbers on the dice twice. A roll of double sixes means that he has four sixes to use, and may move any combination of pieces he wishes to achieve his goal. Both numbers of the roll must be used if legally possible. If a player cannot find an open space to move his pieces to, he loses his turn.
The next step in how to play Backgammon is how to take your opponents pieces. If your opponent has a single checker on a point, you may land on that point and Hit the piece. He will then have to put it in the middle of the board and use his next turn to try and get it back into the game. He cannot move any of his other pieces until he gets the one on the bar back in the game. To do this he has to roll a number that coincides with an open point on your part of the board.
To bear off your pieces, you have to get all of them home to your side of the board. Once all pieces are off the board, you have won.