Backgammon is one of the oldest board games in history. It is a game which is played between two players each having a different coloured set of checker pieces. The set up involves a backgammon board, two sets of checker pieces and dice. The players will move across the board according to the roll of the dice and players win as soon as they manage to move all their pieces from one side of the board to the other. According to Backgammon history, the Backgammon rules have changed over the centuries but the objective has always remained constant. This is a fast paced game and requires a sense of strategy when playing to make sure that no pieces are blocked while challenging the opponent. However this board game still remains a game of luck as it is a movement according to the roll of the dice.
The Backgammon rules may seem a little complex but they are easy to understand. The backgammon board is divided into two areas with a bar being used as a divider in the middle. The board is the back side of a chess board but has a different set up to chess. Each side of the backgammon board contains triangular shaped grids. Each grid represents a position where the checker pieces need to be moved onto as well as the area in which the pieces need to be set into before the round of backgammon begins. The pieces are placed in a particular order at the start of the game to ensure a fair game. Each player has an equal amount of fifteen pieces each which are usually coloured red and white respectively. Each series of pieces are lined up in a way that they mirror those of the opponent’s pieces. Depending on where the players are seated, the front side will be the white coloured pieces’ ‘home’ on the right and the outer board on the left. On the opposite side the same is implemented for the red pieces where the right hand side indicates the red’s ‘home’ board and the left the outer board. As the pieces are positioned on the triangular points on the board, for the start of the game, players would need to eventually move their pieces from their side to their corresponding home board on the other side of the backgammon board. Each triangular point marks 6 points on each side of the board. The initial arrangement of pieces is as follows: two checker pieces are placed on each player’s twenty fourth point, five pieces are placed on each player’s thirteenth point, three pieces are placed on the players’ eighth point and five pieces are placed on the players’ sixth point. All that is required from now onwards is for each player to roll the dice and move in some form of strategy towards the opposite side without being blocked by the opponent.
At the start of the game round, each player takes a turn in rolling a single dice. Depending on the number that has been rolled will determine which player begins playing first. The player who rolls the highest number on the dice begins first. In the case that both players roll the same number, then both players would need to roll the dice again until the results are two different numbers. Once the first player has been determined, then that player will pick up both dice and will move according to the roll of the dice combining both numbers. Each count of the dice will match each movement on the triangular points on the backgammon board. The main aim is to move the checker pieces in a way that no single piece is left alone. For as long as there are at least two checker pieces on top of each other then there is no way of the opponent blocking that piece by landing on top of it. The single piece is called a blot (no matter what colour it is). Once the blot is landed on, or in other words ‘hit’, then that piece is sent to remain on the bar in the middle of the backgammon board which represents the beginning of the board. Once a dice is rolled and the blot is freed it can move around the board once more depending on the available points and the number rolled.
Following the appropriate backgammon rules, players will need to follow them in order to ensure a fair game. Once the player has managed to reach their checker pieces to the opposite side of the board, then it is up to them to roll the right amount on the dice to make sure that the pieces leave the board. In the case where a player manages to roll doubles, then they can double the amount of each dice giving them the chance to move four times. For example, if a player rolls a double four, then the player will have sixteen moves in a space of four turns. This means that the player may either opt to move a single piece sixteen points, or take four different pieces and move them four points. In the case of the player reaching their pieces to the opposite home board, players would need to roll the exact number for the pieces to leave the board and eventually win. It is important to note that players should still remain careful at this point to make sure that none of their pieces are blocked as this will make them start the game play of that single piece from the beginning. As this board game tends to be a fast paced game most players tend to play in forms of tournaments whereby the best is taken out of five games. Either way, backgammon was and has remained one of the most popular board games in history enabling players to now attend online free backgammon. The advancement of internet usage has also enabled players to attend tournaments online playing with opponents from around the world from the comfort of their own home.