Learn to play the 5000 year old classic game of Backgammon! Backgammon is a strategy and luck game for 2 players.
- In Backgammon, the goal is to be the first player to remove all of their checkers from the board.
- Players do so by rolling dice and moving their checkers around the board in either a clockwise (red) or counterclockwise (black) direction.
- Once a player has moved all their checkers into their home quadrant (red - top right, black - bottom right), they can start using their dice rolls to remove the checkers from the board.
- To setup the board, each player will have mirrored checkers across from each other, occupying the rows. *For PlayingCards.io, this is already done for you. If using these rules to set up a physical game, simply refer to the setup in a Backgammon room on PlayingCards.io.
- Each player takes two dice. *For PlayingCards.io, each player has two 1-6 spinners that effectively work the same way as dice.
Playing the Game
- To decide who goes first, each player rolls one of their dice (if the dice values are the same, re-roll until they are different). The player with the higher roll goes first, using both dice to take the first turn of the game (in subsequent turns, each player will roll both of their own dice).
- On a player's turn, they roll both of their dice and use those values to move checkers the subsequent amount of rows per die value, in the corresponding direction of their color (red - clockwise, black - counterclockwise). (EXAMPLE: The red player rolls a 3 and a 5. They move one checker 3 rows in a clockwise direction and another checker 5 rows in a clockwise direction). Play then passes to the opponent player.
- When moving a checker, the same checker or different checkers may be moved using the dice values, however, there are some rules for movement that must be followed.
- Unless a die value is being used to remove a checker from the board (more on that below), a die value must be used to its fullest extent (i.e. a player cannot use a 5 to move a checker less than 5 rows over).
- A checker may not be moved into a row that is occupied by two or more opposing checkers. (EXAMPLE: If a player were to move a red checker 4 rows over by using a 4 value die, but the row that checker would land on is occupied by two black checkers, the red checker cannot be moved using the 4 die and the red player must choose a different checker to move).
- If a checker moves into a row occupied by one opposing checker, the opposing checker is sent to the "middle bar" (traditionally, a backgammon board unfolds and the middle bar is the hinged space between each half of the board).
- If a player has any of their checkers on the middle bar, they must use their dice values to move those checkers first before moving any checkers on the board. When a checker is moved from the middle bar, it goes back to the starting row (red - far right row of bottom right, black - far right row of top right). (EXAMPLE: The black player has a checker on the middle bar. Their dice rolls are 2 and 4. They use the 2 to move the middle bar checker to its starting row and then one row to the left. They then use the 4 to move another checker four rows over). If a player's movement from the middle bar is blocked by the opponent given the dice they rolled, they can not make a move on their turn and play passes to the opponent.
- When a player rolls doubles (two of the same dice value), the player may use each die twice. (EXAMPLE: The black player rolls two 3's. They use a total of 4 moves, 3 rows each).
- When a player uses both dice to move the same checker, they must be able to do each move legally (EXAMPLE: The red player rolls a 3 and a 4. They move a checker 3 rows and are able to do so following the normal movement. They then move the same checker 4 row following normal movement. Even though they moved one checker 7 rows, the first movement of 3 still needed to be a legal move in order to move the same checker using the 4).
- Once a player has moved all their checkers into their home quadrant (red - top right, black - bottom right), they can start using their dice rolls to remove the checkers from the board (EXAMPLE: The red player has a single checker in the far right row of their home quadrant and two checkers in the rower just left of that. They roll a 2 and a 1. They move the one checker off the board using the 1 and move one of the two checkers off the board using the 2).
- If a player has all their checkers in their home quadrant and their dice roll is higher than what is needed to remove a checker, they may use the high dice roll to remove their furthest checker from the board.
The first player to remove all their checkers from the board wins the game!
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