Backgammon Rules


Brief description

  • Backgammon is a two player board game in which players take turns rolling dice and moving checkers.
  • Each player has 15 checkers - one player is black and one is white
  • The art of Backgammon lies in strategically positioning checkers while skillfully hitting those of the opponent.


  • The first player to successfully bear off all 15 checkers wins.
  • Once all of a player's checkers have been moved to the home board, he may begin to roll the dice to bear them off.
Backgammon                                              Beginopstelling voor wit

Diagram 1: White player's starting point.
Backgammon                                              Beginopstelling voor zwart

Diagram 2: Black player's starting point.

Game Board and Playing Direction

  • The triangles on the board are numbered from 1 to 24 and are called points .
  • The bar (vertical line) separates the board into two halves, known as the home board and the outer board .
  • Diagram 1 illustrates the starting point and the direction from which the white player begins. The white player's home board lies between points 19-24. His outer board is between points 13-18.
  • Diagram 2 shows the black player's point of view. In order to simplify game play, GameDuell mirrors the board for the black player. His home board lies between points 1-6, and his outer board is between points 7-12.
  • The white and black checkers are moved in opposite directions (toward one another) and may only be moved in this direction.
  • The white checkers are moved beginning from point 1 and ending at point 24.
    The black checkers are moved from point 24 to point 1.

Moving Checkers

  • The starting player is chosen at random. Players take turns rolling two dice and move their checkers depending on the value rolled.
  • The value on the dice may be used to move one or both checkers. A separate move must be carried out for the pip value on each die (ie: 6+1). The order in which the moves are executed does not matter.
  • Checkers may only be moved to free points . A point is considered to be free if it is occupied by one or less of an opponent's checkers.
  • When moving the checkers, it is important that the pip value from both dice is used. If this is not possible, a player must try to use the higher pip value first, then the lower. If neither of the pip values can be used, then the player must pass. pass. .

Hitting Checkers

  • When a checker is placed on a point occupied by only one of the opponent's checkers, then the opponent's checker is hit.
  • A checker can also be hit while passing by. This occurs when a player moves a checker using both pip values and lands on an occupied field between moves.
  • Checkers that have been hit are automatically moved to the middle of the board and placed on the bar. Checkers are retrieved once the owner rolls the dice to bring them back into play.


  • If each die has the same pip value, then doubles have been rolled (i.e.: 6+6).
  • When doubles are rolled, the player must move his checkers twice for each die's pip value.

Retrieving Checkers that Have Been Hit

  • If a checker is hit, then its owner may only continue playing once that checker has been brought back into play.
  • When a checker is brought back into play, it can only be placed on a free point. If no checkers can be brought back into play because the home board is blocked, then the player must pass.
  • Example : If a player rolls a 2 and a 5, then he must place the checker that was hit on either the second or fifth field.
Backgammon                                        Geslagen stenen opnieuw inzetten

Diagram 3: A white checker is brought back into play

Bearing Off

  • If all 15 of one player's checkers are on the home board, then he may begin bearing off the checkers and removing them from the board.
  • When a player is bearing off he may also use the lower pip value to move one of his checkers closer to the end. When doing so, he must move the checker that is furthest back.
Backgammon                                        Stenen het spel uit dobbelen

Diagram 4: White checkers bearing off
If all white checkers are on the home board and the player rolls a 2 and a 4, then the player could do one of the following things:
  1. Bear off a checker from point 23 using pip value 2, and move a checker from point 19 to point 23 using the pip value 4
  2. Bear off a checker from point 23 using pip value 2 and move a checker from point 20 to point 24 using the pip value 4
  3. Bear off the checker from point 19

Game End

  • The game is over once one of the players has borne all of his checkers off the board.
  • The game also ends if one of the players fails to move his checkers within the specified time limit, thus causing a time out. When a player causes a time out, the other player automatically wins.


  • 1 Point :If the losing player has already borne off one of his checkers, then the winner will be rewarded with 1 point.
  • 2 Points : If the losing player has not borne off any of his checkers, then the winner will be rewarded with 2 points. This situation is known as a Gammon .
  • 3 Points A Backgammon occurs when at least one of the losing player's checkers is either still on the winner's home board or on the bar when the winner bears off his final checker. In this event, the winner is rewarded with 3 points.
Multi-round duels
  • Two players compete in a duel with as many rounds as necessary until one of them has reached the total points determined prior to the game.
  • If you are playing to a total of 1 point, then there can only be one round. A duel played to 5 points can contain up to 9 rounds.
  • Give up: You can give up a single round without losing the entire duel by using the give up button. You can also offer the opponent a total of points for the round (single, double, triple). The opponent can accept or decline the offer. You may only attempt giving up once per round.
Doubling cube
  • The doubling cube is a strategic element of the game that can be used to encourage your opponent to give up the round or to double the points. The doubling cube is most useful in duels with multiple rounds.
  • If the opponent accepts, then he will be able to challenge you to double the points. The doubling cube may only be used by the player who was not the one to use it last.
  • The current multiplier is visible on the cube at all times. The number can be 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and up to 64 and is valid even if the round is given up or if the time limit is exceeded.
  • If a player has double twice (multiper of 4) and wins with 2 points, he will receive a total score of 8 points.
  • Crawford Rule: If a player only needs one point to win (i.e.: he has 6 of 7 points), then the opponent may not use the doubling cube in the next round. The doubling cube may be used again in all subsequent rounds.
  • Tip: Use the doubling cube when you are sure that you will win the game. In doing so, you can shorten the game or double your points.

Did you know...?

  • Backgammon is one of the world's oldest board games. The Romans and ancient Egyptians were known to enjoy Backgammon competitions. King Tut's tomb was even found with game boards dating back over 3,500 years.
  • The term Backgammon was first used in 1645 and describes returning checkers that have been hit.
  • Backgammon has always been a game for aristocrats and nobility. Famous Backgammon players include Omar Sharif, Hugh Hefner, and Gunther Sachs.
  • Further information can be found on Wikipedia.
Backgammon                                            Wikipedia

Diagram 5: One of the oldest board games in the world