Backgammon is a fantastic game for both its simplicity and its strategy. It can be played with only two pieces (checkers), or it can be expanded to include many more pieces, like the classic version commonly associated with backgammon today. Whether you’re new to the world of board games or just new to backgammon in particular, this beginner’s guide will help you get started. If you love the board games, we’ve selected the top 7 games for you! Backgammon has been around for centuries, but it’s still as popular as ever thanks to its accessibility and appeal as a social activity. It’s also an excellent choice for people who are interested in learning about game theory and probability. Even if you’ve never played backgammon before, this guide will help you learn everything you need to know about playing the game today.
What is Backgammon?
Backgammon is a classic strategy game that is simple enough to play with children and complicated enough to challenge even the most experienced adult players. It is played with two checkers, or pieces, on a board divided into 24 squares by two opposing players. At the end of a full game, the player with the highest number of points wins. Each player has their own “home” board and pieces, and the pieces are moved around the board according to the roll of two dice. The game is divided into two parts: “rolling” and “running.” During the rolling portion, players roll their two dice and move their pieces according to where the dice land on the board. The running portion is when you add up the points your pieces have acquired during the rolling portion to see who wins the game.
The Basics of Backgammon
As we mentioned above, backgammon is played with two checkers on a board divided into 24 squares. Two opposing players take turns rolling two dice to determine their movement and placement on the board. The goal of the game is to earn the most points. At the end of the game, each player adds up the points their checkers have earned and the one with the highest score wins. To start the game, players place their checkers on the “home” board at the beginning of the game and roll the two dice to determine their first movement. After rolling the dice, players use the numbers on the dice to determine where they can place their checkers. For example, if a player rolls a 3 and a 2, they can place their checkers on the third and second squares from the home board.
Elements of the Game
There are four main elements of backgammon that affect the outcome of each game: the board, the pieces, the rolling of the dice, and the strategy.
- The Board – The board where you play backgammon is divided into 24 squares. Two opposing players have their own home boards and play their pieces on their own squares. Your goal is to earn as many points as you can. At the end of a game, each player adds up the points their pieces earned and the player with the most points wins the game.
- The Pieces – The two checker pieces that each player uses to play the game are called men. You move the men by rolling two dice and then using the numbers on the dice to determine where you place the checkers on the board. You can move your checkers forward or back according to the numbers rolled on the dice. You can also “hit” an opponent’s checker if the number on the dice is equal to or greater than the number on the opponent’s checker square. The opponent’s piece is then removed from the board and given to you.
- The Rolling of the Dice – When you play backgammon, each player rolls two dice to determine where their checkers move on the board. You can add up the numbers on the dice and use that total to move your checker pieces forward, or you can add up the numbers and use that total to hit an opponent’s piece, moving it back if the number is less than the number on the opponent’s checker square.
- The Strategy – When you play backgammon, you have to decide where and when to move your pieces around the board. You also have to consider how to strategically hit your opponent’s pieces.
Strategies for Beginners
When you’re just starting out with backgammon, it’s best to focus on the basics listed above. Once you’ve gotten the hang of the game, you can then start to focus on developing a strategy.
- Positioning Your Checkers – The most important thing to focus on when you’re just starting out playing backgammon is positioning your checkers in areas of the board that will help you get the most points. You want to place your checkers to earn the most points possible, but you also want to make sure the opponent’s checkers cannot get to those same points easily.
- Blocking the Opponent’s Checkers – Once you’ve positioned your checkers to earn as many points as possible, you also want to make sure to block your opponent’s checkers from getting to valuable points. You do this by placing your checkers in a position where your opponent’s pieces cannot easily move past them to get points.
Key Tips for Beginners
If you’re just starting out playing backgammon, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Beginners should start with the classic version of backgammon, which is the version that most people are familiar with.
- Be patient when you’re just starting out playing backgammon.
- Focus on the basics when you’re just starting out playing backgammon: position your checkers to earn points, block your opponent’s checkers, and be patient.
- Backgammon is a game of luck and skill. You have to have a bit of both to be successful.
Backgammon is a fun game that can be played with two people or a group. It is a classic board game that has been around for centuries, making it a great choice for people looking to learn about game theory and probability while also enjoying a fun game. A beginner can learn how to play backgammon in a matter of minutes, making it an easy game to get involved in.