Backgammon Rules – Movement of the Checkers Part 1

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 31,327
    Vic Morawksi, expert backgammoner, teaches the basic to the game including the rules that govern in checker movement in the game.

    Vic Morawski: Hi, I am Vic and we're introducing you to the game of Backgammon. Now, we would like to look at some of the rules that govern in checker movement in the game. Now, how is movement done. Well, movement is as you can probably guess by dice rolls. A game of backgammon begins with each player putting only one die in their dice cup and throwing it and here white would through a die as well, only a single die.

    Now, if they happen to roll the same number, they just roll again, although there are special gambling situations where that doubles the stakes, but we're not going to get into what is called Automatic Doubles. In a normal game you just roll again until the numbers are different and here blue wins the first roll and blue must play whatever those two numbers are and that roll like that is most often played like this. By the way, if you're new, you will probably not move your checkers like this, you will probably count a little bit. Don't worry about that, everyone who is new to the game and kind of counting out their checkers as they move them, you will get better and you will get faster as you play the game more.

    Okay, so we've talked about the object of the game. Now, you can see then, that because the player who gets his or her checkers off first, wins the game. It is more or less a racing game, both sides are racing to get their checkers, all of them off the board before the other side. But there are two things about Backgammon that make it more than just a race. One thing happens when there is only a single checker on a point and the other happens when there are two checkers on a point.

    A single checker on a point has a name in Backgammon, it's called a blot and if I move such that I leave a single checker on a point, that's called leaving a blot on this point. Now, no two checkers of opposing colors can ever occupy the same point.

    So, if you happen to roll a number that hits a checker of the opposite color, you send it back to the beginning and it is literally placed on the bar. That's what happens when there is only one checker on a point. Now, in Backgammon a player can move on any points that are open but have no checkers on it, but the second important thing that keeps Backgammon from being just a race is that players are blocked from moving numbers where their opponents have two or more checkers on a point.

    So this is very important aspect of the game. You can block your opponent if you have two or more checkers on a point. Now, notice there are more checkers than two, that you start out with. You can also give yourself safe spots to land if you have more than two checkers on a point. White cannot send any of these checkers back.

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