Backgammon


Backgammon is one of the board games that has enjoyed a long history. Archaeological evidence points to this game being played in Mesopotamia at least 5000 years ago. It was very popular in Europe in the 17th century and became popular in the US in the 1920’s. This is a game in which two players move counters, similar to those used in draughts, around and off a marked board by alternate rolls of the dice.

There are four sections to a backgammon board. Each of these sections has 6 wedge-shaped spaces in alternating colours. The two players have 15 counters each, which they move in opposite directions along the same course of 18 spaces, which makes up three sections. Then they move across the 6 points of one’s home table and from here the counters are removed from the board. The first player to remove all of his/her counters from the board is the winner. If the loser in the game does not have any pieces removed from the board, then this player is gammoned and loses a double stake. If the loser has any pieces in the opponent’s home table, then he/she is backgammoned and loses a triple stake.

When playing backgammon, players sit across from one another. A player rolls the dice and can move one piece the number of spaces equal to the number rolled or can roll two pieces for a combined total of the number rolled. For example if a player rolls six, he/she can decide to move one piece six spaces or two pieces in combinations of spaces that add up to six. If a player rolls the same number on both dice, then this entitles him/her to an extra turn.

A player cannot advance a piece to a space occupied by two or more of the opponent’s pieces. If a player lands on a space already occupied by the opponent’s piece, then the opponent’s piece is removed from the board. The opponent cannot play any other piece until this removed piece has been returned to the board at the farthest space from home