Backgammon is one of the oldest board games known. It is a two player game where playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice, and a player wins by removing all of his/her pieces from the board before their opponent.
Backgammon playing pieces are commonly known as checkers or draughts. The checkers are scattered at first and may be blocked or hit by the opponent. Each side of the board has a track of 12 long triangles, called points. The points are considered to be connected across one edge of the board, forming a continuous track in the shape of a horseshoe, and are numbered from 1 to 24. Each player begins with fifteen checkers, two are placed on their 24-point, three on their 8-point, and five each on their 13-point and their 6-point. The two players move their checkers in opposing directions, from the 24-point towards the 1-point.
After rolling the dice, players must, if possible, move their checkers according to the number shown on each die. For example, if the player rolls a 6 and a 3 (notated as "6-3"), the player must move one checker six points forward, and another or the same checker three points forward. The same checker may be moved twice, as long as the two moves can be made separately and legally: six and then three, or three and then six. If a player rolls two of the same number, called doubles, that player must play each die twice. For example, a roll of 5-5 allows the player to make up to four moves of five spaces each. On any roll, a player must move according to the numbers on both dice if it is at all possible to do so. If one die is unable to be moved, but such a move is made possible by the moving of the other die, that move is compulsory.
In the course of a move, a checker may land on any point that is unoccupied or is occupied by one or more of the player's own checkers. It may also land on a point occupied by exactly one opposing checker, or "blot". In this case, the blot has been "hit", and is placed in the middle of the board on the bar that divides the two sides of the playing surface. A checker may never land on a point occupied by two or more opposing checkers; thus, no point is ever occupied by checkers from both players simultaneously. There is no limit to the number of checkers that can occupy a point at any given time.
Checkers placed on the bar must re-enter the game through the opponent's home board before any other move can be made. A roll of 1 allows the checker to enter on the 24-point (opponent's 1), a roll of 2 on the 23-point (opponent's 2), and so forth, up to a roll of 6 allowing entry on the 19-point (opponent's 6). Checkers may not enter on a point occupied by two or more opposing checkers. Checkers can enter on unoccupied points, or on points occupied by a single opposing checker; in the latter case, the single checker is hit and placed on the bar. More than one checker can be on the bar at a time. A player may not move any other checkers until all checkers on the bar belonging to that player have re-entered the board. If a player has checkers on the bar, but rolls a combination that does not allow any of those checkers to re-enter, the player does not move.
When all of a player's checkers are in that player's home board, that player may start removing them; this is called "bearing off". A roll of 1 may be used to bear off a checker from the 1-point, a 2 from the 2-point, and so on. A die may not be used to bear off checkers from a lower-numbered point unless there are no checkers on any higher points. For example, if a player rolls a 6 and a 5, but has no checkers on the 6-point and two on the 5-point, then the 6 and the 5 must be used to bear off the two checkers from the 5-point.
A player wins when he/she bornes off all fifteen of his/her checkers.
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