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Many people don’t realize that backgammon is one of the world’s oldest two-player games. How could any one game withstand 5,000 years of world history? The answer is simple: backgammon is the most balanced, most fun, and most satisfyingly competitive board game to win on the face of the planet. Unfortunately, many people have never experienced the entrancing gameplay of backgammon, mostly due to the game being incorrectly labeled as being ‘old-fashioned’ or too challenging.
Once you understand the rules, gameplay, and strategy of how to play and win in backgammon, you’ll understand how it has endured through 50 centuries of progress.
While backgammon has fallen out of vogue in recent decades, there has always been a loyal and enthusiastic fanbase. The unfortunate truth is that there really isn’t any one good reason why playing backgammon live online has taken a back seat to other board games. The great news is that backgammon is primed and ready for a huge comeback! First things first, let’s take a took at the basic gameplay and set-up.
The main objective of backgammon is simple enough: remove all your checkers from the board and win the game. This is also known as ‘bearing off,’ which we’ll discuss in further detail later. No score to keep, it’s all or nothing. Two men enter to have a match, one man leaves victorious.
In backgammon games, checkers are the game pieces which move around the game board. Checkers are traditionally divided into a white side and a black side (though this can sometimes be brown, as well)
When you play backgammon online free against people, or even against the computer, hitting is the act of removing your opponent’s checker from a point, and placing it on the bar. To perform a hit, you must land on a blot containing only one of your opponent’s checker pieces. Once you land on the point, you can remove your opponent’s checker and place it on the bar.
Once a checker piece is added to the bar in internet backgammon, it must re-enter the board, starting from your opponent’s home board, regardless of where it was before it was hit. Players must enter all their checkers from the bar before they can make any other moves toward a win. Enter movements can only be made on to open points, meaning points with no other pieces.
Once a player has moved all his checkers to his home board, and only then, can he start bearing off, or removing his pieces from the board in order to win the game. To bear off a piece, players roll a pair of dice. Players then chose piece which is on the point that corresponds to the dice value. For example, rolling a 6 allows the player to remove a checker from the 6 point. If a player rolls a 3, they can remove a piece from the 3 point, or if there are no pieces on the 3 point, they can remove a checker from the next highest-point where one resides.
Doubling allows you to move four times instead of twice.
Free backgammon games allow you to stack checkers when it is unclear which point they belong to, for example, when a point is too full. Stacking doesn’t have any real effect on the game other than better organizing the pieces.
When playing 2 player backgammon online, an ace-point is terminology used to describe when you’re anchored on the opponent’s one point in an attempt to block the opponent from bearing off.
A gammon occurs when the loser of the game has not borne off any of their checkers. When a player gammons, they lose twice the value of the doubling cube, rather than the standard loss. Of course, winning is always the preferred outcome.
When you look at a backgammon board, the first thing you’ll probably notice are the narrow triangles that shoot nearly halfway across the board. These single triangles are called ‘points.’ There are 24 points on each game board, divided into four quadrants containing six points each.
When you’re setting up a new game of backgammon, the checkers are positioned in the following order:
• 2 checkers are placed on point 24
• 5 checkers are placed on point 13
• 3 checkers are placed on point 8
• 5 checkers are placed on point 6
To set up the rest of the board, all you have to do is mirror both sides of the board. For example, your opponent should have 2 checkers on point 1, since you have 2 on point 24.
Whether you’re playing backgammon live or backgammon free online, the game is played that checker movements always move in only one direction. Your opponent will always move their checkers in the opposite direction than you move yours.
The first step of your move is always to roll the dice. The numbers on the dices will guide you on how many positions your checkers can move. Let’s say you rolled a 2 and a 3. This means that you’ll be able to either move a single checker two spots, and another checker three spots, or that you can move one checker 5 spots. The only catch is that you must use up all your movements. You can’t decide to move one checker 1 spot and the other checker four spots.
Once you have determined how many spots you can move, it’s time to do some moving. There are a few rules that must be followed when you’re moving your backgammon checkers.
A checker is only permitted to move to an open position. Open positions are points that aren’t already taken by two or more of your opponent’s checkers. If there are no open positions, then the player cannot move.
• If you roll a double, for example, a pair of fours, you’re allowed to move a total of four rolls instead of only two. So, a pair of fours translates to a total of 16 movements.
• If a player only has one checker on a given point, this opens them up to being ‘hit.’ When another player lands on a point that contains only one of your checkers, that checker is removed from the point and put on the bar, which is the separator that runs down the middle of the board. The ‘hit’ player cannot make any other moves until their checkers is off the bar and back to the playing board.
Even though playing free online backgammon relies, to a degree, on luck or chance, it is primarily a game of skill and strategy. Here are some strategies to keep in mind:
Playing backgammon online games can sometimes be very misunderstood, mostly due to the labels and stigma that have been associated with the game. Backgammon has modernized to the point where you can even download a backgammon app for your phone and play it on the go. It’s time for the backgammon board game to have a major comeback. We highly recommend giving it a try!
Our dice are rolled through a Random Number Generator (RNG) mechanism, which means that each roll of the dice is completely random, like rolling real dice with your hand.
Coins have different uses on Backgammon Live. First of all, you’ll need coins to play any of our games – 1-on-1, tournaments, mini-games and challenges. How many coins you’ll need? That will depend on the various boards and game modes. Coins are also used to purchase virtual items like specialty dice and shakers.
You can get coins by buying them with actual money or winning them in variety of ways during the play through bonuses (daily spin & hourly collect). You can also get coins on our Fan Page on Facebook.
You earn XPs when you win a game, when rolling doubles, when you put your opponent’s checker on the bar and more. Also, the higher the bet you playing at the more XPs you’ll earn.
Earning a certain amount of XPs will unlock new boards, game modes, virtual items and more.
XPs info can be found at the top right corner of the game lobby, next to your pic or avatar.
Welcome Bonus: Given to every new player to help them get started.
Daily Bonus: Given to all players each day they are logged into the game.
Hourly Collect Bonus: Given in addition to the daily bonus; players can collect up to 5 hourly bonuses a day.
Facebook Connect Bonus: Given to mobile players for connecting with their Facebook account. Our Facebook fan page is the main channel for bonuses, giveaways and promotions.
Backgammon Blitz: Fast-paced game, 20 seconds per play
Custom Boards: Pieces are set in non-standard formations
Tournaments: Backgammon Multiplayer games - 4-player & 8-player. You’ll need to pay an entry fee instead of a bet. The champ gets all the winnings.