HOW TO PLAY BACKGAMMON
DESCRIPTION OF THE BOARD: Each player has 15 chips and a pair of dice to start the game. The photo shows a board set up for play. The first set up is always the same, except that the player who has the first move can reserve the checker color, in which case the sides of the tables would be reversed.
TABLES: The board is divided into four tables, each player having an “Inner” and “Outer Table”. Each table has six points, the points in the inner table are numbered from 1 to 6.
BAR: The dividing space between the two tables (inner and outer) is called the “bar”.
OBJECT OF THE GAME: Each player moves their chips according to the throw of the two dice into their inner table. When all chips are in the inner table, throw the dice to remove/bear them off. The player who removes his/her chips first, wins.
DIRECTION OF PLAY: Each player moves from the opponent’s inner table to his/her own inner table. Opponents move chips in opposite directions.
DICE: Each player casts a single die to determine who has the first move. Ties are rethrown. Any dice thrown on the bar, resting on or against the frame, off the board, tilted, cocked in any way must be thrown again. Points of the two dice thrown by each player are used as the first move.
MOVING CHIP: A chip is played when moved the correct number of points and finalized. Any adjustments to the move must be corrected before the opponent throws. Numbers on both dice must be played if possible. The same chip may be moved for both numbers, but the two numbers on the dice cannot be added and played as one move. For example, if you rolled a 4 and a 6, you cannot move one chip 5 points and another chip 5 points. Two different chips may be moved and there is no limit to the number of chips of the same color on one point. A point with two or greater chips of the same color is BLOCKED against the opponent, although it may be jumped. When a player can not move because of a blocked point, he/she loses the move. DOUBLES may be moved by four chips, two chips or one chip four times. BLOTS a single chip on a point is a blot – an opponent with the proper roll may (optional) move a chip to the blot and the chip hit goes to the central bar and must start over. Two or more blots may happen in one play. A chip on the BAR must re-enter in the opponent’s inner table before making another move. The chip may not enter on a blocked point.
BEARINGS OFF: When either player succeeds in moving all of their chips to their inner table, he/she starts to remove (throw off) chips from points corresponding to the dice thrown. A player can either move a chip or throw off. When tossing a dice higher than any point covered, a chip from the highest point may be thrown off, but he/she may not throw off a chip if the point indicated is vacant and there is any chip on a higher point. If, while removing chips from the board, a chip is hit, the chip goes to the BAR and must re-enter in the way described above, travel all around the board to the inner table before more chips can be taken off.
DOUBLING: After the original stake has been agreed upon, it is doubled as follows: When casting for the first move, each tie doubles the stakes. When the loser has not borne a single chip from the board, he loses a GAMMON and the score is doubled. After the game starts, either player, before throwing, may offer a double, which the opponent must accept or surrender. The player who declines the double loses the game as it is. The player who accepted the double now has the sole right to offer another double. Doubles may continue indefinitely, but there are usually not more than four or five in any game. Doubles increase as follows: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc.