An Introduction to Backgammon
Backgammon is said to be a game that involves moving counters on a table or board governed by chance and skill. The objective of backgammon is to be the first player to reach the goal with just the two dice controlling the movement of the counters. It is said that backgammon showcases a balance of the elements of both skill and chance.
Backgammon is a descendant of one of the oldest and most ancient game ever played by man. This dates back to as early as 3000 BC. Ancient Romans used to play a game they call Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum which means a “twelve-lined game”. If studied closely this twelve-lined game appears nearly the same as the modern day backgammon. It is still being played in eastern Mediterranean countries up to this day.
In general, the game of backgammon has two players. Backgammon uses a board that contains four tables or sections marked in two alternating colors by six narrow points or wedges. The “bar”, which is a vertical line, divides the board of the backgammon into two parts, the “inner” and the “outer” section.
Pieces that are used in backgammon are called “stones” and they consist of 15 whites and 15 blacks. These stones are then placed opposite each other around the backgammon board with their exact number shown on the dice.
A “made” is achieved by the player that occupied a point with two or more pieces of the same color that blocks the other player from occupying that point. A “blot” is a sole stone placed on a point that is vulnerable to a “hit” by the opposing player’s stone being placed on that point.
In the advent of a hit, the blot is taken out and replaced in the bar. The owner of that blot cannot get into backgammon until the blot re-enters. Players can re-enter backgammon through the opponent’s inner table in an open point with the similar number as throw with either one of the dice.
Once a player gets all of his 15 stones into his inner table he begins ‘bearing off” or moving the stones into a point beyond the board. The first player that bears off all 15 stones wins backgammon
If the loser bears off 1 stone, the game is a single. If he bears off none then it is called a gammon and is counted as double. Backgammon, which as triple, is made when the loser has a stone left in the winner’s inner table.
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