Backgammon: An Introduction

I'm not going to lie to you. Learning to play backgammon, as in learning to play any other game of skill and chance, requires a little of your time, a lot of your patience and your wholehearted attention. This may sound too much for just a board game but the fact is backgammon is more than just a mere board game. It is an opportunity to enjoy, learn a new skill and even win money while you're at it.

The first thing to understand about backgammon is its nature. Backgammon is played by two players. There will be a backgammon board, checkers, two dice and a doubling cube. Let's examine them one by one.

The two backgammon players would sit opposite each other and occupy their own territories on the backgammon board. One player would be represented by the light colored checkers and the other player would be the darker colored checkers. Sometimes these are simply black and white but more often than not they are shades of brown.

Each player would posses 15 checkers or playing pieces. These are also called stones and men in backgammon. The 15 checkers are placed in a backgammon table with a specific arrangement based on the rules of backgammon.

The board of backgammon consists of a total of 24 triangles with alternating colors. It is divided into four divisions with six triangles each. Backgammon triangles are also called points. The points are numbered from one to twenty-four starting from the lower right hand point ending on the 24th point on the upper right hand of the board of backgammon exactly opposite the 1st point.

The four quadrants of the backgammon board is divided by a vertical divider called the bar. One side of the bar would consist of the two home boards of the backgammon players. The other side of the bar would be called the outer board.

The objective of the game of backgammon is to place all your checkers from the other player's home board to your home board moving through the numbered points. Movement of checkers would be determined by the roll of the dice.

The doubling cube of backgammon acts as a reminder for the players of how much that particular backgammon game is worth. A player may challenge the other player to double the wager. If the other player refuses then he automatically loses and pays the initial stake. But if he accepts, the doubling cube doubles from the initial stake to a doubled amount.

The doubling cube then will be turned over to the challenged player. He now has the option to redouble the stake or not. The doubling cube of backgammon consists of 1-2-4-8-16-32-64. This means the players may redouble the stake to up to 64 times the original amount.

What I have presented here is just a mere introduction to the game of backgammon. Much is still to know about backgammon. The important thing is to not give up and continue learning backgammon. Its a great game and worth the time spent.