Removing the confusion: a simple explanation of the backgammon board

So, you want to play backgammon and don't know where to start? The backgammon board is the best starting point. It looks complicated, but it is actually straightforward, so don't be put off! The board consists of 12 stretched triangles called points. These connect to the outside edges, pointing inwards and are in two alternating colours. Each point is numbered from 1 to 24, though no numbers are visible. This is because the players move in an opposite directions on the board: number 1 for player A is number 24 for player B.

Points numbered 1 to 6 are called the home (or inner) board, and points 7 to 12 are called the outer board. The backgammon board has a bar in the centre that divides these. Checkers may be removed to here during play. You will need to remember this as these sections affect possible moves and the scoring of the game.

The pieces used are called checkers. At the start of each game, players must place their checkers on the backgammon board in a specific way. The checkers are lined up on the points; 5 checkers on the 6 and 13 points, 3 checkers on the 8 point, and 2 checkers on the 24 point. Both players have checkers on either side of the playing board, but not on the same points. A pair of dice determines the amount of moves each player can make. A dice with the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 is used for strategic play, to double the stake.

Now you know the layout of the backgammon board, the pieces involved and how to set up the board, you are ready to learn how to play.


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