The Lure of Backgammon
Backgammon is said to be the oldest board game in the world dating back thousands of years ago in Greece and Rome. It is a gambling game of luck and skill for two players. With each roll of the dice, players must develop strategy to move his men, pieces or checkers and anticipate possible counter moves by his opponent. The game has already and established sets of moves and countermoves to bear off his men before his opponent does. While establishing a way to hit and block his opponent's men. Each player has a set of 15 men, pieces or checker, two dice and a cup in which to shake them.
The backgammon board is rectangular in form and divided into halves by a bar that cuts across the board in a north - south direction. The player who sits to the south of the board has on his left hand side the half called the inner, or home, table. The half on his right hand side is called the outer table. Thus, each player has his own inner and outer tables.
There are two rows of triangular marks called points crisscrossing from the north and south edges of the board. There are 12 points each on the north and south sides of the board. Each inner and outer table has 6 points.
There are numbered points on some backgammon sets. On the south side of the board, the points on both sides are numbered from 1 to 12, going from left to right. If the board is not numbered, the players will have to memorize the numbers of the points or penciled them lightly on the board.
The object of the game is to make the players move all his checkers to his own inner table. The player moves his pieces forward the same number of points as the numbers the player gets after throwing the dice. When the player's men have reached the inner table, he will remove his men (bear off) from the board. The men are moved from the opponent's inner table round the board by way of the two outer tables, until each player has all his men in his inner table.
To start the game, each player throws one die with the higher number plays first. The first player uses the numbers shown on the two dice, his single die and his opponent's) for his move. The players will take turns throwing their dice and moving their men.
A player can move one or two men on one throw of the dice, whereas, a double may move as many as four men may. A point is said to be open when it is not occupied by two or more men of the same color. This means that a player may land a point on which there is only one of his opponent's men.
The player who bears off all his men or pieces first, wins the game. If the loser has not borne off a single man, he is said to be gammoned and loses a double game. If he has a man on the bar or in the opponent's home table, he is backgammoned and loses a triple game.