Registered Users

Help!
Player Login


PLAY
Game status
New game
Waiting Room
Auto-Match


TALK
My messages
Send message
Tell a friend!


SPY
Ladder area
Tournament area
Who is here?
Search user profiles
Singularity
New Releases


ACCOUNT
Edit user profile
Edit game boards
Edit game graphics
Buddy List
Edit ignore list
Change password
Edit ratings
Become a member!
News
Logout

Visitors

Create new userid

Main screen
Tournament area
Waiting Room
Who is here?

Info

Game Rules
Features and tips
User testimonials

 
3,000,000+ registered accounts
 Help Page

Back to the Frequently Asked Questions main page
Back to the Game Rules main page

Backgammon
It's the classic dice and race game (BX), and some variations: Pro Backgammon (BP), Anti-Backgammon (BA), Nackgammon (BN), and Backgammon Race (BR).


  • read: Backgammon Setup, Object of Game
  • read: Starting a Backgammon Game on ItsYourTurn.com
  • read: Backgammon Movement
  • read: Doubles
  • read: Moving Backgammon Pieces on the ItsYourTurn.com Board
  • read: Blocks
  • read: Blots
  • read: The Bar
  • read: Bearing Off
  • read: Scoring in Regular Backgammon (BX)
  • read: Pro Backgammon (BP)
  • read: Pro Backgammon (BP): Types of Wins
  • read: Pro Backgammon (BP): Doubling Cube
  • read: Pro Backgammon (BP): Crawford Round
  • read: Backgammon Race (BR)
  • read: Anti-Backgammon (BA)
  • read: Nackgammon (BN)
  • read: Pro Backgammon Race (BS)
  • read: Pro Nackgammon (BO)
  • read: Pro Backgammon-9 (B9)
  • read: Casual Backgammon and Backgammon in Tournament Signups
  • read: In backgammon, it's forcing me to move in order of the dice shown. What if I want to use the second die first?
  • read: The dice don't seem fair.
  • read: You must use both dice if possible.



Backgammon Setup, Object of Game


This is a Backgammon board in its starting setup. The arrows show the direction of movement for the White and Black checkers. The object of the game is to move all checkers of your color around the board to your home table and off the board.

During game play, the checkers are moved around the board according to the roll of two dice. The triangles (called points or pips) are spaces on which the checkers can land. There is no limit to the number of checkers that can be on one pip.

ItsYourTurn always displays the backgammon board so that your direction of movement is counterclockwise, and your home table is the lower right quadrant. If you were playing the game shown above, you would be Black.
[
back to top ]


Starting a Backgammon Game on ItsYourTurn.com To learn how to begin a game of backgammon, go to our help menu and select How to Start a Game or How to Join a Game.

Once two players have signed on to a game, Black has the first turn. But Black does not necessarily get to move first. On Black's first turn, a pair of dice is rolled to see who goes first. If the die on the left is greater, then Black makes the first move, using the two dice as her roll. If the die on the right is greater, Black must pass her turn by clicking 'Submit' beneath the game board. White will then use that roll as his first roll.
[ back to top ]


Backgammon Movement On each turn, checkers are moved from pip to pip according to the roll of the dice. Your dice, a 4 and a 3, are on the right side of the board. (Your opponent's previous roll, not shown here, will be on the left side of the board.)



One way to move is to give each die to a different checker. In the following example, one checker was moved 4 points from point number 13 to point 9; another checker was moved 3 points from point 13 to point 10.



Or, you may give both dice to the same checker. Here, one checker was moved 4 places from point 13 to point 9. Then the same checker was moved 3 places from point 9 to point 6.



You can not add the dice together and move a single checker once by the total. A checker must make a seperate move for each die.
[
back to top ]


Doubles When you roll doubles, you get four moves instead of the usual two. Each move equals the number appearing on one die. For example, if you roll double '3's', you may move four different checkers three pips each; or a single checker four units of three, totaling twelve; or one checker twice for a total of six and two other checkers three each; etc.
[
back to top ]


Moving Backgammon Pieces on the ItsYourTurn.com Board After a game of backgammon is created (see How to Start a Game or How to Join a Game on our help menu) you may go to it any time by clicking your opponent's name as it appears on your game status page.

If it is your turn, you will see blue outlines around the points where checkers were changed in your opponent's previous move. Your opponent's previous dice are on the left side of the board, and your dice for this move are on the right side.

You have to move your checkers in the order shown on the dice. If you want to reverse this order, click on the "swap dice" link under the game board.

To begin your move, click once on a point containing a checker you want to move. The piece will be moved by the amount down on the first die. Repeat this process for another checker, or the same checker, using the other die.

If you have rolled doubles, you must move two more checkers, for a total of 4, to finish your move. When you have moved all the checkers that you can, several Submit buttons appear beneath the board. You must click a submit button to finish your move.

Sometimes, for reasons explained below, you will not be able to use both dice to move your checkers. If that is the case, then you still must move all the checkers that you can, then click 'Submit.'
[ back to top ]


Blocks A player may not move onto a point that is occupied by two or more of his opponent's checkers. Such a pip is said to be blocked. In the example below, White has rolled a 3 and a 5. White may not move a checker 3 spaces from point 19 to point 22 because Black has 2 checkers on point 22.



But white has other options. For instance, White can use his 3 die to move a checker from point 17 to point 20, and use his 5 die to move a checker from point 19 to point 24.


[
back to top ]


Blots A point with only one checker on it is called a blot. If a checker of the opposite color lands on a blot, the checker that was there first is sent to the bar. In the example below, Black has left a blot on point 7.



White uses its roll of 1 and 5 to move a checker from point 1 to point 7. The Black checker that was on point 7 is now sent to the bar. Being sent to the bar is a major setback for Black, as described in the next section.


[
back to top ]


The Bar When a player has one or more checkers on the center bar, he must move them off before moving any other pieces. Checkers move off the bar onto the opponent's home table. If a player cannot leave the bar because his moves are blocked on his opponent's home table, then he has no moves for that turn.

In the example below, Black has two checkers on the bar. He has rolled a 1 and a 4.



He must move his two checkers off the bar before he moves any others. He uses the 1 on her die to move one checker from the bar to point number 1. But he can not use the 4 on the die to move the other checker off the bar, because point number 4 is blocked by White's checkers. Black has no more moves available for this turn, so he must click Submit and end his turn.


[
back to top ]


Bearing Off When you have moved all of your checkers into your home table, you may begin bearing off, or moving them off the board. To bear off a checker, click on it. A page will load showing a red outline arount its point. Then click on the trough in the lower right corner of the board.



If possible, you must bear off according to the exact numbers rolled on the dice. However, if you are in the process of bearing off, you are not being blocked by your opponent, and no checkers are available to move by the exact numbers on the dice, you can bear off the checkers farthest from the end of the board.
[
back to top ]


Scoring in Regular Backgammon (BX) In regular backgammon on ItsYourTurn, the first player to bear off all her checkers wins. Experienced backgammon players looking for a more advanced scoring system and the doubling cube should check out Pro Backgammon.
[
back to top ]


Pro Backgammon (BP) A game of Pro Backgammon is really a match which consists of a series of backgammon games. The object is to earn a total of 5 points over the series. The winner of each game earns a number of points which are based on the type of win and are multiplied by the value on the doubling cube.
[
back to top ]


Pro Backgammon (BP): Types of Wins Each game in a Pro Backgammon match can be won in the following ways:
  1. Single Game: The winner earns 1 point for bearing off all her pieces while her opponent is also bearing off.
  2. Gammon: The winner earns 2 points for bearing off all her pieces while all her opponent's pieces are still on the board.
  3. Backgammon:The winner earns 3 points for bearing off all her pieces while her opponent has not born off any and still has pieces on the bar or in the winner's home table.

The number of points earned by the type of win is multiplied by the number on the doubling cube to determine the points earned in a game. The first player to reach 5 points wins the Pro Backgammon match.
[
back to top ]


Pro Backgammon (BP): Doubling Cube The doubling cube, used in Pro Backgammon (BP) only, can affect a game in one of the following ways:
  • At the end of each game, points earned by the type of win are multiplied by the value on the doubling cube.
  • If an offer to double is declined, as explained below, the game ends and the winner is awarded a number of points equal to the value of the doubling cube before the offer to double.

The value of the doubling cube advances according to the following rules:
  1. The doubling cube is invisible at the start of each game and is understood to have a value of '1.'
  2. At the beginning of any turn, either player may offer to raise the doubling cube to '2' by selecting 'Offer Double' from the options displayed beneath the game board. When a double is offered, no checkers can be moved in that turn.



  3. On the opponent's next turn, he must either accept or decline the double, and he also can not move any pieces.
    • If he accepts the double, the doubling cube is raised to '2' and the turn goes back to the first player. The game proceeds with the doubling cube visible on the right edge of the game board.
    • If he declines, the game ends and the player who offered the double wins one point.
  4. When a player accepts a double, he becomes the possessor of the cube as indicated by a small arrow.



    Only the possessor can offer the next double. If he does make an offer and his opponent accepts, the cube is raised to '4' and the other player becomes the possessor of the cube; if the opponent declines, the game ends and the player who offered the double wins points equal to the value of the cube before the offer.
  5. The cube can be doubled any number of times. It advances in a sequence '2,' '4,' '8,' '16' and so on. There is no limit to its value, but it rarely goes higher than 4.

[
back to top ]


Pro Backgammon (BP): Crawford Round In Pro Backgammon, when a player is one point away from winning for the first time in the match, the next game does not use the doubling cube. This game is called the Crawford round. If the Crawford round ends and the match is still not won, the doubling cube may be used in the subsequent games.

For regular Pro Backgammon, the Crawford round takes place when one player first reaches 4 points. For Pro Backgammon-9, the Crawford round is at 8 points.
[
back to top ]


Backgammon Race (BR)


In Backgammon Race, all checkers are on the bar at the start of the game. They must be played onto the board according to the roll of the dice. As in regular backgammon, checkers enter the board in the opponent's home table.

A player may move checkers on the board even while checkers that were originally on the bar remain there; however, checkers that are hit and sent to the bar by the opponent must be played off the bar before any others are moved.

All other rules are the same as regular Backgammon. The doubling cube is not used.

Some people will recognize similarities between this game and Acey-Deucey. But in Backgammon Race, a roll of doubles on the dice is played the same as in regular Backgammon -- one does not play the values on the top of the dice as well as the values underneath, then roll again.
[
back to top ]


Anti-Backgammon (BA) The object of Anti-Backgammon (BA) is to not be the first to bear off all your pieces. If an Anti-Backgammon game reaches 500 moves per side, then it is declared a draw regardless of the state of the game. All other rules are the same. The doubling cube is not used.
[
back to top ]


Nackgammon (BN) This is the same as regular backgammon, but with a different starting board. This variant encourages more defensive play.


[
back to top ]


Pro Backgammon Race (BS) Same initial board as Backgammon Race, but played with a doubling cube. Match to 5 points, Crawford round supported. See Backgammon Race and Pro Backgammon rules for further explanations.
[
back to top ]


Pro Nackgammon (BO) Same initial board as Nackgammon, but played with a doubling cube. Match to 5 points, Crawford round supported. See Nackgammon and Pro Backgammon rules for further explanations.
[
back to top ]


Pro Backgammon-9 (B9) Same rules as Pro Backgammon (the doubling cube is used), but played to 9 points instead of the usual 5 points. Due to the length of this game, we recommend that you play with opponents you already know, to avoid the possibility of timing out in the middle of the game.
[
back to top ]


Casual Backgammon and Backgammon in Tournament Signups On the tournament signup page, you will see Casual Backgammon and Backgammon listed separately. You can only sign up for one of these. They are both the same game: regular backgammon played as a single game with no double cube and no gammon or backgammon wins.

Casual Backgammon and Backgammon are just two different tournament areas that you can enter. You may not enter both of them. We have split backgammon into two different areas in tournaments so that each area will have fewer people, and the tournaments will run a little faster.
[
back to top ]


In backgammon, it's forcing me to move in order of the dice shown. What if I want to use the second die first? Use the SWAP DICE link located under the backgammon board.

In backgammon, the program forces you to move in the order shown on the dice. However, if you want to move in the REVERSE order, click on the swap dice link underneath the backgammon board. This will reverse the order of the dice, and you can move your checkers in that order.
[
back to top ]


The dice don't seem fair. No computer random number generator is perfect. At ItsYourTurn.com we have analyzed 8 million dice rolls made in past games on our site and found that the results are extremely good.

Here's the way the dice are generated on our site: The dice are 'pre-rolled' for each millisecond of the hour. Depending on the millisecond that we receive the request, that will be your dice roll. Since there are 3600 seconds in an hour and 1000 milliseconds in a second, there are 3.6 million possible dice rolls you can have. Even if someone were able to write a computer program to make a move at the exact same millisecond each hour, there are other very random factors such as the speed of the Internet and the processing load on our servers (which changes constantly) which will defeat this ploy. Remember, if the request is delayed by one millisecond, it will result in a completely different dice roll. This method is actually more random than most real dice, since the indentations of the pips on the die means that each side of the die cube is weighted slightly different.

Dice trivia: Most dice favor the 6, since the 1 side is the heaviest side because it has the fewest number of pips. Dice in Las Vegas are specially manufactured so that the material in the pips are exactly the same density as the material in the rest of the dice, to assure randomness. The sides on those dice are calibrated to within millimeters. Because of imperfections in manufacturing, most consumer dice are not very random.

The odds of rolling doubles is 1 in 6. Here are the odds of rolling several doubles (any doubles) in a row:
  • 2 doubles in a row: 36 to 1
  • 3 doubles in a row: 216 to 1
  • 4 doubles in a row: 1296 to 1
  • 5 doubles in a row: 7776 to 1
  • 6 doubles in a row: 46,656 to 1
Since we're now recording well over 100,000 backgammon moves a day (and that number keeps increasing), rolling 6 doubles in a row is an occurence that will happen EVERY DAY on our site. The chances of it happening to you are slim, but just because it happens doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with the dice. Based on pure chance, someone will roll 6 doubles in a row on ItsYourTurn.com every day. Rolling 4 doubles in a row will happen several times an hour here.

Other things to keep in mind about the dice:

  • The dice do not favor anyone on our site. No player gets better rolls than any other player. It is impossible for a player to manipulate the dice.
  • Die rolls are completely independent of the position of pieces on the backgammon board, or even which game it's rolling for. The random number generator does not “know” if you are on the bar, for instance, and it can not adjust the dice to fit your situation. Remember, the rolls are determined by the millisecond that the server receives your request, regardless of which game it's rolling for.
  • Employees of ItsYourTurn.com do not manipulate the dice. This would be very difficult, and most of us have no idea how. We work full time here to run a good game site. We are not in business to win a bunch of backgammon games.
  • People often remember bad rolls and forget the lucky rolls. This can lead to the impression that the dice are rigged “against” them, and this is not true.
  • You will see strange events on our site, like a streak of doubles, or just the right roll that allows your opponent to escape from the bar. These events do not prove that our random number generator is faulty. The same things happen with real dice.

There are some articles on the Internet that different backgammon enthusiasts have written about computer generated dice and how people perceive them. You might be interested in reading them. Here are links to two:

Article by Gary Wong.

Article on Red Top’s Backgammon Site.

If you are looking for discussions of backgammon dice on backgammon servers around the Internet, you can go to Deja.com. Search their site for newsgroup postings related to backgammon and dice, and see what you find.
[ back to top ]


You must use both dice if possible. In backgammon, if it is possible to use the numbers on both dice to move your pieces, you must.

If you have a legal move with only one of your dice, you must use that die and then submit the move. If you can use either die but not both of them, you must use the one with the higher number.

If you have rolled doubles and you can not make all four moves, you must make as many as possible and then submit the move.

Sometimes our system will not let you move a certain checker by the number on one die, even when it looks like a legal move. This is because if you were to move that checker, then you may not be able to move any checker by the number on the other die. When this happens, you must choose a different move so that you can use both dice.
[
back to top ]



Back to the Frequently Asked Questions main page
Back to the Game Rules main page




Help! - Player Login
Game status - Start new game - Waiting Room - Auto-Match
My messages - Send message - Tell a friend!
Ladder area - Tournament area - Who is here? - Search user profiles
Edit user profile - Change password - Edit ratings - Logout
New Game Releases

Create new userid

Game Rules - Features and tips - Testimonials
Questions or comments? Please Contact Us


User agreement | Privacy policy
©1998-2017 It's Your Turn, Inc. All rights reserved.