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Backgammon Theme Variations

By: tcads

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Number One - Acey Deucy

Just like regular backgammon the checkers move in the same way. White checkers move from the black home through the black outer board to the white outer board and then to the white checkers home, and then they can bore off. Black checkers move in the same way. The variation of acey-deucy is that the player can move any checker he wants at any time, whether or not he has checkers to bring in, and when the player rolls the acey-deucy or 1-2 or he first plays the ace-deuce then any number he wants four times (in acey-deucy after the player rolls 1-2 he can play any double he wants).

The player then gets an extra roll, and if the extra roll is 1-2 the rule applies again. Hence the expression Acey Deucey. Or 1-2. Playing acey-deucy is all about making advance points as soon as possible and if possible making adjacent points as a base for a prime. If the two players both create primes right up against one another, the advantage will be with the farther advanced prime. If the player with farther-advanced prime has to break first, the odds are better for him and he has more chances to win the game; if he holds his prime longer, the odds of him winning increase so he’ll probably win the game.

Number Two - Narde

The natives of Russsia and the Ukraine play Narde, it is played on a backgammon board with each player using 15 checkers for each player in the starting position (points are taken from backgammon).
The variation for Narde is that both players move in the same direction. So that in the case of player one he moves from 12 to 1, and then to 24 and from there to 13 and off the board.
Player 2 moves from 24 to 13, and then to 12 and from there to 1 and off the board.

You cannot hit in Narde. A point is already made with one checker on it. The other main variation is that Doubles are not special, if a player rolls any double he only moves the checker according to the roll twice and not 4 times. Bearing off is the same as in backgammon. Players must move their checkers if they are able to move them. Narde is really a game of chance, with one important thing to remember never get blocked in by a six point prime.

Number Three - Diceless Backgammon

Hard to believe but you can play backgammon without dice, in fact in many parts of Russia and the Ukraine this variation is played more than the dice version. Seems a bit like dungeons and dragons to me, with little element of chance being introduced, but it does lead to a more thought based strategy and against the dock, you need to be a quick thinker to be the winner.
The main variations are that the two players move counter clockwise in the same direction, but with different starting positions, there is no hitting either so the roll calls have to be precise and with each move pre-empted. This form of mental agility encourages tournament play and is catching on.

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