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Home | Backgammon | General Rules

Backgammon's Points of Reference

By: tcads

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When playing for fun or playing for money, the object is to know your points. Backgammon is essentially a battle between two opponents, and uses the basic strategies of conflict, in that there is an attack and a defence. Some players play an aggressive game, therefore attack play, others tend to evaluate each move and play for safety, either way is correct, it just depends on the individual's strength of character.

Unlike most score games the points in backgammon is the basis of the games foundations. The checkers or coins are essentially the currency of the board, whilst the triangles are known as Points. The Line of Control is centre point called the Bar. Starting the game is just down to sheer luck when the dice rolls.

The points start in a clockwise direction starting 1 from the bottom left corner of the home board and ending at 24 on the right hand corner of the home board.

After rolling your dice the points are counted from the edge of the board in the home board of a player. So, a Five-point means the fifth point starting from the edge towards the bar of the home board of the player.

The beginning positions require you to place five checkers on the 6th point, three on the 8th point, five on the13th point and the balance on the 24th point. This applies to your opponent also. The 13th point, where five checkers are placed in the beginning, is called the mid-point. The bar point is the 7th point immediately next to the bar where no checker is placed in the beginning. One another point to recount is called the Ace-point. The last point where you can move is essentially the 1st point of yours. So again your mid-point is the opponent's ace-point and vice-versa.

Earning a point?? By placing two checkers of your own on a single point, it is called a 'Made point' as this stops the competition's checker landing on that point. However, it is best to be aware that your opponent can hit the blot with two of his checkers at the same time and hitting a blot in the home board is a strong move.

Moves such as 'Major Split' and 'Minor Split', occur when one of your checkers is moved from the opponent's first point to the fourth or the fifth point on the board. The Minor is the movement of your checker from the opponent's first point to the second or the third point on the board.

If a player makes all 6 points in his home board then the board is considered closed. If the opponent has any checker on the bar but cannot find any place for his checkers as all the points are taken he then foregoes his dice rolls until a space becomes available. I.e.: a ('Made Board')

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