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The Backgammon Board's Points

By: tcads

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Backgammon is a race between two countries. The number of soldiers is restricted to 15 by the gentle man’s agreement. Code of Conduct has been clearly described by the Judge Security Council (!). The tracks for moving around, resting or even attack is clearly defined by 12 narrow triangles on each side. The numbering is also done prior in hand. The soldiers are called the checkers and the triangles are known as Points. The Line of Control is identified by the stiff hill called the Bar. The first chance of firing will be given to the country which will score higher in the throw of the dice - the luck factor.

The numbering of the points is done by the 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. Please note that these points are virtually non-existent and are never mentioned on the actual board. The enemy front will also count in the same way.

To count the points as the game progresses, start counting from the edge of the board in the home board of a player. So, Five-point means the fifth point starting from the edge towards the bar of the home board of the player.

Place five checkers on the 6th point, three on the 8th point, five on the13th point and the balance on the 24th point. The same rule is applicable to your opponent also. The 13th point, where five checkers are placed in the beginning, is called the mid-point. Where is the bar point? It’s the 7th point immediately next to the bar where no checker is placed in the beginning. There is another point 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.

How to ‘earn a point’? Whenever you are placing two checkers of your own on a single point, it is called ‘Made point’ as this prohibits the opponent checker to land on that very point. Caution! The opponent can hit the blot with two of his checkers at the same time and usually hitting a blot in the home board is recognized as a very strong move.

Often you will hear of the terms like 'Major Split' and 'Minor Split'. A Major split occurs 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 associated with a minor movement – which 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 can make all 6 points in his home board then the board is considered closed. ('Closed Board')If the opponent has any checker on the bar and he cannot find any place for his checkers as all the points are pre-occupied by the former then he just needs to forego his rolls until and unless the former leaves room for him ('Made Board').

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