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What is Special about Backgammon ?

By: tcads

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What makes Backgammon so special? It is not like any other game, oh that's a wild comment if ever I heard one, but in the case of backgammon it's true, back gammon has so many different elements attached to it that make it extraordinary, for example, there's the craft of the game, it has a factor of game play which relies on your skill and ingenuity to win, plus it has a risk factor in that the dice cannot predict what is going to happen when it's your turn. Unlike Chess or draughts, where movement depends on the intellect of the players, how they plan and play their moves.

In back gammon strategies cannot be pre ordained they have to be flexible to accommodate the variations that the dice throw at you. Aside from this there are three main features that differs back gammon ?

1) The Starting Position

Or the positioning of the pieces at the beginning of the game. Each player positions 2 checkers on the opposition's one-point, this is the deepest or first point in a player's home board, the point farthest from the bar and closest to being borne off; also known as the ace-point., he then switches to the middle part of the game placing 5 pieces or stones on the mid-point, 3 pieces on the eight-point, and 5 pieces on the six-point.

The game commences with 2 pieces each on their respective 24-points, 5 pieces on their mid-points, 3 pieces on their 8-points, and 5 more on their five-points.

This is difference number one, see how the game differs immediately from other games as it requires you to exchange positions with your opponent at the start of a game, in Draughts you have to reach the opponents board, whilst in Chess the play requires you to battle against the other side from your side.

2) Doubles are rolled and are played twice. Each number is then played twice up to a total of four moves. This would appear to give a clear advantage to the player who has rolled the double, but this is backgammon so not is all at it should be.

In rolling a double you need to be sure how you want to use the score to your advantage. And finally difference number three is in the scoring of the game. Because backgammon is first of all a game of strategy, then a game of skill and a lot of luck, finally entering into a race mode, scoring would need to be different and it is. In scoring this is where you will hear the words gammon and back gammon and what they mean.

A gammon is when in a game the losing player has not borne off any pieces, thereby being gammoned, which means the winner doubles their score .A backgammon is where the winner trebles their score, because the opposition still has one or more checkers in their home board and hasn't borne off a single piece. One other recent introduction that affects scoring is the doubling cube, which if offered must be used, or the opposition forfeits the game losing all their accrued points.

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