What to Know about Play Free Backgammon

Perhaps the primary reason why so many people in Canada are drawn to the game of backgammon is because it is the oldest game known to mankind. In fact, archaeologist findings have even led scientists and historians to believe that it was enjoyed by wealthy kings in ancient Persia and Rome.

Getting Started

Before sitting down to play free backgammon for the first time, it is important to understand how the playing field is set up. It is a two-player game that is enjoyed on a board consisting of 24 different colored triangles called 'points'. There are six triangles in each of four quadrants, with two quadrants facing each person and alternating in color to help in keeping track of moves. The two sides of the board are separated with a bar, and the players start on one side of the bar, on opposite sides, before moving across.

The Objective

The objective when one chooses to play free backgammon is to move all of his or her 'men' onto his or her home board and then remove them from the board entirely through a process known as 'bearing off'. The first person to bear off all of his or her men is deemed the winner of the game. A die is used to determine movement, and the numbers on the board help players determine the pattern via which the men should be moved.

Getting Started

Gameplay starts with the throw of a die, and the highest roller gets to go first. Then, the winning individual throws both dice to determine how many times he or she needs to move the men across the points (or pips, in some cases). The men will always be moved toward the lower-numbered pips in the direction toward the individual's home board. A single man can only be moved to an open point that isn't already occupied by two or more of the opponent's men. Another thing to consider is that each die is to be read separately, meaning that individuals will move two men per throw.

Rolling Doubles and Hitting

Should an individual roll doubles, then he or she gets to double the actual number of moves. Thus, someone rolling double threes will get to move four men three spaces and not two men six spaces each. Hitting occurs when an individual can successfully move a man onto a point upon which the opponent has only a single man. Then, the opponent's man, known as the 'blot', will be removed from play and placed on the bar. The player can only re-enter his man onto the field when he can roll a die that corresponds with an open point.

Bearing Off

Finally, in order to win, individuals must successfully 'bear off' all of their men. This is only possible once an individual has moved all of his or her own men to the home board. This is actually a simple process; the dice are rolled in the same way and the individual simply removes men from play that correspond to the numbers appearing on the dice.

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