Backgammon is most probably the oldest game board in the world. In order to win, you not only need strategic skills, but also a tiny bit of luck.
Set-up of the game
The game board consists of 24 triangles, called "points", of which 12 are located on each side respectively. Between the 6th and 7th on each side, the points are divided by the so-called bar in the home board and outer board.
You play with 15 white and 15 black stones which are arranged according to strict rules.
Two dice are thrown.
Aim of the game
The aim of the game is to bring all your playing stones onto the home board and to take them out by throwing the dice.
Game begin and procedure
With the first throw, each player uses only one die. The player throwing the higher number begins. He may move this stones by the number he threw as well as that of his opponent's.
After the opening throw, both players alternately throw both dice.
The playing stones are always moved away from the opponent's home board over the outer board towards your own home board.
The stones can only be placed in the spaces which are still open, i.e. on which there is nothing more than one opposing stone. Spaces on which there are already two or more opposing stones cannot be filled with your own stones.
If you throw doubles, i.e. 2 of the same number, you may use the number on each of the dice twice. Hence, you can move a maximum of 4 stones.
If a playing stone is moved to a space which already contains an opposing stone, this stone will be attacked.
Attacked stones are placed in the middle of the playing field on the bar.
The owner of this stone may only continue to play when he has re-introduced this stone into the game.
Attacked stones are re-introduced into the game by placing it on the home board of the opponent on the space which corresponds to the number of the die. If the player throws, for example, a 3 and a 5, he has to place his stone on the 3rd or 5th space. In this case, you must count in your own direction of play.
Should you not be able to place the stone, the entire throw is wasted, and it is your opponent's turn.
If several stones are attacked, all of them have to be re-introduced into the game first before the game can continue.
When all 15 playing stones are on the home board, you then start with the throw-out. The stones are removed from the home board when they can be moved beyond the last space of the player's own home board.
A stone can either be thrown out from one point which corresponds exactly to the number thrown, or from the highest point occupied which is smaller than the number thrown. If the number of a free point is thrown, a stone may not be thrown out of a lower point as long as a stone is still located on a higher point. A player is not forced to remove a stone if he can move other stones further on his home board.
The winner is the player who throws out all his stones first.