Traditionally, backgammon is a board game for two players. To play backgammon you need a backgammon set. A complete board game set includes:
- Backgammon board
- Thirty pieces in two different colors (fifteen of each color)
- Two pairs of dice
- Two dice shakers (optional if both players agree)
- One doubling cube
- Backgammon Online a revolution
Traditional Backgammon Board
Backgammon boards come in various sizes although medium to large, solid wooden sets with large pieces are the easiest to use. The board is divided into two tables, called the inner board and outer board, and is separated by a partition called the bar. There is a total of 24 points (represented by long triangles) on the backgammon board game; the inner board consists of six points, numbered 1-6 for each player. Likewise the outer board contains the points numbered 7-12, from the perspective of the player his opponent’s points are numbered 13-24 (see image below). The points are arranged in alternating colors, usually dark and light. In any game of backgammon, there is no strict rule to decide which table becomes the inner board. Before electricity, the general rule was that the inner board must be closer to the light, and some players today choose the table facing a light or a window to be the inner board.
The pieces in a backgammon set are similar to the checkers board game and come in two colors, with fifteen pieces of each color. Although pieces may come in any two colors, they are most commonly black and white so this is how they will be referred to. Pieces should be smooth and large so they can be easily handled across the backgammon board. The initial set up of the backgammon board is the same for both players, forming a mirror image of each player’s pieces on the board.
Start positions on a board game with the corresponding numbers
The black player places:
- Two black pieces on 24th point of the board
- Five black pieces on 13th point of the board
- Five black pieces on 6th point of the board
- Three black pieces on 8th point of the board
The white player uses the same arrangement:
- Two white pieces on the 1st point of the board
- Five white pieces on the 12th point of the board
- Five white pieces on the 19th point of the board
- Three white pieces on the 17th point of the board
Each player has their own set of dice. However, an opponent may ask to use a single pair of dice for both players to even the playing field and remove suspicion of biased equipment, especially when playing for money in backgammon gambling. There is no reason to refuse and it is considered proper backgammon etiquette to agree. You should also use dice cups in this situation, to ensure clean and fair throwing.
The doubling cube is used in backgammon gambling to increase the stakes, thus points that can be lost, of a game. It is a six-sided die with the numbers 2,4,8,16,32 and 64 on it. Use of the doubling cube can be complex and requires an understanding of doubling cube strategy when you are playing backgammon for money.
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