Free Online Backgammon

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How to Play Online Backgammon

Online backgammon is a great way to pass time. Games are often fast-paced and test your ability to make quick, strategic decisions.

You can learn how to play online backgammon in no time at all. All you need to do is follow these six simple steps and you’ll be able to have fun playing this classic board game.

Step 1: learn the layout of the board

Backgammon boards are made up of 24 numbered triangular points. These are arranged into four sections:

  • White home board: labeled 1-6
  • White outer board: labeled 7-12
  • Black outer board: labeled 13-18
  • Black home board: labeled 19-24

Step 2: understand the object of the game

The objective of backgammon is to move all your checkers toward the No. 1 point on the board. Your opponent will attempt to do the opposite.

Step 3: start by rolling the dice

To begin, both players roll a pair of dice to determine who goes first.

Step 4: take your turn

Players alternate turns, each rolling the pair of dice to start a new turn.

Step 5: move your checkers one at a time

Backgammon checkers are moved one at a time, according to the number of the dice roll. If a backgammon checker move is available, you must make one.

Step 6: know the moves you can make

Valid moves include moving a checker that is unoccupied, occupied by your own checker pieces, or occupied by exactly one checker piece that belongs to your opponent.

What are the backgammon rules?

Trying to learn the rules of backgammon? It’s easy! These are the key rules you need to know when you’re playing.

Rules of moving checkers in backgammon

Move to an open point

You can only move your checkers to an open point. This is a point on the board that is occupied by less than two of your opponent’s checkers.

Follow the dice

Your two dice determine how many places you can move your checkers. For example, if your dice are two and three, then one checker can be moved two places and the other can be moved three.

Roll a double to boost your move

If you roll a double, you can make four moves.

Use both your dice

You must make both of the moves determined by your two dice.

Rules of hitting and entering in backgammon

Hitting

Hitting in backgammon is when a checker lands on a point that’s occupied by an opposing checker. When this happens the piece is hit and then placed in the bar. The bar is the ridge in the center of the board that divides the home and outer boards.

Entering

If you have one or more checkers in the bar, you are obligated to enter these pieces into your opponent’s home board.

Rules of bearing off in backgammon

You can bear off in backgammon once you’ve moved your 15 checkers into your home board.

You do this by rolling the dice and hitting a number that matches a point where a checker rests. For example, if your checker is on point six then hitting a six will allow you to remove this piece from the board.

Rules of gammons and backgammons

If you finish your game and have borne off at least one of your checkers then you will only lose the amount that shows on the doubling cube, or one point if there have been no doubles in the game.

However, if you’ve not borne off any pieces, you’ll be either gammoned or backgammoned.

Gammon

If you’ve not borne off any checkers but have cleared your pieces from the bar then you’ll be gammoned. If this happens then you lose 2x the amount of the doubling cube.

Backgammon

If you’ve not borne off any checkers and still have pieces either on the bar or your opponent’s home board then you’ll be backgammoned. If this happens then you lose 3x the amount of the doubling cube.

How to win at backgammon with these five top tips

Playing online backgammon should be about having one thing: fun.

But it’s not much fun if you don’t win as many games as you like. Luckily, we have five tips that give you the skills you need to know how to win at backgammon games.

Tip 1: using speed to win at backgammon

Sometimes it’s best to simply move your backgammon checkers around the board as quickly as possible and avoid getting sent to the bar.

Tip 2: using blockers to win at backgammon

Other times, the best strategy may be to try to hold your opponent back as much as possible by blocking their checkers from advancing.

Tip 3: protect your advanced checkers

Your blots are always vulnerable to be sent to the bar, but notice that this is more of a setback for more advanced checkers than for less advanced ones.

Tip 4: sometimes you have to concede

Also, it is sometimes wiser to refuse a double and concede the backgammon game than it is to accept doubled stakes and lose.

Tip 5: always make the golden point

The golden point is your 5 point on the backgammon board. This is the most strategically important point on the board and making it at an early stage in the game makes it difficult for your opponent to build an effective strategy.

How many pieces are there in backgammon?

Backgammon is played between two players who each have 15 pieces.

These pieces are the checkers on the board, also known as ‘men.’

The object of backgammon is to be the first player to ‘bear off.’ This is when you move all of your 15 pieces off the game board.

How to set up backgammon games

Backgammon boards feature 24 triangular points that are separated into four sections.

Games are set up so that each of the four sections on the board feature both white and black checkers.

The checkers are arranged as below:

White checkers

  • 6-point: five checkers
  • 8-point: three checkers
  • 13-point: five checkers
  • 24-point: two checkers

Black checkers

  • 19-point: five checkers
  • 17-point: three checkers
  • 12-point: five checkers
  • 1-point: Two checkers

The beauty of online backgammon is that the games are arranged by a computer.

This means that you don’t need to set them up. You just need to move them in order to defeat your opponent.

Try out our free online backgammon game now to see how much fun you can have playing this classic board game!

About Free Online Backgammon

Backgammon is one of the oldest and most popular board games in the world. People have been playing it for thousands of years and you can play it today with our free online backgammon game.

Our game lets you test your knowledge of backgammon by pitting you against an online opponent. It also comes with a handy help section, so you know what to expect from the game.

Try our online backgammon game now and learn why people have been playing this classic board game for so many years!

What is backgammon?

Backgammon is a board game that’s played between two players, each of whom try to clear their checkers from the board. The players take turns moving their checker pieces around the backgammon board, as determined by a roll of the dice.

The game is won when all a player’s checkers have been moved around the board and removed from the game. The first player to ‘bear off’ all their pieces wins the backgammon game.

Online backgammon games pit you against a computer. You then need a combination of sensible strategy and good luck to beat your digital opponent.

Backgammon is just one of the many classic board games you can play at Arkadium, with chess, tic tac toe, and bingo among our many great options.

Who invented backgammon?

Backgammon is one of the oldest board games in history, with archaeological discoveries showing that people played variations of it in Persia as far back as 3000 BC.

Backgammon is believed to have been invented in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). The world’s oldest set of dice were discovered in this region and it’s claimed that these were used to play games of backgammon.

Arkadium has the best free online backgammon game

Backgammon is a classic strategy game with almost 5000 years of history and our free version is the best place to play it online.

You can play free backgammon against a computer or friends and save time on real backgammon setup in our game.

We hope you enjoy our free online version of backgammon! We have plenty of other classic board games that you'll love too.

Test your luck and skills now by playing our free online backgammon game!