9 votes

In backgammon, why do I lose if I decline an offer of doubles?

Declining an offer of doubles is an automatic loss; that’s one of the key points of how the doubling cube works. A player only makes an offer to double the stakes of the game when they feel they are ...
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  • 69.8k
9 votes

Can a single checker make two hits?

There is no rule against a single checker hitting two blots in one turn. At backgammonrules.net (emphasis mine): Hitting blots If a player moves to a point occupied by only one of his opponent's ...
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  • 7,755
7 votes

Backgammon stacking rule

Stacking pieces on the same point is not necessary unless it would otherwise be unclear where those pieces are meant to be. There are no rules about how you place pieces on a point; it is only common ...
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  • 3,389
6 votes
Accepted

Backgammon bearing off rules

Either choice is legal. Here's a reference: Q: Can I play low number first when bearing off? Yes, you may play your numbers in either order, as long as each number is played legally.
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5 votes
Accepted

Can you play your numbers in Backgammon in a way to block one of them?

A basic rule of backgammon is that you must play in a way that maximises the use of your pips. If you have a board that can use both 3 and 6, you must choose such move over any move that only uses 3 ...
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  • 3,389
5 votes
Accepted

Was Backgammon played in ancient Rome?

While old, we can pretty conclusively say that Backgammon itself was never played by the Romans. Backgammon is a relatively recent iteration belonging to the Tables family of games, the oldest within ...
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  • 3,376
5 votes

Is it ever better pass and not hit in backgammon?

The one of the biggest difference one sees between an experienced and a novice player is that the beginners hit the checkers almost without considering the alternatives. There are lot of positions ...
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  • 131
5 votes

Why is 'equity' much more commonly used than 'winning probability'? What is the mathematical formula that links 'equity" and 'winning probability'?

The reason that equity is used instead of winning probability is because it is possible to win a single game, a double game (gammon) or triple game (backgammon). Let's say that the value of the game, ...
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  • 20.6k
5 votes

In backgammon, why do I lose if I decline an offer of doubles?

In addition to the other answer and great comments, there is another benefit to the doubling rules. If the game continued after declining a double, then EVERY game would have to be played until the ...
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  • 278
4 votes
Accepted

Probabilities: Backgammon - final move

Let's set a lower bound on the likelihood of winning with doubles, by simply ignoring all cases where it is impossible to win without doubles. Assumption: All board positions considered are equally ...
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3 votes

Was Backgammon played in ancient Rome?

While it's less likely that modern-looking backgammon sets existed in that time frame, the game of backgammon has its origins much earlier -- it's believed to be as much as 5000 years old, likely the ...
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  • 1,578
3 votes

Backgammon best strategy for clearing my home

The logic of finding the “general rule” in these situations is flawed and will lead to potential mistakes. There are positions where you have to move the highest or the lowest number and need to be ...
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  • 131
3 votes

Backgammon best strategy for clearing my home

Mathematically speaking, you should minimise the average number of additional dice needed to bear off all checkers. This implies a minimisation of the number of dropped rolls - rolls that do not ...
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  • 3,389
3 votes

Backgammon: Jacoby rule with doubling cube?

The rule (as in the link): A rule popular in money play which says that gammons and backgammons count only as a single game if neither player has offered a double during the game. Probably the ...
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  • 657
3 votes

Backgammon board for 3 players

It looks like these have already been done, and done well: Trigammon Quadgammon The Quadgammon board is very cleverly designed!
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3 votes

In Backgammon, when can the dice be doubled?

I think you are confusing two uses of the word double. If you roll doubles (e.g both dice show 3) you move not two but four counters three spaces ('Movement, 3' here). You can also use the doubling ...
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3 votes

In Backgammon, why is the match length almost always odd? And why are 9-point matches twelve times less popular than 7-point matches?

Largely it's by convention, but the historic cause is the way optimal doubling cube strategy varies with the match length. In the most easy case, in a 2-point match it can barely be wrong to double as ...
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3 votes

Rule Example in Backgammon

Just to make it an easy and fast rule, a player MUST play the larger part of the roll, if he can play ONLY one part of his dice. In the above example, if red rolls 21, he MUST play 3/1, and is not ...
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  • 131
2 votes
Accepted

Different backgammon variation name

Yes, Plakoto is played elsewhere - in Bulgaria, where it is called Tapa. It seems to be the same game as "Jail", described here: http://www.vitalinfocenter.com/bckgmn/jail.html
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  • 136
2 votes

backgammon scenario

No, as per the official backgammon rules of the US Backgammon Federation you cannot move in this instance, and your turn is over. If there is no checker on the point indicated by the roll, the ...
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2 votes
Accepted

How do I Make this Backgammon-Spinoff more Level and Fair?

The easiest rule change would be to disallow hits made in a home board. Extending a nuance from this rule, would be to disallow hits made in a home board unless they come from a point on the outer ...
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  • 3,389
2 votes
Accepted

Alternate layouts for Backgammon: who's studied this?

Many variants described at Backgammon Variants: The most famous variant, to my limited knowledge, is Nackgammon. Nackgammon requires more skill than regular backgammon. The games tend to be quite a ...
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  • 3,488
2 votes

Why is 'equity' much more commonly used than 'winning probability'? What is the mathematical formula that links 'equity" and 'winning probability'?

You can "translate" the word "equity" as a value of the particular position. Lets imagine we are one roll away from ending the match and we only have two checkers on deuce point. We will win with the ...
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  • 131
2 votes

Backgammon move notation - Is there an official, rigorous specification?

Paul Magriel's notation system originally appeared in his 1976 book Backgammon, and is mostly just a codification of notations systems that existed at the time. This could be considered the "official" ...
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  • 3,376
2 votes

Backgammon best strategy for clearing my home

For small numbers of chequers, the relative odds can be calculated exactly as described by other answers. For cases of too many chequers to perform calculations in your head, the following heuristic ...
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2 votes

Was Backgammon played in ancient Rome?

A game with the same board and pieces, Tabula, was played in Rome in the fifth century. It derived from the "Game of Twelve Lines", played around year 0. From Wikipedia: Tάβλι (Tavli), i.e. ...
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1 vote

Alternate layouts for Backgammon: who's studied this?

The following is an attempt to address preoccupations described in the first paragraph of the contributor's question. Number of pieces «A race game is one in which players start with one or more ...
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1 vote

Alternate layouts for Backgammon: who's studied this?

According to Mark Driver's article on the History of Backgammon, the earliest versions had the pieces all start off the board and enter based on the throws of the dice (like pachisi). Back then it ...
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1 vote
Accepted

When to leave the 20 point?

The question is more generally about when to leave pieces in your opponents home board. If those pieces are safe, you can theoretically leave them there until all of your other pieces are in your ...
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  • 16.6k
1 vote

Proper Opening Moves

In The Backgammon Book, World Champions Oswald Jacoby and John Crawford recommend with both 6-2 and 6-3 moving one runner to the bar point and one man from the 12-point into your own outer table; ...
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