Backgammon Rules

A good way to learn backgammon is to practice at an online backgammon site. Visit BG Room online multiplayer backgammon to practice for free without stakes, or to play with real money. It is possible to play with very small stakes, which adds excitement to the game while still being a cheap form of entertainment. Click here for a direct download of the free backgammon game.

One benefit of playing with real money is that the opponents are often more polite and less likely to leave the game before it is finished.

Please continue reading below the free backgammon game screenshot for a detailed description of the backgammon rules.


Two players move their 15 checkers in turns on a board according to rolls of dice: that is the element of luck. However, it requires skill to bring one's own checkers home and bear them off first while blocking and hitting the opponent's checkers along the way.


1 board
1 doubling cube to rise the original stakes
1 set for each player consisting of:
1 dice cup
1 pair of dice
15 checkers in one color

Getting started

The 24 triangles (points) are grouped into four areas of six triangles each. These inner and outer tables are separated by the bar.

  • Setting up the board
    Place the checkers on the board as shown below: You play with the color of the two checkers in front of your opponent.
  • Direction of movement
    The checkers are moved in opposing directions along the U-shaped track, from the opponent's inner table through the outer tables to your inner table (home) and finally off the board.

Left figure: This is the common display used in instructions. It shows the board from the perspective of the person playing with the color of the checkers in the top right hand corner.
Right figure: If you happen to be the player on the other side of the board, this is how you see it. In this example the white checkers are yours.

Backgammon direction of movement

Note: Rolling the dice

If the dice do not land flat on the right hand side of the gameboard the roll must be repeated. Note that the players use only one die to determine who starts. For all following turns both dice are used simultaniously.

Rolling for the first move

  • Each player rolls one die. If both come up with the same number repeat the roll.
  • The one with the higher number moves first using both the rolled numbers.

Rules for moving checkers

The players alternate turns. Both dice are rolled simultaneously. The rolled pips on the dice constitute two separate moves (two-stage move), which may be executed with one or two checkers. In case of a double (identical values on both dice) up to four checkers may be moved (four-stage move). All possible moves have to be used.


A mixed roll shows different numbers: move two checkers or make a two-stage move with a single one.

Backgammon mixed roll
A double shows identical numbers: allows to use twice the rolled values on any combination of checkers,
e.g. 2 x 3 pips = 4 x moving 3 points = 12: Move
1 checker all 12 points or
4 checkers each 3 points or
1 checker 9 points and another one 3 points or
1 checker 6 points (two short arrows in the figure below) and 2 checkers 3 points (long arrow) or any other combination.
Backgammon double roll
Next -> Moves
  1. Backgammon rules
  2. Moves
  3. Start and middle game
  4. End game
  5. Doubling and gambling
  6. Glossary

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