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Backgammon Procedure Rules

If you want to learn the correct procedure for playing Backgammon then you can find the proper rules, generally accepted, explained here.

There is a proper procedure for the playing actions in a game of Backgammon, like moving checkers, rolling the dice, and using the doubling cube.  Experienced players will expect you to follow these procedural rules.


Rolling The Dice

The dice should be rolled onto the home-boards' side (usually the right-hand side) of the board.  If either of the dice land outside this area or land on top of a checker or the bar, or don't land flat (cocked) on the surface, then both dice must be re-rolled.

You should use a dice throwing cup to prevent controlled throws (see dice-play's shooting/rolling page for descriptions of these controlled throws) and dice with rounded corners so they roll easier.  Players should make fair rolls and clearly show the dice throws are above-board and random.  Shake the dice back and forth vigorously at least three times so they can be heard rattling and make a clean roll with your hands completely clear of the cup's mouth..

With a bit of practice you should develop a professional technique for rolling your dice that is acceptable to all your opponents.

End of Players' Turn

A player's turn is considered over once they have picked up the dice.  If their move was illegal or incomplete the opposing player has the choice of accepting the move or asking the other player to make their move legal.  A player is considered to have accepted their opponents move once they have rolled their dice or offered to turn the doubling cube.  Should a player roll their dice before their opponent has completed their turn by picking up their dice, then the roll is considered void and doesn't count.

Moving Checkers and "Touch Move" Rule

There is no rule in Backgammon that says you must move a checker once you've touched it.  In fact, you may move one or more checkers, then change your mind and move them back again, and then make a completely different move.  It is only once you have picked up your dice that a move becomes binding.

Having said you may move checkers back, it is generally considered bad etiquette to do this a lot because it is confusing and slows the game down.  Proper etiquette is to move checkers with one hand only, making it easier for your opponent to follow play.  When moving checkers back again, do it in the reverse order to your first move.  When making unsure moves, place your checkers slightly away from the others or slightly away from the edge of the board, so you may easily see which have been moved.

Using the Doubling Cube

At the start of a game, the doubling cube is placed halfway between the two players, either on the bar or to one side of the board.  The initial value facing up on the doubling cube is 64.  Doubling cubes aren't marked with a 1 so 64 is taken to represent the multiple of stakes won and lost, at the beginning of a game at 1.  The halfway position indicates that the doubling cube is open to either player to use.

Once a player has doubled using the cube, it is moved from the halfway position to the accepting player's side of the board. This indicates that the accepting player "owns" the doubling cube and it is only open to him to make another subsequent doubling of stakes.  Of course, the value facing up on the cube is changed accordingly, from 64 to 2, then from 2 to 4, from 4 to 8, from 8 to 16, and from 16 to 32.

There is no limit to the number of times that the original stake may be doubled during a game.










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