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Backgammon Rules

Backgammon is one of the oldest known boardgames. The object of the game is to move your pieces along the board's triangles and off the board before your opponent does.

There are a few different ways that this game is played. In this version your pieces move counterclockwise from the upper right, while your opponent's move clockwise from the bottom right. You can change the direction of play in Options if you prefer going from bottom right to top right. Additionally, the game is sometimes played in rounds with a scoring system deciding the eventual winner. In this version, each round is its own game, with no point scoring involved.


  1. The game starts with both players each rolling a single die to determine who goes first. The one with the higher roll starts, and uses the dice he and the opponent rolled to make his first move.
  2. Each turn, a player rolls two dice. The numbers shown decide how far the player may move their pieces.
    • If the same number is rolled on both dice, the player plays as if there were four dice, all showing the same number.
  3. When moving, you must always move the top piece off a triangle. As you move a piece, you may move onto a triangle that contains:
    • No pieces.
    • Your own pieces.
    • A single opposing piece.
  4. If you move a piece onto an opposing piece, that piece gets removed and placed onto the middle of the board. That piece's owner must then return it back onto the board, starting from the beginning. They may not perform any other moves until all their pieces are back on the board.
  5. Once all your pieces have made it around the board, you may start removing pieces (also known as "bearing off"). A piece can bear off if:
    • You roll a number which corresponds exactly to how far the piece would have to travel to exit the board.
    • Your unused dice all show values greater than what is required to bear any piece off. In which case, you may bear off the piece that's furthest from the end.
  6. NOTE: You must use all your dice if possible! That means you cannot make a move with one dice and then say Pass, if there's any way to use other moves that play both dices. If you ever think the game is not allowing you to make a move that you think should be allowed, ask yourself what your next move would be. If there's no next move possible, then the game is forcing you to use both dice.

Your opponent bears off when their pieces are all in the upper right section of the board.

The player who manages to bear off all their pieces first is the winner.

  • Gammoning: When a player wins before their opponent has borne any pieces off.
  • Backgammoning: When a player wins before their opponent has borne any pieces off, and still has at least one piece left either in their first quadrant or on the bar.

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About Backgammon

Backgammon is the 28th game we make here at CardGames.io. It's been requested a lot over the years, but the main reason it was never created was the custom graphics needed for it. Well, finally we did it! Backgammon is the first game developed by CardGames.io's two new full time employees, Kjartan and Alexandra! Winning a single game can take a long time, so we decided to just make the simplest version, without the doubling dice and tracking wins over many games. However, if we get a lot of requests for that we might add it later.

The game is written in JavaScript, using the Phaser HTML5 Game framework. The game board and pieces are custom graphics made here at CardGames.io, the dice and player faces as always come from our favorite clipart site, Open Clipart.

As always, bugs, requests, comments can be sent to admin@cardgames.io or you can contact us through our Facebook page or our very inactive Twitter account.

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This is version 2159 of Backgammon.

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