Play Backgammon Online
Online Backgammon is based on one of the oldest games in the world, believed to have originated as long ago as 3000BC with boards having been found in ancient Egyptian archaeological sites. It is played between only two players and based on luck of the dice and strategy knowledge in how to take advantage of your opponent.
Read through our comprehensive Backgammon guide to learn all about the ins and outs of playing Backgammon online, and then join online Backgammon players around the globe online and indulge your competitive streak whilst earning some extra holiday cash.
Online Backgammon: How To Play
Online Backgammon is played with two players, one board, two dice, and 15 checkers per player of two different colours, normally black and white. The Backgammon board has 24 narrow triangles of alternating colours, and each triangle is called a point. The board has four fields (also called grids or quadrants), divided into 6 points each.
There are two sides of the board, one lower side is the home of the white checkers, and the upper side on the same side is the home of the black checkers. The aim of Backgammon is to move the checkers forward in an anti-clockwise movement into your home board and off the board as fast as you can.
The first player to move the checkers into their home field and off the board (called ‘bearing checkers off’) wins the game.
The board is set up with two checkers on point 24 (the outermost point on the board), five checkers on point 13 (the point diagonally opposite to you), three checkers on point 8, and 5 checkers on point 6.
Playing the game
- First both players roll a single die each. The person who rolls the highest number gets to play the opening move. The opening move is the combined number of your die and the opponent’s die. If the same numbers come up, then you roll again until different numbers come up
- After the opening roll, then the players roll two dice together which determines how many points (or pips as it’s also called in online backgammon) the player will move his checkers forward, to a lower-numbered point
- A checker can be moved to points that are not occupied by two or more of the opponent’s checkers, called an open point. You can move your checker onto a point if it’s completely free, or has only one of your opponent’s checkers
- You will have different options on how to move your checkers depending on which numbers you roll and where your opponent has checkers. In online games the points you can move to will be highlighted, so you just have to choose one of the following possibilities:
- Move two checkers, one checker for each die. If you roll a 4 and 3 for example, you can move one checker four points and another checker three points to an open point.
- Move one checker the combined total of both dice, so 7 points if you roll a 4 and a 3. This move is only permissible if the intermediate point is open, which is three or five points from the starting point.
Basically: you can move your checkers onto a point as long as it already has one of your checkers, has no checkers, or only one of your opponents checkers.
- If you roll double numbers, you can move each checker twice, a total of four moves for that turn. If you get a 5 and a 5, then you have four fives.
- Players must use both numbers of a roll. If only one number can be played you have to play that number. If either number can be played, but not both together, then the player must play the larger one. If you can’t use either number, then you lose your turn. If you are unable to use the doubles number, then you play as many numbers as is possible.
Hitting & Entering
If you land on a point with one of your opponent’s checkers, you knock that checker off the board onto the bar and it goes back to the beginning again. In order for your opponent to move that checker into the game again they must roll and move it into an empty space in your home grid, and they can’t move any other checkers until the knocked off checker is back in the game.
When all your checkers are in your home grid, then you can start removing them from the board, called bearing off. This can be done when a number is rolled which matches the point in which a checker is currently sitting.
For example, if you roll a 5, then the checker that is in point 5 can be borne off. If one of your checkers is hit by the opponent in your home board, then you need to bring that checker back into play before continuing to bear off. The first player to bear off all of his or her checkers wins.
Betting in Online Backgammon
When you play Backgammon online you have different points and betting systems. For beginners of online Backgammon playing normally, you can earn points in the following ways:
- The winner gets one point when the opponent has started to bear off checkers, and no longer has checkers in the winner’s home grid
- The winner gets two points when the loser has not borne off checkers when the winner has won, called a gammon
- If the losing player has not borne off checkers, and also still has checkers in the winner’s home grid then they are backgammoned, and the winner gets three points.
The Doubling Cube
For the more experienced online Backgammon players, you have the option to turn the doubling cube on or off before you start playing. The doubling cube indicates the stakes, it may just be indicated by a marker in some online casinos, and in others you will see a cube. When playing live it’s a cube with the numbers 2,4,8,16,32, and 64 marked on each face.
While you’re playing, if you feel you are playing well and rolling good numbers, you can double the stakes during your turn only and before rolling the dice. You start at point one, and any player can double the stakes to point two.
The opponent can opt to refuse the double, however if this happens then the opponent will have to pay out that point and the game is over. If they accept, then the opponent becomes the only one who may double the stakes next, called a redouble. This can go on until stakes are doubled 64 times, but this is quite rare.
Online Backgammon Strategy & Tips
As with most online casino games there is some luck involved when you play online Backgammon. For example you don’t really have a say in how the dice are going to be rolled. However, if you really want to win in this game, which I’m sure you do, you need to use what’s between your ears in order to decipher the best ways to move your checkers.
There are many games which involve learning by trial and error, but to do well at Backgammon reading up on strategy and tips will make a markedly large difference between the amounts of bad plays your make, which in turn will make a difference on the amount of good rolls your opponent will end up having. To read up on comprehensive strategy and tips for the game, read our Backgammon Strategy Guide.
Memory also plays a big part in how well you end up doing, as you need to be able to remember important strategy concepts and reference positions if particular situations arise during the game. Taking delight in the mental stimulation, the increased concentration, and having to think about strategy will turn you from an amateur to a consecutive winning player.
Winning at Backgammon and Cashing Out
Cashing out is arguably the most satisfying part of the online gambling experience - knowing that you have come out on top, in profit, and thinking about how you're going to enjoy your winnings.
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Play Backgammon Online Today!
Playing Backgammon online is just as stimulating as playing in person. You can really hone your skills and strategy, or just play for the fun of it with other Backgammon players online. This is a more personalised game where you play one-on-one with other players, and where your competitive streak is allowed to let loose.
What’s more, there is no need to waste money and home space in getting your own board to play, or hope that someone you know knows the rules and wants to join you. There is a large community online that shares your interest in the game – so sign up with one of the casinos above, collect your free bonus and win some money online today!