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Backgammon is one of the oldest board games for two players in which the playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice. Players win by removing all of their pieces from the board. There are many variants of backgammon, most of which share common traits. Backgammon is a member of the tables family, one of the oldest classes of board games in the world.

Although luck plays an important role, there is a large scope for strategy. With each roll of the dice players must choose from numerous options for moving their checkers and anticipate possible counter-moves by the opponent. Players may raise the stakes during the game. There is an established repertoire of common tactics and occurrences.

Like chess, backgammon has been studied with great interest by computer scientists. Owing to this research, backgammon software has been developed capable of beating world-class human players.

Backgammon playing pieces are known variously as checkers, stones, men, counters, pawns, or chips.

The objective is to remove (bear off) all of one's own checkers from the board before one's opponent can do the same. The checkers are scattered at first and may be blocked or hit by the opponent. As the playing time for each individual game is short, it is often played in matches, where victory is awarded to the first player to reach a certain number of points.

Each side of the board has a track of 12 long triangles, called points. The points are considered to be connected across one edge of the board, forming a continuous track in the shape of a horseshoe, and are numbered from 1 to 24. Players begin with two checkers on their 24-point, three checkers on their 8-point, and five checkers each on their 13-point and their 6-point. The two players move their checkers in opposing directions, from the 24-point towards the 1-point.

Points 1 through 6 are called the home board or inner board, and points 7 through 12 are called the outer board. The 7-point is referred to as the bar point, and the 13-point as the mid point.


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