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.