If the opponent did not bear off a single man AND has at least one checker on the bar or on his opponent's last 6 point, the player wins a Backgammon and 3 points. The cube is a die marked with the value 2,4,8,16,32 and It shows the value of the current game.
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At the beginning of the game the value is 1 and the cube is positioned in themiddle of the board. At any point if a player thinks that he has an advantage, he can propose to his opponent to double the value of the game. This choice can be made only when it is his or your turn, before rolling his or your dice.
Refuse the proposition: the game ends, and the player who doubled wins the current value of the cube. Accept the proposition: the game continues. The cube is put on its 2 face on the opponent side. Now only the opponent can decide to use the cube. If ever this player decide later to double, the player will have the choice to refuse and lose 2 points or continue with the cube at 4.
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When a player wins a gammon, he wins twice the value of the cube; for a backgammon, he will win 3 times the value of the cube. Note: you can not double on the very first roll. Backgammon is often played in "Matches". In a match, the aim is to reach a determined score, usually an odd number of points in a match. This mean that when playing a 1 point match, the gammons do not matter because the elo calculation is based upon the contract of a 1 point match.
Doubling is not allowed as it would make no sense to double since that match was contracted for only one point. The Crawford rule is almost always used in match play.
This rules says that when any player is only one point from winning the match, the next game will be played without any player being allowed to double. Note: In game 4 and 5, player 2 should double as soon as possible because he has nothing to lose remember, that it's the same elo loss whether you lose or The Jacoby rule is used only when not playing a match this kind of game is called unlimited or Money play. When using the Jacoby rule, no player can score a gammon or backgammon if the cube is still at its initial value.
When a player doubles the opponent has a 3rd choice: it can accept the cube "Beaver". It means the player redouble immediately but still keep the ownership of the cube. The player who initially doubled can refuse the beaver and lose 2 points, accept it and the game continue with a cube at 4 own by the 2nd player or even "raccoon" and proposed again to double the cube to 8! The objective is for players to remove bear off all their checkers from the board before their opponent can do the same.
In the most often-played variants the checkers are scattered at first; as the game progresses they 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 form a continuous track in the shape of a horseshoe , and are numbered from 1 to In the most commonly used setup, each player begins with fifteen chips, two are placed on their point, three on their 8-point, and five each on their point and their 6-point.
The two players move their chips in opposing directions, from the 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 point as the midpoint. To start the game, each player rolls one die, and the player with the higher number moves first using the numbers shown on both dice. If the players roll the same number, they must roll again. Both dice must land completely flat on the right-hand side of the gameboard.
The players then take alternate turns, rolling two dice at the beginning of each turn. After rolling the dice, players must, if possible, move their checkers according to the number shown on each die. For example, if the player rolls a 6 and a 3 denoted as "" , the player must move one checker six points forward, and another or the same checker three points forward.
The same checker may be moved twice, as long as the two moves can be made separately and legally: six and then three, or three and then six. If a player rolls two of the same number, called doubles, that player must play each die twice. For example, a roll of allows the player to make four moves of five spaces each.
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On any roll, a player must move according to the numbers on both dice if it is at all possible to do so. If one or both numbers do not allow a legal move, the player forfeits that portion of the roll and his or her turn ends. If moves can be made according to either one die or the other, but not both, the higher number must be used. If one die is unable to be moved, but such a move is made possible by the moving of the other die, that move is compulsory. In the course of a move, a checker may land on any point that is unoccupied or is occupied by one or more of the player's own checkers.
It may also land on a point occupied by exactly one opposing checker, or "blot". In this case, the blot has been "hit", and is placed in the middle of the board on the bar that divides the two sides of the playing surface. A checker may never land on a point occupied by two or more opposing checkers; thus, no point is ever occupied by checkers from both players simultaneously. Checkers placed on the bar must re-enter the game through the opponent's home board before any other move can be made. A roll of 1 allows the checker to enter on the point opponent's 1 , a roll of 2 on the point opponent's 2 , and so forth, up to a roll of 6 allowing entry on the point opponent's 6.
Checkers may not enter on a point occupied by two or more opposing checkers. Checkers can enter on unoccupied points, or on points occupied by a single opposing checker; in the latter case, the single checker is hit and placed on the bar. More than one checker can be on the bar at a time.
A player may not move any other checkers until all checkers on the bar belonging to that player have re-entered the board. If the opponent's home board is completely "closed" i. When all of a player's checkers are in that player's home board, that player may start removing them; this is called "bearing off". A roll of 1 may be used to bear off a checker from the 1-point, a 2 from the 2-point, and so on. If all of a player's checkers are on points lower than the number showing on a particular die, the player may use that die to bear off one checker from the highest occupied point.
When bearing off, a player may also move a lower die roll before the higher even if that means the full value of the higher die is not fully utilized.
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For example, if a player has exactly one checker remaining on the 6-point, and rolls a 6 and a 1, the player may move the 6-point checker one place to the 5-point with the lower die roll of 1, and then bear that checker off the 5-point using the die roll of 6; this is sometimes useful tactically. As before, if there is a way to use all moves showing on the dice, by moving checkers within the home board or bearing them off, the player must do so.
If the opponent has not yet borne off any checkers when the game ends, the winner scores a gammon , which counts for double stakes. If the opponent has not yet borne off any checkers and has some on the bar or in the winner's home board, the winner scores a backgammon , which counts for triple stakes. To speed up match play and to provide an added dimension for strategy, a doubling cube is usually used. The doubling cube is not a die to be rolled, but rather a marker with the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 inscribed on its sides, to denote the current stake.
At the start of each game, the doubling cube is placed on the midpoint of the bar with the number 64 showing; the cube is then said to be "centered, on 1". When the cube is centered, either player may start their turn by proposing that the game be played for twice the current stakes. Their opponent must either accept "take" the doubled stakes or resign "drop" the game immediately.
Whenever a player accepts doubled stakes, the cube is placed on their side of the board with the corresponding power of two facing upward, to indicate that the right to re-double belongs exclusively to that player. For instance, if the cube showed the number 2 and a player wanted to redouble the stakes to put it at 4, the opponent choosing to drop the redouble would lose two, or twice the original stake. There is no limit on the number of redoubles.
Although 64 is the highest number depicted on the doubling cube, the stakes may rise to , , and so on. In money games, a player is often permitted to " beaver " when offered the cube, doubling the value of the game again, while retaining possession of the cube. A variant of the doubling cube "beaver" is the " raccoon ". Players who doubled their opponent, seeing the opponent beaver the cube, may in turn then double the stakes once again "raccoon" as part of that cube phase before any dice are rolled.
The opponent retains the doubling cube. White doubles Black to 2 points, Black accepts then beavers the cube to 4 points; White, confident of a win, raccoons the cube to 8 points, while Black retains the cube. Such a move adds greatly to the risk of having to face the doubling cube coming back at 8 times its original value when first doubling the opponent offered at 2 points, counter offered at 16 points should the luck of the dice change. Some players may opt to invoke The Murphy rule or the "automatic double rule". If both opponents roll the same opening number, the doubling cube is incremented on each occasion yet remains in the middle of the board, available to either player.
The Murphy rule may be invoked with a maximum number of automatic doubles allowed and that limit is agreed to prior to a game or match commencing. When a player decides to double the opponent, the value is then a double of whatever face value is shown e. The Murphy rule is not an official rule in backgammon and is rarely, if ever, seen in use at officially sanctioned tournaments. The Jacoby rule , named after Oswald Jacoby , allows gammons and backgammons to count for their respective double and triple values only if the cube has already been offered and accepted.
This encourages a player with a large lead to double, possibly ending the game, rather than to play it to conclusion hoping for a gammon or backgammon. The Jacoby rule is widely used in money play but is not used in match play. The Crawford rule , named after John R. Crawford , is designed to make match play more equitable for the player in the lead. If a player is one point away from winning a match, that player's opponent will always want to double as early as possible in order to catch up.
Whether the game is worth one point or two, the trailing player must win to continue the match. To balance the situation, the Crawford rule requires that when a player first reaches a score one point short of winning, neither player may use the doubling cube for the following game, called the Crawford game.
After the Crawford game, normal use of the doubling cube resumes. The Crawford rule is routinely used in tournament match play. If the Crawford rule is in effect, then another option is the Holland rule , named after Tim Holland , which stipulates that after the Crawford game, a player cannot double until after at least two rolls have been played by each side. It was common in tournament play in the s but is now rarely used. There are many variants of standard backgammon rules. Some are played primarily throughout one geographic region, and others add new tactical elements to the game.
Variants commonly alter the starting position, restrict certain moves, or assign special value to certain dice rolls, but in some geographic regions even the rules and directions of the checkers' movement change, rendering the game fundamentally different. Acey-deucey is a variant of backgammon in which players start with no checkers on the board, and must bear them on at the beginning of the game. The roll of is given special consideration, allowing the player, after moving the 1 and the 2, to select any desired doubles move. A player also receives an extra turn after a roll of or of doubles.
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Hypergammon is a variant of backgammon in which players have only three checkers on the board, starting with one each on the , and points. The game has been strongly solved , meaning that exact equities are available for all 32 million possible positions. There are also different starting positions. Nackgammon is a variant of backgammon invented by Nick "Nack" Ballard  in which players start with one less checker on the six point and midpoint and two checkers on the 23 point. Russian backgammon is a variant described in as: " In this variant, doubles are more powerful: four moves are played as in standard backgammon, followed by four moves according to the difference of the dice value from 7, and then the player has another turn with the caveat that the turn ends if any portion of it cannot be completed.
Gul Bara and Tapa are also variants of the game popular in southeastern Europe and Turkey. The play will iterate among Backgammon, Gul Bara, and Tapa until one of the players reaches a score of 7 or 5. Coan ki is an ancient Chinese board game that is very similar. Plakoto , Fevga and Portes are three versions of backgammon played in Greece. Together, the three are referred to as Tavli. For instance, only allowing a maximum of five checkers on any point Britain  or disallowing "hit-and-run" in your home board Middle East. Backgammon has an established opening theory , although it is less detailed than that of chess.
The tree of positions expands rapidly because of the number of possible dice rolls and the moves available on each turn. Recent computer analysis has offered more insight on opening plays, but the midgame is reached quickly. After the opening, backgammon players frequently rely on some established general strategies, combining and switching among them to adapt to the changing conditions of a game. A blot has the highest probability of being hit when it is 6 points away from an opponent's checker see picture. Strategies can derive from that.
The most direct one is simply to avoid being hit, trapped, or held in a stand-off. A "running game" describes a strategy of moving as quickly as possible around the board, and is most successful when a player is already ahead in the race. As the game progresses, this player may gain an advantage by hitting an opponent's blot from the anchor, or by rolling large doubles that allow the checkers to escape into a running game.
The "priming game" involves building a wall of checkers, called a prime, covering a number of consecutive points. This obstructs opposing checkers that are behind the prime. A checker trapped behind a six-point prime cannot escape until the prime is broken.
Because the opponent has difficulty re-entering from the bar or escaping, a player can quickly gain a running advantage and win the game, often with a gammon. A "backgame" is a strategy that involves holding two or more anchors in an opponent's home board while being substantially behind in the race. The backgame is generally used only to salvage a game wherein a player is already significantly behind. Using a backgame as an initial strategy is usually unsuccessful.
For example, players may position all of their blots in such a way that the opponent must roll a 2 in order to hit any of them, reducing the probability of being hit more than once. Long story short, the dice are not random. First, it needs a better random number generator.
I also agree that the rolls are not random. How is it when I undo a move the computer gets the exact same roll? The AI will leave men open or actually fail to hit me. It will roll a and move 1 first then 3 and not hit whereas 3 first would hit me and the 1 protects the piece. There is a high chance of a gammon or backgammon because the computer fails to move guys out of my home until last. If I have one guy left to take off on the two and I roll a one and a six I shouldn't have to move the one first. Good programming to make sure I use both dice each turn but when I am down to one man then let me just take it off.
I really would like the roll counter to truly track how much each player has rolled. Just add up the dice each throw and keep track. I want to know if I lose how badly the computer out rolled me. Requires iOS 8. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.