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How to play backgammon for kids

Backgammon is a board game for two players. The object is to move all your pieces off the board or bear them off. Whoever manages to do that first wins.

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The backgammon board has 24 narrow triangles called points. It is divided into four sections known as quadrants. A bar divides the backgammon board's left and right sides. The two quadrants to the left of the bar are the "outer board." The upper right quadrant is the red home board. The lower right is the white home board.

  1. Roll a die to see who goes first. The high number wins. Moving from your starting point to the end of your home board, place your pieces like this: five on point 1, two on point 12, three on point 17 and five on point 19. The opponent does the same.

  2. Roll two dice to move your pieces. You can move one or two pieces per turn. If you move one piece, add up the your dice's numbers and move the piece an equal number of points. If you move two pieces, you must move one piece the number of points shown on one die. The other piece moves the number of points shown on the other die. For instance, if you roll 2 and 4, one piece moves two points, the other four.

  3. You can't place your pieces on a point that is already occupied by your opponent, except if there is only one of her pieces on that point. That's called a blot. When your piece lands on a blot, place it on the bar. Before your opponent can do anything else, she needs to move that piece onto your home board.

  4. Bear your pieces off when all 15 are on your home board. Roll the dice. Remove a piece from the point shown by each die. If you roll a 3 and a 2, remove one piece from point 2 and one piece from point 3.

  5. Tip

    As long as you can make a legal move, you do not have to bear your pieces off. It could work to your advantage to stall a little.

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Things You'll Need

  • Backgammon board
  • 30 draughts, 15 red and 15 white
  • 2 dice

About the Author

Jeva Anand began writing in 1988. He has worked as an educator, media-relations coordinator and copywriter, and collaborated with regional and national media such as "Indian Country Today." Anand holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of South Dakota. He currently works as a writer and translator.

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