Backgammon House Rules & Rule Variants

Backgammon board.This page on the Rules of Backgammon contains all the rules for regular play, plus the popular Acey-Deucey variant (which the following rules work well with). It also defines the special terms used below (e.g. blot, bearing off). Backgammon's a really old game that ultimately evolved from the Egyptian game, Senet, which dates from at least 3100 B.C. The version played today basically came about in the early 17th century. Here, you can read about the History of Backgammon.

Hits on Non-Blots. If doubles are rolled, or chosen on a 2-1 in Acey-Deucey, the current player may move multiple men onto an opponent's line of men (even if it's not a blot) to hit them (send them to the bar). This may only be done if the number of men used is equal to or greater than the number of opponent's men being hit and the current player's men used to hit are from the same line.

Exact Numbers to Bear Off/No Inner Table Requirement. You don't need all your men to reach the inner table before you can begin bearing off. However, you can only make a man bear off if you roll the lowest number possible to get him off the board. (E.g. a man on line 2 requires a roll of 2 to bear off; a man on line 5 requires a 5; etc.)

Triple Die Gamble. On his turn, a player may elect to throw three dice instead of two with the following consequence: if any 6's are rolled, he must send one of his own men (his choice) to the bar for each 6 rolled, then end his turn. Doubles achieved with a three-die roll still count, but there are no triples (e.g. the current player rolls 4-4-4; he may move a number of men as if he had rolled a 4-4 on two dice, then move a single man 4 lines).

"Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box." — Italian Proverb