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Long backgammon rules of the game

Historians tend to believe that backgammon originated in the East. However, there is no consensus on this matter, and many disputes still arise. One legend tells that the Persians invented the game. They did it in retaliation against the Indians, who decided to test their wit with chess. Not only did the Persians easily pass the test, but they also sent their competitors a game of long backgammon without rules, which the Indians couldn't decipher for about twelve years. The game has reached our time, practically unchanged. Now it is known in many countries around the world, each having its own name for it. In large cities, there are clubs of enthusiasts of this entertainment, friendly meetings, tournaments, and championships.

There are many variations of the game, but the most famous ones are short and long backgammon. In this article, we will discuss long backgammon and the rules of the game for beginners.

Rules of Long Backgammon

The match takes place between two participants on a game board in the form of a rectangle. It is divided into two equal parts, each containing twelve elongated triangles called points. There are twenty-four points on the board, and it is on these points that opponents move their checkers. Thirty checkers are involved in the game, fifteen white ones belonging to the first player and fifteen black ones to their opponent. The color of the checkers in the game determines the priority of moves, with white going first. The number of steps a participant will take across the board depends on the numbers rolled on the dice.

In long backgammon, you can play by learning its basic rules and instructions. This variation of the game is popular mainly in the former Soviet republics.

At the beginning of the match, each participant receives fifteen checkers of a contrasting color and places them along the left edge of the board. The draw determines who goes first. Partners roll the dice, and whoever gets the higher number plays as white and starts the match.

To win, a player must, by moving their checkers, complete a circuit around the board in the opposite direction of the clockwise movement and bring them home (the last, right bottom quarter of the board). It is necessary to bring the last checker home when using a higher number rolled. After that, all checkers must be borne off the board.

Rules of Long Backgammon Accessible to Everyone

After the partners have determined who will start the match, they take turns rolling the dice. The numbers rolled on the dice show how many points a player can move their checkers. At the beginning of the match, partners seize the most advantageous positions. From the home board, only one checker can be removed in a single move, except for doubles 6, 4, 3 on the first roll. When they occur, two checkers can be moved from the home board because it's impossible to move just one.

By rolling two dice simultaneously, a participant makes a move. For example, if the dice show 1 and 6, they move one checker 1 point and the other 6 points, or they can move one checker the sum of the numbers rolled (1+6). Only one checker can be taken from the home board, except for exceptional cases. If a participant is lucky and rolls doubles, their number of moves is doubled.

There is no limit to the number of checkers on one point. It is forbidden to place a checker on a point where the opponent already has a checker. During the match in long backgammon, according to the rules of the game, building blocks (more than six checkers in a row) is allowed only if at least one opponent's checker is in front of this block. There are cases when a player cannot make a move; in this case, they pass their turn. If a complete move is possible, even if it is not beneficial for the player, they cannot refuse. For example, if the rolled dice show 4 points, and it's more advantageous for the player to move 3, they still must move 4. Sometimes a player can only make one move, in which case they must use the higher number rolled on the dice.

In the final part of the match, the participant needs to bear off their checkers from the board. The numbers rolled on the dice are used at the discretion of the player: either to bear off checkers or to move them within the home board. For example, if the dice show 3 and 5, the player can bear off checkers from the third and fifth points, respectively. If there are no checkers on these points, they are allowed to bear off checkers from the triangle with the number lower than the rolled numbers, but only if there are no checkers on the triangle with the higher number.

The game does not allow for a draw. As soon as the checkers of the first player leave the board, the second player automatically loses. However, in the game settings, there is an option to play with the right of the last move for the black player, as the white player started the game, thus leveling the chances of winning.

In the game, there is also a parameter for ending the game: "Mars" and "Oin". When choosing the "Mars" parameter, players will have an additional bet "Mars" removed at the beginning of the game. If the Mars arrangement is observed, the winner will receive double the loser's bet, and the loser will lose their entire bet. If the Mars arrangement is not fulfilled, the bets on "Mars" by both players will be returned. When choosing the "Oin" parameter, additional bets are not removed, and no additional payments are made.

Placement in Long Backgammon is of Great Importance

In this game, it's essential to calculate all your moves and your opponent's moves from the beginning of the match. Otherwise, the chances of winning are catastrophically low. Experienced gamers know some secrets of the game that positively influence the outcome of the match. Observant and attentive behavior is crucial. First of all, pay attention to your opponent's first move; after analyzing it, you can predict the further development of events in the game several moves ahead.

Tips for beginners:

  • Try to occupy three or more points near your opponent's home board and prevent your opponent from doing the same.
  • Place your checkers beyond the sixth triangle; this way, you can easily enter the desired third quarter.
  • Ensure that you always have a move when rolling doubles; otherwise, you'll lose the advantage. Often, doubles can turn the tide of the match.
  • Advance swiftly. For this, move the checkers from the second quarter to the third in one move.
  • As soon as your opponent's checkers approach the first quarter, try to block their move.

But do not underestimate your opponent. An experienced gamer also knows the above secrets, so carefully plan your defense. Remember that knowing the secrets alone is not enough for victory; you must use them at the right time. Always look ahead, plan your moves, and analyze your opponent's moves - without this, winning the game is almost impossible. If you have the opportunity to play with an experienced gamer, seize it, as it's a chance to learn from their skills and abilities.