How to Play Backgammon

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Backgammon is an ancient game in which two players try to get all of their pieces to a home area. Learn about doubles and beating the other player in backgammon with tips from a gaming specialist in this free video on board games.

Part of the Video Series: Board Games & Card Games
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Charles and I'm here to show you the basics of Backgammon. This is an ancient game and it's a lot of fun. So let's get started. The first thing that you need is another person to play the game with. You set up the board like this, you also have dice. So in order to determine who goes first usually by rolling dice, you then make a roll. Now the idea is and I'm sitting on the side, I'm the white player, and I can tell because what's in the middle. And I'm trying to get all of my pieces to here. And I do that by moving them, now I can either go one, two, three, one, two , three, four like that. Or I could go one, two, three and I can take one , two, three, four. No problem. Now the only difficulty with doing it like this is that if the other player, for example a two, and a two that's doubles. This is a good time to talk about doubles. The black player has rolled doubles which means that they don't just get a two and a two, they get a two and a two and a two and another two. And that works for any number that you roll doubles for. So the black player who's going the other direction can now go one, two, and hit my piece and put it up here. They can then go, one, two and cover themselves. And they still have two more two's left. So they can go one, two like that. As you can see, the black player is now pretty far ahead and the white player is in a real problem because they now need to roll their dice and the first thing that they need to do is put this piece back up here at the starting spot. Fortunately for the white player they rolled a two which is an open space. And it's doubles so I have three more two's to work with. And at that point you are pretty much just crossing your fingers and hoping that the black player doesn't turn around and hit you. Play continues this way until you get to the, until the first player hits their last piece safely in their home area and then you are over. And that's how you play backgammon.

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