Backgammon Basics
Backgammon match vs money game. There are 2 ways to score a backgammon game. One is called "money game" and the other a "match". In a money game (does not necessarily mean it is played for money but it a common style for gambling) a game is played freestyle without any preset limits to the ending score. The game is settled when either a player is doubled out or one player wins. A common rule in money play is "jacoby" which stipulates that gammons and backgammons only count as a single point if the cube has not been turned yet. In this style of backgammon, the contestants agree on $$/point. So lets say you agree to $5 / point, if you win a doubled gammon (4 pts) your opponent owes you $20
In a match, the players agree on what the match length is and the first player to reach that score wins. If you are playing for money, lets say $5 then that's the most you can lose in the match regardless of what the cube and final score is. Match play is the common format used in tournaments where each player contributes to the prize and the winners walk off with a big payoff.
Currently only match style games are offered on GreedyGammon.
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One of the things i had a hard time understanding when I started playing bg the bear-off rules.
For some reason I just could not figure it out but it really is very simple.
If you have trouble getting it, I would suggest to get gnubg and set up the board (edit) to a bearoff position and practice with the "hint" setting to see what moves are allowed. Here are some examples
In the example above, if you roll 6-5, you must take 2 checkers off one from the 6 pt and one from the 5 pt.
Now if you roll 6-5 again you must take off 1 from the 6 pt and another from the 5 pt such that you leave 2 blots. There is no way around it. It is a forced move.
In the position above, if you roll 6-4 or 5-4 you are forced to leave 2 blots. They are essentially the same roll since you dont have a checker on yur 6 pt you must move the next available checker with the 6. If you roll 6-3 or 5-3 you can take one off and move the blot to your 2 pt. If you roll small numbers like 1-1 2-1 3-1 you are not forced to take any off, you can play those within your board stacking up safely without leaving any blots
it may be confusing at first but it is very intuitive once you get the idea.
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Crawford
In a match format, there is the 'crawford rule" this rule stipulates that when a player reaches 1 pt away from winning the match, the cube is disabled for one game. This game is called the crawford game and there is no cube doubling allowed. Once the crawford game is over, doubling can resume. So for example in a 5 pt match, your opponent wins a doubled gammon and the score is now 4-0. Since the opponent is 1 away from winning the match, you would like to double immediately so that if you do happen to win the next game you get double the points. The extra points on the cube dont help your opponent since he only needs one point to win the match. This is an unfair advantage to the trailing player so the "crawford rule" was established to balance this situation. If you win a gammon or backgammon in the crawford game you still get your 2 or 3 points just not doubled.
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As a beginner you will often find counting pips to be tiresome. Especially when you roll doubles, it is difficult to figure out where the piece will land, and counting each space is a real hassle. One easy and effective method to aid your counting is to use the color of the pips (triangles) to find where an odd or even number will land. Even numbers will always land on the same color pip as the starting space. Odd numbers land on a different color. This will help you quickly determine where the piece will land even with doubles. Say you roll 44 just hit the same color pip 4 times. With practice you can easily tell the difference between 4 and 6. Some combinations you can memorize them like 55 off the bar lands on the 5 pt on the other side of the board.
Go here for more tips for beginners
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