Tournament Play Primer

San Diego Backgammon Club’s Tournament Play Primer

  • Dice cups must be used for shaking and rolling, and the dice must land flat on the right side of the board’s playing surface (or if they land flat on a checker it is also a legal roll). If a roll is illegal (cocked or landing on an illegal surface) it requires a re-roll.
  • Each player rolls one die at the start of the game on the right side of the board and the high number wins the opening roll, and also plays that roll. If the roll is tied, roll again.
  • A play is complete when the opponent picks up the dice (or strikes the clock when clocks are used)
  • The full roll must be played if it can be played legally. If only part of the roll can be played, the larger of the two numbers is given priority.
  • Doubling is allowed only prior to the roll. A double may be accepted by the opponent making the stakes increase to two points.  If a double is declined, the game ends and one point is scored.  Once accepted, only the owner of the cube can redouble to four, and so on.
  • Gammons (double game) and backgammons (triple game) apply to the value of the cube at the end of the game.
  • When one player reaches a score within one point of winning the match, that is called the “Crawford game” and the cube may not be used for that game only. If the trailer wins the Crawford game, they have the right to double immediately in any subsequent games.
Backgammon Galaxy
United States Backgammon Federation
Backgammon Galore