Friday, April 21, 2006

Backgammon Set Up (for the forgetful)...

There is nothing quite like an outdoor game of backgammon at sunset with a cold drink after a long summer day. If you're in a betting mood, you'll want to wear something ill-fitting and you should try to make your hair look fairly intimidating (like good old Dennis Carlston's). Or, for less competitive approach, wear some really WASPy clothes and no socks, hair wet and slicked back. Ladies can always opt for this look. There you go. Have a great setting and some pensive people milling about, but behind you or in your peripheral vision. You've got work to do.

Now one problem you may encounter is remembering how to set up the board. Don't let this embarrass you. You'd be surprised how many people shy away from backgammon just because they can't remember how that damn initial set up goes. Breathe easy. You've got other things to cram into your brainpan. The minutiae of leisure isn't one of them.

Here's the set up... There are 24 points on the board. Typically, the point on your bottom right is your #1. Going right to left, or clockwise, points #1-6 are your home board, where you want all your pieces to end up. Point #24 is the one exactly opposite point #1. Put two of your pieces, or "checkers," on point #24, five on point #13, three on point #8, and five on point #6. Obviously, your opponents checkers should mirror the position of yours. Got it?

Here's your mantra: "2/24, 5/13, 3/8, 5/6"
Say it over five times. Again. Wait an hour. Repeat.

Or perhaps like me, you're the visual type. I can only remember phone numbers by punching imaginary digits in the air.

Here you go:

Bring those checkers home and bear them off before the person sitting across from you does. Remember, a "Gammon" is when one player bears off all their checkers (i.e. wins) while the other player has borne off none. And a "Backgammon" occurs when the losing party still has a checker on the bar or in the other player's home board. If you are betting (i.e. using the die with all the numbers on it) you'll definitely want to avoid losing in either of these situations.

The rest you'll have to figure out on your own... study your board and "be" someone. Like any of these people.
Or Lindsay Lohan.
She likes backgammon too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good start for people who are new to the game. I have started playing around 3 or 4 years ago and I have become addicted. I am in San Antonio, TX looking for other players. It is suprisingly difficult to find BG players in this city! Either way, your post will help spread the word.

9:03 PM  
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Anonymous backgammon set said...

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6:57 PM  

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