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Dutch Backgammon

Dutch backgammon is a version of the classic backgammon game, with slightly different backgammon rules. Dutch backgammon starts with all the checkers off the board. Each player enters his checkers into the opponent’s home board. In this variant, a single checker cannot be hit by the opponent, until at least one of his checkers has reached his own home board.

The game’s target, as in classic backgammon, is to bring all checkers around the board, to the inner home area, and then bear them off. The first one to bear off all the checkers is the winner of the game.

In order to start the backgammon game, each player rolls a die. The player with the higher numeric value gets to be the first one to play. This player rolls again, both dice, and opens the game.

Entering checkers into the opponent’s home board must be correspondingly to the rolled numbers. For example, if you roll 2-4, you can enter a checker to the opponent 2 point and a checker to the opponent 4 point. Once you have entered one or more checkers into the opponent’s home board, you may choose whether you want to use your dice numbers to enter more checkers or move around the checkers already on the board.

Dutch Backgammon Rules:
The dice numbers in each roll, indicate the number of the steps you should move your checkers, according to the following rules (similar to a classic backgammon rules):
  • A checker can be moved only to an open point. An open point is a triangle, which is not taken by two or more of the opponent’s checkers.
  • The numbers rolled indicate two separate moves. For example, if the numbers rolled are 3-6, one checker can be moved 3 steps to an open point and another can be moved 6 steps to an open point. Alternatively, the same checker can be moved twice to an open point, provided that the connect move (3 or 6 steps) passes through an open point.
  • A roll of double is played twice. The number rolled is played 4 times.
  • If possible, one must play both numbers rolled, and the four of them in case of a double. If the option of playing both numbers is blocked, than the higher number possible must be played.

A single checker sited on a point is called a blot and he is in a danger of being hit. An opponent checker that lands on the same point hits the blot and replaces it. The blot then is placed on the bar. However, in Dutch Backgammon, a player cannot hit an opponent’s checkers until at least one of his checkers had reached his home board area.

The first obligation of a player in Dutch backgammon, who has a checker placed on the bar, is to re-enter it to the opponent home board. Re-entering a checker is done by rolling the dice and placing the checker on an open point respectively to the numbers rolled. If more than one checker is placed on the bar than the obligation is to re-enter them all, before the other checkers can be moved around the board.

Bearing off checkers, at the last stage of Dutch backgammon game, can be performed only after all the checkers have reached the home board. Same as in classic backgammon game, one can remove checkers correspondingly to the numbers on the rolled dice. If there are no checkers on the corresponded points, the checkers must be moved inside the home board area, from a higher numbered point to a lower numbered point. If there are no checkers on higher numbered points, the checkers must be removed from the highest point that still has a checker.

The first player to remove all of his 15 checkers is the winner of the Dutch backgammon game, and is credited in 1 point. Winning a game before the opponent has started removing his checkers, is called a gammon which credits the winner in 2 points.

In Dutch Backgammon there is no doubling cube with its extra special backgammon rules. The game is longer and a little bit more complicated. You should try it at home, enjoy the diversity and let your backgammon skill benefit from the unusual exercise.
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