Start a new game or join an open game of a fellow player.
If you open a new game you decide on bets and point limit, who can participate and one of five game variants: Backgammon, Tavli, Portes, Plakoto or Fegva.
In addition, you can decide on a blitz game which limits the time for individual moves.
The game board consists of 4 boards with 6 triangles (fields) each. The player can see the so called "outer board" to his left and the "home board" to his right. Every player receives 15 white or black checkers, which at the beginning of the game will be placed in the for each version typical starting position on the triangles.
The direction of moving the checkers to your Home Board also depends on the version of the game. The dice decide how many fields you can move your checkers forward per game move.
You move your checkers by using the mouse. To move a checker you click on it with the left mouse button and keep the button pressed until you have moved the checker to the desired triangle.
The values of the two dice will not be added but you can decide whether you want to move one or two checkers. It is up to you, which value you use first to move a checker. If the dice show the same number (double) you can multiply this number by four and move your checker the relevant number of fields.
Checkers can only be moved to open fields. That means fields that are not occupied by more than one of the opponents checkers.
Further rules of the game depend on the game version and the selected modus.
Generally a distinction is made between two main versions, Backgammon and Tavil. The three remaining versions, Portes, Plakoto or Fegva, are the result of the Tavli variant.
With this variant the players move their checkers in the opposite direction towards their home board.
For the first roll, each player rolls one dice each. The player who rolled the higher number begins. He may advance his own checkers by the number he rolled and by that of which his opponent rolled. Afterwards the dice will be rolled as usual.
If you move a checker to a field that is only occupied by one opponent's checker, this checker is removed. The captured piece is placed on the so called "bar" in the middle of the board and must be played into the outer board of its owner again. The player concerned may only move his other checkers once he has played the checker back in to the game.
If you have moved all your checkers to your home board you bear them off. For this, you roll as usual and then remove checker by checker from the game board to the discard pile.
If you manage to bear off all of your checkers, without your opponent having beared off a single checker, you win with "Gammon". If you have at least one checker of your opponent on the bar, you have achieved "Backgammon".
Tavli is basically a version of backgammon, which consists of three rounds. The aim of this game is to try to bear your checkers out of the game as quickly as possible. Each round has slightly different rules and different starting positions. This leads to different game strategies, which constitutes to the charm of Tavli.
When selecting the game options you can also start a game with the specific rules of Portes, Plakoto or Fegva, which leads to five game variants.
Portes – 1. Round
The rules of Portes differ only slightly from the classic Backgammon rules. The starting position is the same as with Backgammon.
At the start, each player rolls one dice. The player who scores the higher number begins. The start player now rolls both dice again to move.
The winner gets one point for a normal win and two points if the opponent still has all of his checkers on the board.
There is no "Backgammon" (three points) and no doubling cube in Portes.
Plakoto – 2. Round
The main difference of Plakoto is the starting position the checkers are positioned in at the start of the round.
From your perspective all 15 checkers will be placed rightmost on the outermost triangle of the home board. Your opponent's checkers are placed directly opposite on the left outermost triangle of the home board.
Another difference is that individual opposing pieces are not "Hit" (removed), but blocked. If you have placed your checker on a field where only one opposing checker is placed, your opponent can not move that checker again until you move your checker on, releasing his checker. As long as your checker blocks an opponent's piece, it is protected and can not be blocked itself. You may place as many of your own checkers on a field where you have blocked an opponent's stone. As in the normal Backgammon version, fields with two or more opposing checkers are not be entered. Bearing out checkers can only start when your all of your checkers have reached the home board.
With Plakoto there is an additional way to win the game. If you block an opponent's stone on the opponent's starting field you win prematurely but only if you don't have any more checkers on your starting field. If one of your checkers is on the starting field the game is continued until either your mother checker is blocked (draw) or until you have moved all of your pieces away from your starting field.
Fegva – 3. Round
In the 3rd round of Tavli the checkers are set up diagonally to each other.
This means from your perspective that all of your checkers are placed on the far left first triangle of the home board and your opponent's checkers are positioned in the top right, directly opposite of the right field of your home board.
The direction of Fegva is also important because both players move both anti-clockwise.
With Fegva a checker is neither beaten nor blocked. You can only move checkers to completely empty fields. That way Primes - a sequence of six checkers placed on six consecutive fields - can be created much quicker. Primes can not be overcome by the enemy, since the range of a dice is a maximum of six fields. With this tactic you can corner your enemy quickly.
In this version the order in which you move the checkers also counts. Your first checker must pass the starting point of the opponent before you can move to the next checker.
It is not allowed to block the six fields in your own starting field. If a player manages to place all of his checkers on the field before an opponent's Prime, then the opponent must clear a field of his Prime in his next go and let the player pass.
End of the game
The single match is finished if a player has placed all his checkers in the rack and wins the game.
At end of the game the winner gets one, two or three points, depending on how well he wins:
- If the loser has all of his checkers on the Backgammon board and at least one in the outer board, the winner will receive three points (Backgammon).
- If the loser still has all checkers on the board (Gammon), then two points are awarded for the winner.
- All other winning positions receive one point.
If a player gives up, the victory is considered a Gammon if they are at least 60 points in arrears to the other player and has not beared off a single checker.