Identifying the Parts of the Backgammon Board

We'll discuss the parts of the backgammon board. This would enable beginners to understand checker movement, notation, and other items of interest a beginner needs to understand to learn the game.

Looking at the backgammon board, you'll find that it has elongated triangles that alternate in color. These are called points. The checkers in a backgammon board move along these triangles like chess pieces move around on a chessboard. There are a total of 24 points on a backgammon board.

You will also notice that there is a vertical bar dividing the board in two. This is simply called the bar. It is a raised ridge at the center of the backgammon board. The bar serves two purposes, first is to divide the backgammon board into the outer boards and the inner boards, and second, it serves as a designated place on the backgammon board for checkers that are hit during the game.

Since we've already mentioned it let's define what are the inner boards and outer boards. Most backgammon boards usually would fold in half. The two halves are usually designated as the inner board and the outer board.

Defining which is the inner and outer board depends solely on how players set up the backgammon board. The most straightforward way of figuring out the inner board and the outer board would be to figure out where players bear off their checkers.

If you bear off your checkers on the right side, then your inner board would be the one on your right, the outer board would be on the left. This principle also works vice versa if you bear off your checkers on the left side.

Given this layout we will notice that the backgammon board is divided into four quadrants. The boards on your side are your outer board and inner board while the boards on your opponent's side are designated his inner board and outer board. The inner board is also called the home board.

The home board is the last quadrant where your checkers need to race into. Once all your checkers have landed here you may commence bearing them off. Your home board is also the quadrant where you're opponent's checkers must first land on after being sent to the bar due to a hit.

There are a few points on the backgammon board that are essential to strategy. First one is the mid-point. This is the point on your opponents side where you begin with five checkers. If you check your numbering this is your 13-point. Your opponent's mid-point is your 12-point on the backgammon board.

The seven-point is otherwise known as the bar-point. This has positional advantage when you move off to strategy. The ace-point is your one-point. This is the last point where you can move your checkers to. Your last two checkers (the usual target of hits) are on your opponent's ace-point.

These are the parts of the backgammon board. Understanding this is fundamental to other aspects of the game like backgammon board set-up, notation, and strategy. Take time to understand them before moving along to other aspects of backgammon.