Celebrating 15 years in backgammon games

RULES AND HISTORY OF BACKGAMMON VARIANTS


Royal Game of Ur

There are many variants of Backgammon played in different countries around the world. The Rules and setup of the board for these can be found through the links described below.

In recent years, some of these variants have been implemented on Internet. The two most popular that are available online are Nackgammon and Hypergammon.

The It'sYourTurn and Gamerz.net games servers offer a variety of interesting Backgammon variants.

Most of these variants are played with different rules, and as well, the initial set up of the board is different than in standard Backgammon. For example, in Acey-Deucey, all the checkers start off the board, while with Longgammon your checkers all begin on the furthest point (the 24 point). Hypergammon is played with only three checkers per player. In Narde (Feuga) there is no hitting.

Sounds confusing? Well, after you have read the rules for each variant and have a played a game or two, things will be a lot clearer. Any of these variants are challenging and in some cases (such as Nackgammon) the tactics you will learn can help improve your skills in positional play in standard Backgammon.

There is also Chouette, a variant of Backgammon played socially in clubs, tournaments, bars, etc. Chouette play is for three or more players. Each toss one die and the player who rolls the highest number becomes the "box". The player with the second highest roll represents the rest of the players or team for the first game and is called the "captain". The players take turns playing as the captain or the box depending on who wins.

Links to Chouette:

  • Peter Max Friis Jensen's Chouette Rules.

  • Tom Keith's Backgammon Galore.


  • Here are some links to the history of variants of Backgammon and their rules:

  • At James Masters' "A History of Traditional Games" website you can find rules for Acey-Deucey, Dutch Backgammon, the Royal Game of Ur, Tabula and in fact, dozens of other non-Backgammon games. Scroll down on this page a little to see the lists of games. James also has a page on the history of The Royal Game of Ur and Tau.


  • Artist Dean Kezan's depicts Tabula in this wallpaper from the active
    desktop theme that he has created.

  • An explanation of the ancient Roman game of Tabula, also known as alea, can be found at this link. The page also contains some nice artwork and images of a board and its pieces.


  • Catherine Soubeyrand has an interesting article with different versions of the rules of Senet at Ken Tidwell's, The Game Cabinet website.


  • David Levy is the author of the Rules for the Game of Trictrac page.


  • Mikael Johansson has a page on Tabula and Nordic Tabula.


  • GammonVillage member Mark Driver has written the first part of a three-part series of articles on The History of Dice


  • Vassilis Condos and Ioannis Christodoulou have a webpage that describes the meanings and rules of the Greek Tavli games of Plakoto and Fevga.


  • Mel Leifer has hundreds of categorized Gammon Links on his website. There you will find more about variants of Backgammon under the header "Diversions" as well as some programs that play these games!


  • Artwork by Dean Kezan

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    Celebrating 15 years in backgammon games