Online Backgammon

As one of the oldest board games, backgammon has remained popular for centuries around the world. Legend has it that the game of backgammon dates back thousands of years, possibly in ancient Greece, Persia, or Egypt. As old as the game may be, people all over the world still play backgammon. You can find people playing backgammon in parlors, lounges, and gambling establishments, but now online casinos also offer backgammon so you can win real money playing online from the comfort of your home.


The game itself doesn’t require too much time to learn. Traditionally, the backgammon involves two players who face off by playing pieces according to the roll of two dice. The player wins by removing all of their pieces from the board before the opponent.

Perhaps one of the reasons that this game has remained so popular for so long is because it involves a combination of strategy and luck from rolling the dice. The dice may determine the outcome of a game, but players can choose different moves after each role. With the right strategy, a good player can anticipate counter-moves and beat their opponent.

According to legend, the king of India in the early seventh century sent a chessboard to the presiding Persian King to solve the riddle of the game, crediting the logic behind chess as the key to life. Then, the Persian king responded by sending the game of backgammon to the Indian king expounding on the original point that the key to life, not only involves clever thought, but also requires a bit of luck as well. Winning in backgammon, just as with succeeding in life, requires a combination of a bit of skill and a bit of luck.

How to Play Backgammon

Even if you haven’t played backgammon before, you have probably at least seen a backgammon board. Each side of the board has a track of 12 long triangles, known as points. Each player has 15 different pieces, called checkers, with two placed at the 24-point, three on the 8-point, and five each on the other 13-point and 6-point. The two players must move their checkers in opposite directions, from points 24 to point 1. Each player has a home board between points 1 through 6. The rest of the board, points 7 through 12, is known as the outer board. In other words, each player has a starting place, called their home point. Then each player moves their checkers around the board counter clockwise to return every piece to point 1.

When the game begins, player move their checkers according to the results of rolling two dice. The numbers on the dice are called pips. Because each player has their own home territory, backgammon involves knowing how to move your checkers as quickly as possible to your home board before the other player. If you roll a double, then you get double the number of checker moves. For example, if you roll two fours, then instead of moving two checkers 4 points, you can move four checkers 4 times.

Players cannot move checkers onto a triangle occupied by two or more of the opponent’s checkers. However, if the triangle has a single opponent’s checker, then you can move the checker to “eat” the opponent’s checker. That means that this opponent’s piece is removed to the center bar. It can only re-enter the game by returning to the opponent’s home board after rolling the dice during their turn. If the board has no vacant points, then the removed checker cannot re-enter the game, and the player loses their turn.

After some practice, you can develop a backgammon strategy with the aim of hitting or eating an opponent’s checker so that they are removed from the game to the center bar. This slows down their progress of returning all of their pieces to the home board. You should also avoid having any single checkers on the board as this makes your pieces vulnerable for removal from your opponent.

The word gammon refers to when a player successfully bears off all fifteen of their checkers before the other player. In this case, the player wins double the points for the win. Backgammon occurs after a victory, but in this case, the losing player still has checkers remaining on the opponent’s home board. In a backgammon victory, the player earns triple the points.

When gambling in backgammon, the doubling cube enhances the game. This enables the player to win double the points at any point during the game. When the player feels confident enough, they have the option of doubling their stakes. Then the opponent has the option to either accept or decline. If the opponent declines, then they forfeit the game. If the opponent accepts the double, then they assume control of the doubling cube, giving them the option to double the stake again at any point thereafter. This can repeat up to 6 times, meaning the stake can increase by 64 times.

If you are completely new to the game of backgammon and never played before, these rules might seem a bit overwhelming. Actually, they say you learn better through practice and hands on experience. Once you play backgammon, you will get the hang of the game much faster and realize that the basic rules aren’t that complicated. As an added bonus, plenty of New Zealand online casinos offer demo games of backgammon online so you can practice before wagering and risking your money. In this way, you can learn the rules of the game and develop a good backgammon strategy before you play for real money.

How to Play Online Backgammon at Gambling Sites

New Zealand online casinos offer backgammon online with the same rules, but in this case, players can win real money by testing their skill and luck in the game. Online backgammon has the same board and layout, number of checkers and dice, and doubling rule to increase your bets. However, online backgammon has a huge advantage because the computer will automatically display which moves are available after each dice roll. The computer highlights available checker moves including points in which you can hit an opponent’s piece. Online backgammon also has a doubling cube available as an optional part of the game.

Online Backgammon Tournaments

Casino tournaments present an exciting way to truly test your luck and skill in any game by competing against other players for big prizes. You can find several options to play backgammon online tournaments with real money payouts. The two main types include sit and go tournaments along with standard tournaments.

With sit and go backgammon tournaments, you can enter the tournament at any time. First, you sign up for the tournament and take a “seat” at the table. The tournament starts when enough players join the game. Typically with sit and go tournaments, you can join for a low entry fee and still win a decent money prize. The buy-in and prize depends on the particular tournament and casino.

Online Backgammon Betting

Players looking to play real money backgammon games online can choose the standard gaming format and face off against another player. In this format, you place your bet before the game begins or join an existing game with a stake that matches that same amount. In this case, the winner takes all. As we mentioned earlier, you have the opportunity to multiply the bet in the event of a gammon or backgammon victory or if you use a doubling cube during the game.

You may also come across another style of online backgammon betting known as a match game. Match games operate like a mini-tournament between two players. This type of betting requires players to achieve a certain number of points over a series of games in order to win. Match games also feature the gammon and backgammon rules as well as the chance to use the doubling cube.

Backgammon House Edge

With online backgammon, you play against the computer, which is essentially the casino itself. Just like any business, casinos need to make sure that they turn a profit. For this reason, casinos incorporate house edges, meaning a fixed percentage of your bets go toward the casino (house) over an extended period of time. The casino takes a different percentage of your bets, depending on the game.

In the case of backgammon online, typically the casino takes about 4% of the total winnings of the game for smaller bets. With larger bets, online backgammon usually has a house edge ranging between 2%-3%.

In match games that feature additional points for doubling and gammons, online casinos will usually take a base percentage along with an additional percentage for each extra point that the winner scores. Typically, the casino takes about 0.25% for each additional point, but this number depends on the size of the game. For smaller games with lower wagers, the casino usually takes about 7%. In games with wagers between $20 and $100, the house edge is usually about 6%. In the case of games with bets over $100, the casino takes about 5%.

Online Backgammon Variations

Although you’ll find many similarities between land-based casino backgammon and the online versions, online backgammon has a special advantage. As we mentioned before, the computer highlights available moves during each round which greatly assists in making choices during the game. This also makes it much easier for new players and beginners to learn how to play backgammon. After all, an unskilled player may not know where to move their checkers. In terms of the scoring system and use of the doubling cube, online casino backgammon works just the same as playing a tournament or match game.

Playing Online Backgammon in New Zealand

Gamblers who like to combine luck with a bit of skill will love online backgammon. New Zealand online casinos have the option to play backgammon at their gambling sites conveniently from computers or mobile devices. You can play for real money or practice play on demo games. Although online backgammon isn’t the most commonly found game at gambling sites, New Zealand players can find a few casinos offering the game. We especially recommend Ladbrokes Casino and Money Gaming Casino which host a range of games, tournaments, single games, and match games. With a little luck and skill, you could walk away with the big win. Experience the game for yourself with online backgammon at New Zealand gambling sites.