The variant called Blocking Backgammon is described in detail in Nicholas Frantzi’s book, The Seven Popular Games of Backgammon. The strategy for this game variant is easier than other games of backgammon. For this reason, this is the first game that is taught to children in the Middle East.The setup of the board is also very simple. Each player starts with fifteen checkers off the board. The players then enter their checkers in the opponent’s home board. And then bring them around the board.
The objective of the game is to move all of the checkers around the board to the player’s own home table and then bear them off. The first player to bear off all of the checkers will win the game.
To start the game, the player will roll one dice and the higher number wins. That player rolls both dice again and to begin the first turn.
Checkers are entered by placing it on a point in the opposing player’s home board that corresponds to the number that was rolled. For example, if a player rolls a 6 – 3, then he must enter one checker on the opponent’s six point and one checker on the three point. All of the checkers must be entered into the board before he can begin moving forward.
A player can own a point anytime he has one checker on a point. The opposing player cannot land or touch down on that point. Because of this a sequence of six consecutive single checkers constitute a prime that the opponent cannot cross. If you have two or more checkers on a point, then you no longer own the point and opponent is free to move onto the point whenever he wishes.
Backgammon is not only played in just one set manner. In fact, there are many game variations to backgammon. These variations have been devised as a way of offering more variety to the gameplay being performed on the board. For people who may want a little change of pace to the traditional rules, the variations are a welcome change. One very simple backgammon variant that was devised by both Oswald Jacoby and John Crawford is Blastoff. This game was described in their best selling book The Backgammon Book. This game is geared more towards children who are just beginning to learn the various moves of backgammon.
The game’s setup is actually the same as in backgammon except for some little changes. For example, each player’s to back men, which were formerly on the opponent’s one point, are now brought forward and joined to the five men on the mid point.
The game play of Blast Off goes through just like in a regular backgammon game except for the fact that blots may not be hit. With this element, the game play element is mainly based on luck and it is really depends largely on which player rolls the higher dice. Of course there is a little amount of skill that is involved based on how you figure out which positions to put your checkers so that you get the most efficient bearoff.
When Blast off is played with a doubling cube, this variant becomes a helpful tool on when to double or not in running games.The game is very similar to online poker in many ways and the doubling cube is akin to raising and re-raising in poker. When you re-raise in poker then you are re-opening the betting and so you need to be very careful when you do this.