Looking at a few backgammon basics

Backgammon as a game can be deceptively simple. The basic rules can be considered as a bit complicated, yes. But once it has been explained to you then it all falls into place and you realize that it is not that hard to understand after all. But once you are already playing you realize that there is still another layer to the game that gives it its depth.

This is where you get educated again to the more advanced “rules”, the variations and the many different terms that are sometimes encountered when playing backgammon.For example, one term that is often used when playing backgammon is the beaver. For those who think that animals get involved in more expert levels of play, fear not. A beaver is a term used when a player doubles and the opponent accepts the double and, having decided that his position is good enough, he can immediately redouble while also retaining the possession of the cube.

To illustrate this term, let us say for example that the cube is in the center and there have been no doubles yet in the game. Player A then decides to double the stakes. B accepts the double and now the cube shows 2. Player B then says “beaver” and turns the cube up one more notch to 4.

At this point in the game, if Player A is having second thoughts then he can decline the beaver and give up two points. If not then the game will continue with the cube at 4. Player B still owns the cube though so he can decide to redouble again at a future turn. All of these “moves” happen during Player A’s turn. Player A will now roll the dice and the game progresses.

The beaver is an optional game play element so you should agree with your opponent before the game if you want to incorporate it in your game. Backgammon in many ways is very similar to poker and expertise in one can lead to a much better understanding in the other. This was something that I found to my experience when I became adept in both of these games.

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