It is

25

to

11,

or about

9

to

4,

against being hit on

1

"

24

"

12,

or

2

"

1,

"

2

"

22

"

14,

or about

3

"

2,

"

3

"

21

"

15,

or

7

"

5,

"

4

"

21

"

15,

"

7

"

5,

"

5

"

19

"

17,

"

9½

"

8½,

"

6

"

30

"

6,

"

5

"

1,

"

7

"

30

"

6,

"

5

"

1,

"

8

"

31

"

5,

or about

6

"

1,

"

9

"

33

"

3,

or

11

"

1,

"

10

"

34

"

2,

"

17

"

1,

"

11

"

33

"

3,

"

11

"

1,

"

12

The table shows that if a blot must be left within the reach of one die, the nearer it is left to the adversary's man the less probability there is of its being hit. Also, that it is long odds against being hit on a blot which is only to be reached with double dice, and that, in that case (on any number from 7 to 11), the farther off the blot is, the less chance there is of its being hit.

The table assumes that the board is open for every possible throw. If part of the throw is blocked by an intervening point being held by adverse men, the chance of being hit is less.

Two principles, then, have to be considered in moving the men: - (1) To make points where there is the best chance of obstructing the opponent. (2) When obliged to leave blots, to choose the position in which they are least likely to be hit.

The best points to secure are the five-point in your own inner table and the five-point in your adversary's inner table. The next best is your own bar-point; and the next best the four in your own inner table.

The best move for some throws at the commencement of a game is as follows: - Aces (the best of all throws), move two on your bar-point and two on your five-point. This throw is often given to inferior players by way of odds.

Ace, trey: make the five-point in your inner table.

Ace, six: make your bar-point.

Deuces: move two on the four-point in your inner table, and two on the trey-point in your opponent's inner table.

Deuce, four: make the four-point in your own table.

Threes: play two on the five-point in your inner table, and two on the four-point of your adversary's inner table, or make your bar-point.

Trey, five: make the trey-point in your own table.

Trey, six: bring a man from your adversary's ace-point as far as he will go.

Fours: move on two on the five-point in your adversary's inner table, and two from the five in his outer table.

Four, five and four, six: carry a man from your adversary's ace-point as far as he will go.

Fives: move two men from the five in your adversary's outer table to the trey-point in your inner table.

Five, six: move a man from your adversary's ace-point as far as he will go.

Sixes (the second-best throw): move two on your adversary's bar-point and two on your own bar-point.

In carrying the men home carry the most distant man to your adversary's bar-point, to the six-point in your outer table, and then to the six-point in your inner table. By following this rule as nearly as the throws admit, you will carry the men to your inner table in the fewest number of throws.

Avoid carrying many men upon the trey or deuce-point in your own tables, as these men are out of play.

Whenever you have taken up two of your adversary's men, and two or more points made in your inner table, spread your other men in the hope of making another point in your tables, and of hitting the man your adversary enters.

Always take up a man if the blot you leave in making the move can only be hit with double dice, but if you already have two of your opponent's men in your tables it is unwise to take up a third.

In entering a man which it is to your adversary's advantage to hit, leave the blot upon the lowest point you can, e.g. ace-point in preference to deuce-point.

When your adversary is bearing his men, and you have two men in his table, say, on his ace-point, and several men in the outer table, it is to your advantage to leave one man on the ace-point, because it prevents his bearing his men to the greatest advantage, and gives you the chance of his leaving a blot. But if you find that you can probably save the gammon by bringing both your men out of his table, do not wait for a blot. Eight points is the average throw.

The laws of backgammon (as given by Hoyle) are as follows: -

1. When a man is touched by the caster it must be played if possible; if impossible no penalty. 2. A man is not played till it is placed upon a point and quitted. 3. If a player omits a man from the board there is no penalty. 4. If he bears any number of men before he has entered a man taken up, men so borne must be entered again. 5. If he has mistaken his throw and played it, and his adversary has thrown, it is not in the choice of either of the players to alter it, unless they both agree to do so. 6. If one or both dice are "cocked," i.e. do not lie fairly and squarely on the table, a fresh throw is imperative.

Russian Backgammon varies from the above game in that the men, instead of being set as in the diagram, are entered in the same table by throws of the dice, and both players move in the same direction round to the opposite table. There are various rules for this game. By some a player is not obliged to enter all his men before he moves any; he can take up blots at any time on entering, but while he has a man up, he must enter it before entering any more or moving any of those already entered. If he cannot enter the man that is up, he loses the benefit of the throw.

A player who throws doublets must play or enter not only the number thrown, but also doublets of the number corresponding to the opposite side of the dice; thus, if he throws sixes, he must first enter or move the sixes, as the case may be, and then aces, and he also has another throw. Some rules allow him to play either doublets first, but he must always complete one set before playing the other. If a player cannot play the whole of his throw, his adversary is sometimes allowed to play the unplayed portion, in which cases the caster is sometimes allowed to come in and complete his moves, if he can, and in the event of his having thrown deuce-ace or doublets to throw again. If he throws doublets a second time, he moves and throws again, and so on. The privilege is sometimes restricted by not allowing this advantage to the first doublets thrown by each player. It is sometimes extended by allowing the thrower of the deuce-ace to choose any doublets he likes on the opposite side of the dice, and to throw again. The restriction with regard to the first doublets thrown does not apply to deuce-ace, nor does throwing it remove the restriction with regard to first doublets. A player must first be able to complete the doublets thrown.

If the player cannot move the whole throw he cannot take the corresponding doublets, and he is not allowed another throw if he cannot move all the points to which he is entitled.