Setting Up a Backgammon Board

One of the basic things we need to know when playing backgammon is proper board setup. Below are 10 steps to correctly setup a backgammon board and its pieces and be acquainted with them.

First step is, of course, to get the board and open it. Put the pieces to a side and place the board between us and our opponent flat on the top of a table. Second step is to choose 15 pieces of the same color for ourselves and the opponent the remaining 15 pieces of a different color. Sometimes, piece color preference can be settled by tossing a die and see who gets the highest result.

The third step is to check the 4 pieces of dice, dice shaker, and a doubling cube. The doubling cube is the dice which can display results of 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and so on. It is used for a doubling challenge, when a player opts to double the stakes. The fourth step is to get acquainted with the triangle patterns on the board. These are called points.

There are points on our side and the opponent's side of the board. Take note that the board has 4 parts or quadrants equaling 4 sets of triangles. Each player has 2 quadrants on their side of the board. Fifth step is to take note of the bar dividing the board in half.

Sixth step for proper board setup and familiarization is settle who's going to play white and who will play black. The dice can settle this as explained above. Seventh step is to number the points. Starting from the lower right hand point which we designate number 1 and, eighth step, go clockwise numbering all points. The last point on our upper right hand (on the "outer board") is point 24.

The ninth step is to put two backgammon pieces on point 24, 5 pieces on point 13, 3 pieces on point 8, and 5 pieces on point 6. The tenth step is for the opponent to do the same numbering; on the opponent's side of the board the lower right hand point is point 1. The numbering goes clockwise, too, until it reaches the 24th point. Then put backgammon pieces on points in the same way we did.

This proper board setup is the standard way practiced even in tournaments. When playing online, however, the software program takes care of the whole setup. Once we start a game everything is in its proper place.