Backgammon Variants
by Michael Strato

There are a myriad of exciting games one can play on a backgammon board and if you're keen on it you can even invent one of your own.

Variants can be played with fewer checkers, alternate setups or even with all the checkers starting off the board. In some, checkers are frozen on points instead of hit and put on the bar, and rules can vary in other ways, such as dice roll combinations may have a special bonus feature in which you get to roll again.

At least one variant requires that numbers rolled during bear off cannot be used to move checkers inside the home board – you can only remove checkers on points that match the numbers on the dice rolled.

Two common variants of backgammon that you will find online are HyperGammon and NackGammon which are described below.

For the rules and board setups of dozens of other backgammon games please visit Tom Keith's superb Variants section at Backgammon Galore.

HyperGammon


HyperGammon is a fast-paced variant that is played with only three checkers per side using the same rules as in standard backgammon. The starting position is shown in the image below. You are playing Red and you begin with one checker on each of your three furthest points. Everything else is the same – you can play for fun or for money using the cube and the Jacoby Rule.

 


NackGammon

NackGammon is a version of the game invented by Nack Ballard, the #1 Giant of Backgammon. It is designed to add more skill and creativity to the game. It also uses the same rules as standard backgammon – the difference is the starting position as show below – with two checkers on the 23 points, one taken each from the 13 and 8 points, where normally five checkers go.

There are many other games you can enjoy playing on a backgammon board - GammonLife will soon be expanding our Variants section and will publish the rules of many of the variants listed below:

 

Ace-Deo

LongGammon

Ace-Mid Switch

Mexican Backgammon

Acey-Deucey

Misere Backgammon

American Acey-Deucey

Moultezim

Backgammon to Lose

Nackgammon

Backgammon 1931 Rules

Narde

Backgammon 1969 Rules

Never-Finishing Game

Backgammon 1970 Rules

Old English Backgammon

Blast Off

Pin Game

Blocking Backgammon

Plakoto

Chasing the Girls

Plakoto Express

Chouette

Poof

Crazy Narde

Portes

Domino Backgammon

Propositions

Doublets

Roman Backgammon

Duplicate Backgammon

Roll-Over

Dutch Backgammon

Rosespring Backgammon

Eureika

Russian Backgammon

European Acey-Deucey

Shesh Besh

Fayles

Snake

Fevga

Swedish Tables

French Backgammon

Tables

Gioul

Tabula

Grande Trictrac

Takhteh

Grasshopper

Tapa

Greek Acey-Deucey

Tavla

Greek Backgammon

Tavli

Gul Bara

Tawula

Handicap Matches

Tourne-case

Hyper-backgammon

Trictrac

Irish

Turkish Backgammon

Jacquet

Two Rolls versus Choice

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