Backgammon 101: How is Backgammon scored?

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Games in backgammon are normally played in matches.  This implies players regularly will play a progression of games with an end goal to achieve certain amount of points that has been settled upon by the competing players. Since you’ll be playing matches either with friends, family or in a backgammon club you ought to figure out how to keep the score. Scoring matches is a fundamental ability when learning the basics of backgammon.


Depending on the win, players receive a specific number of points for winning each game in the match. Once a player reaches a predetermined number of points he is declared the winner. So for instance, you’re playing a race to ten points you fundamentally have to win ten games to win that match. But because of certain elements in backgammon you can win a match without fighting your way through each of the ten games to win.

There are routes in which you can increase the number of points you can get for each game you play.

The traditional way, where a game is worth one point, a gammon (where one player wins before the other player has removed any pieces) is worth two points, and a backgammon (where one player wins while the other player still has a piece in their opposing inner table or on the bar) is worth four points.

This can be played with or without the doubling cube; a refused double is scored as a regular win times the previous number on the cube. To make things more interesting, doubles was introduced in the 1920’s. When the player thinks he has the advantage, he can opt to double the game. This effectively raises the stakes as well as the score to twice the original amount.

The use of the doubling cube is considered as the modern way you can raise the number of points you can win in a single game. Every backgammon set comes with one doubling cube, which is the cube shape object that looks like a dice at first only that it has numbers on its faces. Learn more about the double cube by reading our previous article here.

The purpose of the doubling is to enable players to bet or raise the stakes for a particular game yet it can also be used to raise the number of points you can win in a single match. Initially the doubling cube will be set in the focal point of the backgammon board with the number 64 showed. When you feel that you have the favorable position in the game you can offer the doubling cube to your opponent and offer to raise the amount of the score of the game. In the event that your opponent accepts this proposition then the points are doubled and your opponent acknowledges your suggestion and keeps the cube on his side of the table reserving the right to redouble. In the event that your opponent passes on the chance to double he promptly loses and you win at current game value.

Other than utilizing the doubling cube there are different approaches to increase the number of points you can get for each game you play.

Another backgammon nuance you should become familiar with are gammons and backgammons. When you get to bear off all your checkers before your opponent can bear off at least one then whatever the value of the game is after it has been doubled using the cube will again be doubled because you win by what is called a gammon. Backgammons are like gammons but it triples the present value of the game you’re playing. To qualify for a backgammon, you must bear off all your checkers while having opposing checkers on the bar or on your very own home board.


By utilizing these backgammon rules, you can increase the number of points you can earn at the end of every game you play.