Backgammon Game: Nark Ballard’s Nackgammon

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Nackgammon or “Nack” for short is a variant of backgammon. It utilizes the same backgammon board and accessories, its objectives and guidelines are the same, the main distinction between it and traditional backgammon is the setup of the backgammon board. This variation tends to prompt games which put more emphasis on priming and back games, with less emphasis on attacking and blitzing.


This is the opening setup for Nackgammon. The setup is the same as in Backgammon except that one piece is taken from each of the two points which have five in Backgammon, and are placed on the point which is the second farthest from the home.

Nackgammon was invented by Nack Ballard to force his Backgammon students to practice positional play. Nackgammon games tend to be much longer, since you can’t easily start a race with a 65 or 66 opening-phase roll. Many people consider Nack Ballard to be the greatest backgammon player that ever lived. Other than being a backgammon giant, Nack Ballard is famous for inventing Nackgammon, a variant that uses a slightly modified start position where both opponents have four checkers back instead of only two. In the mid-eighties, Nack Ballard having successfully won the American Backgammon Championship’s and World Championship for two progressive years while still just in his twenties, he tackled the Pro Am circuit in Las Vegas at the time the greatest cash occasion in the entire of the US. Since that time, and in the course of recent years Nack Ballard has possessed the top rankings in his stupendously successful backgammon career, recognized by his companions as one of the best backgammon players on the planet. Nack reigned for six years (2001, 2003 and 2005 cycles) as No. 1, and he was No. 2 before and after (1999 and 2007 cycles). No one else come close to these statistics.

backgammon nack
Nack Ballard accompanied by wife Hsiao-Yee as he plays an event’s main semi-final against Lasse Hjorth Madsen

Nack Ballard is not only an specialist in traditional backgammon but has also demonstrated his value in online backgammon games as well, exhibiting his capacity and adaptability in adjusting to the progressions of the virtual world tools and techniques, in much the same way that he has over the years adapted new gaming systems throughout his own games to win matches.

Nackgammon standards are fundamentally the same to backgammon and the game itself takes place on a backgammon board.  In regular backgammon, every player begins with a pile of 2 on their opponent’s 1-point, 5 on their opponent’s 12-point, 3 on their own 8-point, and 5 on their own 6-point. In Nackgammon, be that as it may, each of the piles of 5 become stacks of 4 and the extra two pieces are put on your adversary’s two-point. This implies as opposed to beginning with 2 checkers in your rivals ‘home’, in Nackgammon you have four. This slight variation in set up has various impacts on the game.  Since you need to get four pieces out from your rival’s “home” a Nackgammon game is often considerably longer than a traditional backgammon game. The way that this game was designed by a best on the planet is no coincidence. This variation of the game takes more skill than customary backgammon; it involves more critical strategy and an elevated capacity for ‘back-gamming’. This game is less attack based, and more guard based.

Everyone loves backgammon the way it is.  It is challenging and exciting. But have you tried playing Nackgammon?  Nack Ballard basically changed the beginning position to put 4 checkers back instead of 2, and the outcome is a significantly a far more complex game.  Nackgammon requires players to be more strategically innovative and imaginative from the very opening, and the starting position leads to a lot more complicated games.