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What happens when you can’t move in backgammon?

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In a backgammon game, a player’s checker can only move to an open space that is not occupied by at least two of the opponent checkers. A move in backgammon is initiated when a die is rolled, and every player has a single roll per turn.

The die roll determines how far a player will move their checkers to an open point on the board.

So, what happens when a player can’t move in backgammon? After a die roll, a player may find out there is no legal move available. As a result, the player’s turn ends right away without making a move. 

Each die is an independent move and a move is legal if the checker is placed on a point not accompanied by at least two checkers. If only one move is legal, then the player should take just one move, and if there is none, the turn comes to an end.

For instance, if a player has rolled three and one, the player can move one checker three spaces and a different checker one space to an open point. Only one move will be legal if one of the points is occupied by at least two opponent checkers. 

If all of the two points are occupied by two or more opponents’ checkers, then none of the moves are legal, and a player turn ends without a move. Answered below are frequently asked questions about what to do when you can’t move in backgammon.

Do you have to move in backgammon if you can?

Yes, a player is required to make moves if they are legally possible. If a player cannot use all of their moves from the die roll, they must use the ones they can and skip the rest if they are not legal.

In a backgammon game, a player must use both of their two moves when they roll the die by moving their checkers the number of times indicated on the die. They can use all four moves if legally possible when there is a double because they do not roll again after doubles.

At the start of a turn, a player has to roll two of their dice. After the dice have been rolled, they have to move one or two of their checkers if the moves are legally available because a player cannot pass a turn in backgammon.

What is the extra die for in backgammon?

The extra die, also known as doubling cube, allows the players to keep track of the recent stakes. The die is rounded with much larger numbers indicated on its faces than a regular six-sided die (2, 4, 16, 32, 64). 

The die is mostly used when the players play a backgammon game as a series, with each player competing to outdo their opponent in reaching certain points, after which the most points earned wins the game. When the game is played for money, the more points earned, the more money the player wins.

The extra die is normally placed at the center of the bar, and no player has control over it. Any player who feels they have an advantage of the game can use the die to offer a double before rolling it. 

The opponent can reject the offer, but the action can cause the player to concede, forcing the opponent to pay one point. When the opponent accepts the offer, the value of the game shoots by double.

What happens when you get hit in backgammon?         

When the opponent’s checker lands on a blot occupied by your checker, the opponent scores a hit, and your checker has to move to the bar. A player cannot continue the game without re-entering their checker back in their home board. 

For that to be possible, they must be able to move their checker to an open point that matches the number on the rolled dice. 

When one checker is on a point in a backgammon game, the checker is more vulnerable for hitting whenever the opponent lands on that particular point. When the opponent lands its checker, your single checker is knocked out to the bar and taken out of gameplay.

Backgammon game rules prevent the player from resuming play unless they return their knockout checker to the board. The checker can only be returned from the bar if the number appears from the dice roll lands the checker to an unoccupied point. 

A player has two options after they roll dice in their turn. If the two numbers correspond to an opponent’s open point, they can move their checker on the point of their choice, and if an opponent checker occupies the point, backgammon allows the player to hit that checker onto the bar as they bring back their knocked-out checker to playing board.

Can you move backward in backgammon?

No, you cannot move backwards in ordinary backgammon. The pieces only move in one direction facing the opponent’s inner tables, and each player moves in the opposite direction. 

In reverse backgammon, a player plays with three dices, two for rolls resulting from forwarding moves and one for the role of a backward move. A player gets to decide either to move forward or backward even when there is no forward moves possible.

Only in reverse backgammon where players can move checkers backward when there is no forward move available. The game is not different from the regular backgammon game, only those pieces are allowed to move backward in reverse backgammon. 

What to do when there are no moves in Backgammon

No Moves Left in Backgammon: Conclusion 

In a backgammon game, when no legal move is available after the dice roll, the turn ends right away without a move. A player can only make a move in backgammon if it’s legal. 

A player moves a checker the number of times indicated on the dice after the roll. A player’s checker can only land on a point if less than two opponent’s checkers do not occupy the point. 

A point occupied by one opponent checker is called a blot, and a player can land on it. When they do, the opponent’s checker is thrown out to the bar, and the checker is said to have been “hit.” 

Yes, a backgammon game requires a player to take as many of their moves as possible if they are legally possible. A player cannot pass a turn in backgammon to bypass a move, and a player must move if there exists one possible legal move.

The extra die in the backgammon resembles that of the regular die and doubles the cube. It’s normally placed halfway on the board with no control of any player. Its purpose is to keep the track record of strakes available during the game.  

When a player gets it, their checkers are knocked out of play to the bar, and a player cannot use their checkers unless they are brought back on the playing board by rolling a dice. The checker can only come back if the number corresponding to the dice roll lands them into an unoccupied point on the opponents board.

There is much strategy that goes into play backgammon. With a bit of forward planning, you will be able to avoid falling into a position where you can’t make a move in backgammon.

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Nick Early

Sunday 5th of March 2023

Question On rules. A player rolls a 3-6. The 6 Is blocked. The player can make the 3 move anywhere Here's my question Which Of these options is correct? Option 1 A player can move his 3 and not his 6 End of turn. Option 2 A player Must move move his 3 First in order to move 6. I hope you understand my short version thank you for your time.


Sunday 5th of March 2023

Both option 1 and 2 sre possibilities. If you can move the 3, you must move it. If the 6 is possible after moving the 3, then you must move the 6 as well.