10th Apr2019

What Are the Most Popular Backgammon Variants

by James Smith


The Persians are believed to be the original creators of backgammon. This board game dates back to 3,000 BC and is considered one of the oldest of its kind. Even today, millions of people enjoy backgammon since it has spread to almost every corner of the globe. What’s more, there are backgammon tournaments organized all over the world, as the game requires skill and strategy apart from luck.

Even if you don’t own the standard backgammon set, you can enjoy the game online. Backgammon Live on come2play website offers you a chance to compete against other players using your computer or mobile phone. While the original backgammon game has strict rules, these can vary depending on where you are playing. Over the last several centuries, people have found multiple ways to use the backgammon board and create their own rules, some of which were accepted by large groups of players.

In this article, we will mention some of the most popular backgammon variants and tell you how to play them. Read on!


It is believed that this version of backgammon comes from Greece, Turkey, or the Middle East. However, it became increasingly popular prior to World War I among the members of the US Navy. Acey-deucey differs from the standard version in a sense that no pieces are present on the board at the start, meaning that players must place the pieces onto the opponent’s inner board. Also, if a player rolls 1-2, that can count as a double by the player’s choice, and that player gets to roll the dice again. An exact roll is needed for bearing off, and this variant usually doesn’t use the doubling cube.

Russian Backgammon

While it originated in Russia, this version of backgammon became popular all over Europe. Just like in acey-deucey, both players start with checkers off the board. Unlike in the standard version of the game, players in Russian backgammon move the pieces in the same direction. Doubles are especially valuable in this version. Once you roll a double, you will get to play four times the value of your dice, and then play another double move subtracted from 7. For example, if you roll 6-6, then you get to play four 1’s (as 7 minus 6 equals 1), if you roll 2-2, you get to play four 5’s, etc. After you complete these, you get yet another roll.

Dutch Backgammon

Dutch backgammon is another older variant of the game that still remains popular among many players. It plays just like regular free backgammon, the only difference being that both players start with checkers off the board. It’s similar to acey-deucey with the exception of the 1-2 rule.

Hyper Backgammon

Also called Hypergammon, this is one of the more modern variants of the game. Each player uses only three checkers and places them on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th point in order to start the game. Apart from this, the rules of Hypergammon are the same as in the standard version.


This variant of the game was invented by Nack Gallard, hence the name. In this game variant, the only thing that differs from the standard version is the starting position of the checkers. One of each checkers from your 6th point and your 12th point is moved to the 23rd point, so you start with four back checkers instead of two.


Misere, also called Backgammon to Lose, is just like the standard version of the game except that the goal is to actually lose to your opponent. Because of this, the strategies for Misere are much different than in all other variants. Also, due to the fact that you’re trying not to bear off your pieces as much as possible, a round of Misere can be very long.


Backgammon in Turkey is referred to as Tavla. While the rules are similar to those in regular backgammon, there are a few differences. The winner of the opening roll is required to reroll in order to make the first move. There are also special rules for bearing off. If possible, you must bear off a piece without using a smaller number to move that piece closer to the last point. Additionally, the doubling cube is not used in this version.

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