Tradition says that you "play towards the
light". i.e. towards the brighter side of the
location you are in. Your "home quarter"
is always on your side. So, Black is moved from
top right anti-clockwise into its home quarter and
then, and only then, is "borne off".
Red is moved from bottom right clockwise into its
home quarter and then, and only then, is
"borne off". If you are playing to light
from the opposite direction reverse all this.
start: each player throws one die.
Higher number starts. If both players throw the
same number, both throw again until one has a
Dice must always land on the
board, never be cocked or land on a stone. Otherwise both dice are always thrown
again, even if one was what you wanted !
this "start throw" the player who threw
the higher number starts his play with those two
numbers. He does not have the option to roll again.
Thereafter players roll their own dice.
must advance around the board, in the opposite
direction to your opponent, trying NOT to leave
any stone on its own (sometimes possible,
sometimes impossible) because a stone left on its
own is hitable (a "blot".)
Moving backwards is never allowed.
After the first move, the other player throws his
two dice and plays. Henceforth players alternate
turns of play.
There are 4 ways to move
two differing numbers (say 6 & 1)
A) One stone 1 point then another stone 6 points.
B) One stone 6 points then another stone 1 point.
C) One stone 1 point then the same stone 6 points.
D) One stone 6 points then the same stone 1 point.
But, if a point is
occupied by two or more of your opponent's
you may not stop there.
When you want to move just one stone the two numbers
you threw on your dice, you are not allowed to stop
on the intermediate point if it is occupied by two
or more of your opponent's stones.
You may have 3 and 4,
not be able to move a 3 then a 4,
but can move a 4 then a 3 because the third point
from where you are moving is occupied (by two or
more of your opponent's stones) but the fourth point
from where you are moving is not occupied.
When a player throws his
dice and gets two numbers the same (known as
"doubles") he gets to move four times that
e.g. 6 & 6 = four moves of 6
(24 moves that must be taken in four batches of six)
again, without stopping on points occupied by two or
more of his opponent's stones.
There will be occasions
when you cannot move one or both of your numbers
rolled because your opponent's stones are occupying
If you can move one or the other, you must move the
higher number die. If you cannot move, you forfeit
that move and it is the other player's turn.
You may place as many
stones on a point occupied by yourself as you wish.
There is no limit as to how many.
Here's a hint: If you
have two "builder stones" (third stones on
a point) two points apart and you also get a roll of
two numbers apart, look to see if you can use your
builder stones to advance onto a vacant point.
Thereby advancing and building a wall that blocks
Always leave your two
thrown dice on the board whilst you are in play. You
may change your move if you see a better one. It is
the picking up of your dice that signals to your
opponent that you have finished your turn.
A stone left on its own
is a "blot". If the opposing player throws
a number that allows him to land on that stone he
may move onto that point and the hit blot stone goes
"on the bar" (the centre of the board.)
If he can achieve two
stones on that point or can move the attacking stone
directly onto another point occupied by himself this
is a good move.
Taking an opposing stone but leaving one of your own
stones alone is risky, but may be worthwhile.
Sometimes it is best to not hit a blot stone.
When a player has a
stone on the bar it must come back onto the board
before he makes any other move at all.
Re-entry is from his opponent's home quarter. If a
player cannot get either or all his stones on he
forfeits the roll(s) he cannot use.
When all your stones are
in your home quarter, you then start to "bear
off". Off is over the "side bar".
A stone closest to the side bar is a 1 and a stone
only just in the home quarter is a 6.
If you throw a 6 but have no stone on the six point,
you remove the next highest stone instead. You may
not use the extra number(s) to move any other stone.
Doubles still mean four moves of that number.
If you throw (say) a 2 but have no stone on the two
point but do have stones on higher points, you move
a stone on the three, four, five or six point 2
points towards the side bar.
A stone on the four point would probably be best
because this will occupy the two point for the next
For further instructions:
to use the Doubling Cube
If you do not understand a rule, please send an