Backgammon is an ancient game of skill and chance combined. With William Hill you can pit your skills against other players from around the world or play one of our 'Bots' available to play against at all skill levels.
William Hill Skills offers a variety of two-player Cash or Free games, or you can join in regular multi-table tournaments.
Create Your Own Table
Players are not limited to the tables shown in the skills lobby but can create their very own table specifying the Game, Rules, Wager and Opponent of their choice.
In the Backgammon lobby, click on Create New Table button, and make your choices from the options available. You can choose to play against anyone, or one of the Bots. Your game will then be listed in the lobby. When another player or a Bot joins you, you will be notified by a pop-up. You can access your table by clicking on the green tick in the bottom left-hand corner of the lobby.
Timer: You should always be aware of your Timer in the top right-hand corner of the game window during Backgammon. This is a single bar split into two colours; the green is your 'Move Timer' and the orange your 'Time Bank'. The Move Timer counts down first and gives you 15 seconds to either roll the dice or make your move. If the Move Timer runs out, the Time Bank then starts to count down. The Time Bank starts at 20 seconds but is built up during the game to a maximum of two minutes by making your moves as quickly as possible. Every move you make within your Move Timer increases your initial 20 second Time Bank by five seconds. When your Time Bank approaches zero, the timer bar will flash and give you an audible warning. If it reaches zero, you will forfeit the game.
To move your checkers: left-click and hold to drag a checker around the Board or double-click for the checker to move automatically. To help you, the game will highlight all the legal moves a piece can make when you hover the cursor over it.
Object of the game: To win a game of Backgammon, you must remove all your checkers off your end of the Board before your opponent. Each player starts with 15 red or white checkers and moves them around the board to their 'Home' section (see diagram below); you will always move anti-clockwise and your opponent clockwise. Only when a player has moved all their pieces into their Home section can they start removing them from the Board.
1. Click on 'START GAME' on the right hand side of the game window.
2. Each player has a single die rolled automatically to set the order of play - whoever rolls the largest number starts the game.
3. Players take turns to roll the dice and move their pieces to a destination point. On your turn you will be offered options to either ROLL THE DICE (continue playing) or RESIGN GAME (to forfeit the game). A destination point is only legal if:
A player may move one piece at a time by the exact amount shown on either die or by the combined value of both. For example, a throw of 5 and 4 would allow you to move one checker 5 places and another 4 places, or one checker by a total of 9 places. If a double is thrown, the numbers can be used twice; for example, if you throw a double 4 you could move four pieces 4 places each, two pieces 8 places each, or one piece by 16 places, if legal.
4. After taking a turn, click on the dice or click on the area of the Board where the dice are displayed to confirm your moves; a move can be undone by clicking on 'Undo Move' at the top of the game window but this must be done before your turn finishes.
5. Play continues until a player has moved all their pieces into the Home section and subsequently off the Board, known as 'bearing off'.
You can take, or 'hit', an opponent's piece if they have only one checker on the position you are moving to. This piece is then moved onto the bar section in the middle of the Board. A player's piece in this position must be moved back onto the Board before they can move any other checker in the game. This is done by moving it onto a legal position in the opponent's Home section. When this is done any remaining dice can be used normally. If there are no legal moves, the player's turn is automatically finished and it is the opponent's turn.
There is no limit to the number of pieces you can place on any legal position; however there are specific rules about making moves:
Once, and only when, a player has moved all their pieces into their Home section, they can start moving them off the Board, called 'bearing off'. There are specific rules to bearing off:
The first player to bear off all 15 pieces wins the game/round.
By default the number of points a player gets for winning a round is 1, however, every time the doubling cube is used, the point score doubles, up to a maximum of 64 points.
- When the target score for the game is 1 point. In this situation, the cube is irrelevant.
- When something called the Crawford rule is in effect, which is when a player is within a single point of the target score and the cube is disabled for an entire round.
In addition to the doubling cube, a winner's points can be multiplied further if they score a Gammon or Backgammon:
These are two different ways to wager money on a game of Backgammon:
For example: in a £2 per-point Money Play game, if you score Backgammon (see above) against your opponent, which is worth 3 points, with the doubling cube on 4, you will win £24.
3 points (Backgammon) x 4 (on the cube) = 12 points
12 points x £2 = £24
Please note that the 'Jacoby' rule applies in Money Play games - this means that gammons or backgammons only count when the doubling cube has been offered at least once during the game.
You may choose to resign a game at any stage by clicking on RESIGN. This will automatically forfeit the game to your opponent.
This is not the same as resigning a game by clicking RESIGN on the right-hand side of the game window! Before a player rolls the dice during the game they can offer to resign the round by clicking on the 'Resign Round' button. The player will be asked if they want to offer their opponent either a resignation, a gammon, or a backgammon. If the opponent accepts then the round will end and the score added up appropriately. An offer to resign a backgammon will be automatically accepted.
If their opponent declines then the player can either carry on with their turn as usual, or offer to resign again at the next level up, for example, if they offered a gammon before, they can only offer a backgammon next time.
The resign options are reset each turn.
Please Note: If a player times out, or resigns using the table's RESIGN button, they will lose the whole game, not just that round.
Click on the 'Settings' while in a game to change your settings; these settings will be permanently reset. Settings allow you to:
Hypergammon is a variation on Backgammon. Instead of beginning with 15 checkers, players each start with only three on the 22, 23, and 24 places. As in backgammon, the three pieces must be moved around the Board to the players' Home sections and then born off. All other rules are exactly the same.
Here you will find the lowest backgammon rake on the net from 5% to 1%. The higher the stake, the lower the rake.
The table below gives details of the rake as a percentage of total player-stakes in Match Play games:
|GBP Stake||USD Stake||EUR Stake||Single Point||3-Point||5-Point||7-Point|
Example: A plays B at a 5 point match game for £5. A wins and is returned £9.50 (he nets £4.50). C plays and beats D in a 3 point match for £500. C's winnings are £990, or a net of £490.
As a % of money changing hands:
|GBP Stake||USD Stake||EUR Stake||%|
Example: A plays B at £1 a point and beats B by two points: A's net profit is £1.90. C plays D for £25 per point and wins four points. C's net profit is £98.
Please note: All money sums displayed within the multiplayer lobby and games are accurately displayed in your chosen currency at the prevailing exchange rate. Please note also that there is a minimum rake of 3% when playing house robot players such as probot. (e.g. as per the table above but 3% for all matchplay games of £100 or above).
Currency amounts may fluctuate dependent on the current exchange rate.