Motif Backgammon

Motif is a Java applet that plays the game of backgammon. To play, you must have a web browser capable of running Java applets. For example, you can use Netscape Navigator (version 2.0 or later) or Internet Explorer (version 3.0 or later).

Please wait while Motif loads. This may take some time. While you are waiting, why not read the instructions below on how to play? Eventually you will see a picture of a backgammon board in the space below.

If this message appears, then your web browser does not run Java and you will not be able to play Motif backgammon.

How to Play

  1. Motif will say "Welcome to Motif Backgammon!" Click the "Ok" button. Then click the "Start a Game" button. Motif will roll the dice for both players. You are White and Motif is Red.

  2. The player with the higher roll goes first. If Motif goes first, you will see a message saying "Motif is thinking . . ." and after a couple of seconds the red checkers will move to show the play Motif has chosen. Click "Ok" and then click "Roll Dice" to start your turn.

  3. If you go first, move your white checkers according to the numbers showing on both dice. Move each checker by dragging it using the mouse. (To "drag" a checker, position the mouse pointer over the checker, press and hold down the mouse button, and move the mouse.) Once you satisfy the requirements of the roll, the "Ok" button becomes enabled. Click "Ok" to complete your turn, or click "Cancel" to change your play.

    An alternative to dragging is to do a single click on the point that you want to move your checker to. This will move the nearest checker that can legally go to that point.

More information is available in this list of  Frequently Asked Questions.

If you don't know the rules of backgammon, read the Rules of Backgammon before you start.

Motif is a new program, so it may still be a little rough around the edges. Please tell me what you think. If you are reporting a problem, it may help if you indicate what system you are running on (your computer, operating system, and web browser). There is no built-in Help facility yet. But if you really get stuck, send me a mail message and I'll try to help out.

A good source of general information about backgammon is Backgammon Galore. You'll find complete rules, glossary of terms, annotated matches, articles on strategy, and selected postings from

Thanks for trying Motif.

Tom Keith
Last Updated: 14 September 1998