Forum Archive : Rules

Moving checkers with two hands

From:   Michael Strato
Date:   7 June 2000
Subject:   Two-Handed Backgammon
Google:   xTD%4.7118$

I first started playing Backgammon in the seventies with a group of friends
my own age. We got the basics from a Hoyle's Book of Rules and played for
the fun of the game. During the eighties, I played often with an Arab
friend who was much older than me. This man was also my employer at the
time and we worked together on his plantation in the Costa Rican

It was customary to take a siesta after lunch but sometimes we would get
out the old Backgammon board and play a few matches. He had been a
tournament player in Florida during the seventies and it was very difficult
to win against him unless I got lucky. He never really offered to teach me
the game, I had to learn by studying his moves.We usually played for very
small stakes, in Costa Rican currency (colones) probably equivalent to10
cents a point and we did use the doubling cube.

Well, to make a long story short, I got really excited one day when I got
doubles to hit him and close my homeboard and I used both my hands to make
different moves at the same time. He got a little upset and said, "If you
do that in my country, you're liable to lose a few fingers in the process."

I know that tournament rules state that "Players should move clearly, using
only one hand to play the checkers." and I can understand that two hands
and/or arms over a board will hamper an opponent's view of what is going
on. However, in a few places I have checked for the general rules of
Backgammon (in books and on the Internet) there is no mention restricting
the use of both hands by a player.

Do you think this rule should be standard so that people start out right?

Michael Crane  writes:


The Biba Rules For Tournament Play clearly state; 4.3 Moving: "Players
should move clearly, using only one hand to move the checkers."

This is a tournament rule, but, as far as I know not a rule of backgammon.
Perhaps it should become one. I must admit that I don't know of any
definitive rules for backgammon. Do any exist? If not then we, as a
backgammon community might consider writing some and set about getting them
accepted as 'official' . Any comments?

Michael Crane
Biba Director
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