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Backgammon Etiquette

When playing a game of Backgammon, there is a certain etiquette or protocol you should follow to help make sure your game is a happy and pleasant one for both you and your opponent..

Like many other games, Backgammon has its own unwritten code of etiquette that a player is often expected to follow.  Some playing practises can really annoy and grate your opponent and spectators alike.  It is simply good manners not to do these things and following a protocol makes a game of Backgammon much more pleasant and enjoyable for you and everyone else.

Below are some tips and advice on how to behave during the course of a Backgammon game, listing good and bad things a player may do.  A pro knows these things and acts accordingly.

Things you should do...

  • At the start of a game, introduce yourself, shake hands and give your opponent a friendly comment, like "good luck" or just ask something small like "where are you from?".  It doesn't matter exactly how you do this as long as it's in good spirit.

  • At the end of a game, give your opponent a friendly farewell comment like "well played" or "hope to play you again".

  • Both players should keep track of scores to make sure you are both in agreement.  Announce scores and acknowledge it when your opponent does so.

  • Shake the dice properly with at least three shakes.  Roll the dice gently onto the board but make sure your opponent isn't still taking their turn.

Things you shouldn't do...

  • Don't comment on any perceived lucky throws of the dice your opponent may roll.  It implies they aren't skilful or playing well, but just fortunate.  It isn't considered good sportsmanship to do this.  Similarly don't comment on any bad rolls of the dice.

  • Don't waste time.  Of course you should consider your moves, but don't drag it out to ridiculous levels.

  • Don't move the doubling cube unless you have decided to use it.  It's off-putting to touch and pick up the doubling cube when you're just thinking.

  • Don't laugh, sneer, or make any derogatory noise, gesture, or comment at your opponent's moves.  It just simply isn't good play and very off-putting.

  • Don't do other activities, especially when playing online.  It is extremely disrespectful to use your phone and so on, when playing.  Give your game your full attention.

Overall, just consider what effect your behaviour and actions have on those around you.  This makes the whole game more pleasant and enjoyable.







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