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Players start their checkers at opposite sides of the
board, and take turns rolling a die and moving one checker on,
across, or off the other side. The first player to get all their
checkers off to SAFETY wins.
To start, place checkers at HOME and on the first and
second spots for each player.
For the opening roll, both players throw their dice,
and the winner gets to move a checker the difference between the
dice. In case of a tie, roll again.
Only one checker is allowed on a board spot. A checker
may land on an open spot, but may not land on a checker of the
same color. If a legal move exists, a player cannot pass and must
move a checker.
If a checker can land on a single opponent checker,
it gets hit and is moved off the board back to HOME.
But when a player's checkers are next to each other
on the board, they form a prime and cannot be hit. It is often
a good strategy to gain and keep a prime, because it protects
checkers and can cause the opponent's next turn to be forfeited.
In this position, the white player who rolls a 3 forfeits
a turn because no white checkers can move 3 spots.
Any checker on the board may exit to SAFETY with a
high enough roll; an exact roll is not needed. Thus the black
checker on spot 4 could exit with a 4, 5, or 6.
A shutout is called a NANNON, and counts as two games.
This rare event, when the loser has no checkers to SAFETY, is
marked by the winner banging their fist on the table and shouting
Because the games are short, they are usually played
in a match, where the first player to gain e.g. 11, or 21 points
is the winner. A single game counts for 1 or 2 points, times the
(optional) doubling cube stake value.
Doubling is a lifetime skill which adds excitement to a match
by allowing players to alternatively raise the stake of a single
game as luck favors their position. NANNON uses the same doubling rules as Backgammon, you can
read a primer at http://bit.do/ubling.
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