Forum Archive : Variations


From:   Chiva Tafazzoli
Date:   11 June 2009
Subject:   What About Sassangammon?
Forum: Forums

SassanGammon is an entertaining, yet skillful variation of backgammon,
invented by and named after Sasan Taher, a player from the SF area.

It starts like regular backgammon. Both players roll a die to start and the
higher number gets the roll to play.

After that, the other player rolls 3 dice and his opponent picks one,
leaving him to play the 2 remaining numbers. Once the roll is completed,
the player on roll shakes and rolls 3 dice, his opponent deciding which 2
he has to play, etc...

Try it out. Itīs fun.

Richard Munitz  writes:

It was interesting, and it is hard to learn over the board. I found out
quickly that 3 point boards are as powerful as 4 point boards in regular
backgammon. 5 point boards are like closed boards. So don't get hit.
However, it is not so easy to hit a shot either. So you can aggressively
slot points.

Anyway, it was an interesting variant which unfortunately I spent my one
game that I played on the roof the whole time.

It did not interfere with other events in any way since it was only 1-

Interestingly, some Sassangammon action developed after hours in the bar
which attracted a bit of a crowd.

Stick  writes:

Many of backgammon's variants are more interesting, at least initially,
than backgammon itself. Takigammon, Sassangammon, Nackgammon, etc... I have
never even played sassangammon but considering all the factors it changes
of normal bg I thought it would be a good game.

I would prefer to have it clocked because I don't need my opponent sitting
there for 2 minutes trying to figure out what combination of dice works
best/worst for me. It'd be a lot of clock smacking but I feel clocks are a
necessary piece of the thriving backgammon puzzle, I'd implement them.

You have to realize shots are tougher to hit than usual, dancing is more
likely, and you can toss your racing formulas out the window. Since it was
only 1 pointers no formula was needed, but I think that'd be an extra
splash of tabacco to have it be a 5 point match (clocked) then people
wouldn't know when to cube in a race, how hard it is to clear points in
holding game v. how hard it is to hit the shot even when you get it, what
the rate of gammons lost is in something like this, etc... It tosses
everything back to square one in a sense, there's no bot to tell you the
best way to play.

Sassan  writes:

Hearing from those who have tried the game and having played enough
sassangammon myself to observe the outcome of games where there is a
checker on the bar dancing too long with 3 dice, I am proposing a
modification or enhancement to the game.

When you have a checker on the bar, you get to roll with 2 dice.

This simple change would tilt the balance back to normal probabilities
we are used to when dealing with chances of coming in when hit.

I trust this will take away some of the frustration generally associated
with rolling dice and let players focus on understanding the opponents
position as well as their own.

Good luck and have fun playing.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



Acey-deucy  (J. Nagel, Dec 2004) 
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Acey-deucy  (Lee+, Jan 1997) 
Acey-deucy  (John David Galt+, Dec 1995) 
Acey-deucy  (James Eibisch, Apr 1995) 
Backwards play  (Colin Bell+, Feb 1996) 
Bad advice  (Jason Lee+, Mar 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Best-of-n variant of match play  (Tim Chow+, Feb 2009) 
Bluff Cube  (Timothy Chow+, Dec 2012) 
BluffGammon  (Christian Munk-Christensen, June 2009) 
Cancelgammon  (Ilia Guzei+, Mar 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Domino backgammon  (Laury Chizlett, Sept 1999) 
Duodecagammon  (David Moeser, Dec 2000) 
Duplicate backgammon  (Dean Gay+, Jan 1997) 
Duplicate backgammon  (Albert Steg, Feb 1996) 
Exact bearoff  (Chris Moellering+, Dec 2002) 
Fevga  (George, Sept 2004) 
Fevga (or Moultezim)  (Igor Sheyn+, May 1995) 
Freeze-out match  (Dave Brotherton, July 1998) 
Gabgammon  (jckz, Oct 2005) 
Greek backgammon  (Alexandre Charitopoulos, Aug 2003) 
Greek backgammon  (Alexandros Chatzipetros, June 1997) 
Greek backgammon  (Marc Jacobs+, Feb 1994) 
Hit man  (Matt Reklaitis, Jan 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Hyper backgammon  (Gregg Cattanach+, Dec 2000) 
Hyper backgammon  (Michael A Urban, Oct 1993) 
International backgammon  (Bob Lancaster+, Oct 2002) 
Jacquet  (Mark Driver, June 2001) 
Joker cube  (Joe Russell+, May 2011) 
Khachapuri  (Michael Petch+, Sept 2010) 
Kleinman's tandem backgammon  (Fabrice Liardet+, May 2010) 
LongRun  (Bill Hickey, Mar 2010) 
Longgammon  (Michael Strato, Dec 2000) 
Low number first, fixed dice, others.  (Walter Trice, Jan 1997) 
Mexican  (Tom Henry, Apr 1997) 
Middle Eastern backgammon  (Alan Cairns, Mar 2002) 
Misere (backgammon to lose)  (Jason Lee+, July 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Misere (backgammon to lose)  (Jason Lee+, Apr 1995) 
Misere, Chase, Skewed dice  (Stein Kulseth, Jan 1997) 
Nackgammon  (Ken Arnold, July 1996) 
Nackgammon Shuffle  (Stick, Sept 2011) 
Nackgammon opening moves  (Warwick+, Feb 2002) 
Narde  (narde, Nov 2006)  [Long message]
Nardi  (KL Gerber+, Nov 2002) 
No hit  (RedTop+, May 2004) 
Nuclear backgammon  (Walt Swan, Apr 1997) 
Old English  (Nick Wedd+, Feb 1996) 
One roll lookahead  (Stephen Turner, Mar 1997) 
Opening slot rule  (Gregg Cattanach, June 2006) 
Other variations  (Douglas Zare, Feb 2000) 
Plakoto  (Ed Dengler+, May 1995) 
Plakoto  (Pasteel M., Feb 1994) 
Plakoto express  (Athansios Vagias, Feb 2005) 
Portes  (George, Sept 2004) 
Roll-over  (Edward D. Collins, Oct 1997) 
Russian backgammon  (Daavid Turnbull, Aug 1991) 
SassanGammon  (Chiva Tafazzoli+, June 2009) 
Shesh Besh  (G.S., May 2003) 
Simborg Rule  (Scott+, Feb 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Slot backgammon  (Fabrice Liardet+, Aug 2008)  [GammOnLine forum]
Sudden death, Woodpecker, Gerhardsen  (Fredrik Dahl, Jan 1997) 
Tablestakes betting  (TrueMoneygames, June 2002) 
Takhteh  (Bruce Scott+, Mar 2003) 
Tandem Backgammon  (Mislav Kovacic, Feb 2012) 
Tavla  (Arda Findikoglu, Nov 2004) 
Tavla  (ucc02cx+, Feb 1997) 
Tavli (Portes, Plakoto, and Fevga)  (Jens Larsen, July 1997) 
Tavli question  (Brus+, Apr 2011) 
Tracy turn around  (Michael J. Zehr, Feb 1996) 
Tri-gammon  (Gregg Cattanach, Sept 2000) 
Trictrac  (David Levy+, May 1998) 
Trigammon  (James Eibisch, Jan 1997) 

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