Forum Archive : Miscellaneous

Board orientation

From:   Daniel Murphy
Address:   raccoon@cityraccoon.com
Date:   22 March 1999
Subject:   Re: Board orientation
Forum:   rec.games.backgammon
Google:   36f62c12.4863452@news.inet.tele.dk

> I recently took my first look at Magriel and was surprised to see that
> all his diagrams showed the home boards on the left.   I say
> "surprised" because although fully aware that backgammon can legally
> be played either way round, my admittedly limited experience leads me
> to think that playing with the home boards on the right is most
> common.  Jellyfish is an obvious example as are other boards I have
> downloaded as well as games forums such as Microsoft and Yahoo.
> Bearing in mind that Magriel published his book in 1976, I am led to
> wonder if fashion has changed in recent years.  I would be interested
> to know what is the practice at tournaments (I have yet to
> participate) and to have the views of more experienced players.

You have three questions, really ...

1.  Do published board diagrams usually display the home boards to the left
or right from the reader's point of view?

Either. Rightists include Flint BackgammonNews and Chicago Point. Leftists
include Inside Backgammon and other Gammon Press publications, Backgammon
Magazin, Danish Backgammon Federation's Gammon, Hoosier Backgammon Club
Newsletter, and Costa Rican Backgammon Association publications.

2. Do software programs and internet servers usually display the home
boards to the left or right from your (the player's) point of view?

Either or both. Ideally, the interface should allow the user to choose how
the board should be displayed.  JellyFish's default display is home boards
on the right but you can choose to display them on the left.  I believe
Snowie's default display is to the left with an option to switch to the

I haven't seen enough of the 23 million internet servers (or is only 23
now?) to comment on what common practice is, if any. Again, the server or
its display interface ought to allow you to decide the board's orientation.

3. How is the board usually set up at backgammon tournaments?

Here, of course, there's no question of right OR left since, if you and I
are playing, if my home board is to my right, yours is to your left, and
vice versa. If two players cannot agree how the board will be set up, a
roll of the dice before the match begins decides the question.

If you plan to venture out into the world of "live" backgammon, it would be
wise of you to become comfortable playing with your home board on either
the left or the right.
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