(For 1 or 2 Players)
INTELLIVISION BACKGAMMON is identical with the board game. You
can play against the built-in computer at two different skill levels,
one for beginners or intermediates, another for experts! You can
sharpen your game, become a player of championship caliber! If you
like, two players can compete against each other. All the strategy,
luck and suspense of today's most popular board game are at your
fingertip, electronic control!
This first part of the instructions is for those who already know how
to play Backgammon. If you have never played or want to brush up
on the rules, please begin with Part II.
1. THE DICE
Press  through  to move your piece that number of points.
2. SELECT GAME
You can play BACKGAMMON three different ways. One player can
compete against the computer at two different skill levels, or two
players can compete against each other. The computer is a good
player, but it is not unbeatable. At Level 1 it plays a "safe",
conservative game, a good choice for beginning or intermediate
players. At Level 2 the computer plays a more sophisticated, daring
game, a challenge for advanced players.
Press  to play a two player game.
Press  to play a one player game at Level 1
Press  to play a two plauer game at Level 2
3. [CLEAR] -- Press this key if you change your mind about a move
you have made. Your pieces will then be returned to the positions
they were in at the start of your turn (you must press [CLEAR] before
MOVE TWO -- If you roll "doubles," you can move two pieces at the
same time by pressing MOVE TWO  before pressing the  through
[ENTER] -- Press this key after you have made all your moves on
each turn. This will cause the dice to roll for your opponent's next
turn. Even if you're unable to move any pieces on a particular turn,
you must press [ENTER] to make the dice roll. If you are playing
against the computer, the dice will roll automatically for your turn
after the computer has made its moves.
MOVE CURSOR -- Press this disc to move the "cursor" along ("brown
ring" indicator). The cursor designates which piece you want to move.
Each time you press the disc the cursor will move to your next
moveable piece. (Be sure to press lightly so that the cursor does not
go past your intended piece -- if this should happen continue
pressing until the cursor arrives back at the piece you want to move
-- you cannot move the cursor backwards.
PIP COUNT -- Press either top side button to see the "pip count,"
which is a running score of the game. The pip count is found by
multiplying the number of pieces on each point times the value of
that point. The lower your pip count, the better. (For more about the
pip count, consult a book on the complete rules of backgammon.)
HOW TO PLAY
1. Turn Master Control Switch ON, insert cartridge, put
BACKGAMMON overlay in your Hand Controller, and press RESET. You
will see the title "BACKGAMMON" appear on your screen.
2. Now press the Disc on your Hand Controller to begin play. The
BACKGAMMON board will appear.
3. Select Game
Choose the way you want to play. Press Level 1  or Level 2  to
play against the computer, or TWO PLAYER  for competition
between two players. Selecting the game will also produce the first
roll of the dice.
4. When the Dice Roll
The dice will appear on your screen to the right of the board. When a
die is rolling it is blue in color. As soon as it comes to rest its color
changes to white or black depending on whose turn it is. When
playing against the computer, your dice (and pieces) are white. The
computer's dice (and pieces ) are black.
The first roll of the dice is to determine who moves first. As the
rolling blue dice come to rest one will turn white and the other black.
Whichever color is the higher number wins the first turn, and both
dice will then turn the color of the higher die. The player who gains
the first turn combines the two dice to make his first moves. For
instance, if you are playing against the computer and on the first roll
the black die comes up 5 and the white die 3, then the computer
wins the right to move first and both of the dice will turn black. The
computer can then use the 5 and the 3 for its moves.
Important: Each of the dice will also turn blue after a player has used
that die to make a move. Thus a stationary blue die indicates a move
that has been used up.
5. Choose the Piece You Want To Move
The cursor (brown ring) will automatically appear on the first
moveable piece of whichever player has won the roll of the dice. If
you don't want to move your first piece, move the cursor along with
the MOVE CURSOR Disc to whichever piece you prefer to move.
6. Now Move Your Piece
After you've chose the piece you want to move, press the  through
 on your Hand Controller corresponding to which ever of the two
rolled dice you want to use first. Your piece will move to the point
you have chosen. Note: If you roll "doubles," four dice will appear.
Remember a die turns blue after you've used the move indicated by
If you change your mind about your move, press [CLEAR], then move
7. Roll the Dice Again
After you've used all your available moves on each turn, press
[ENTER] to roll the dice for your opponent's next turn. After the
computer moves, the dice roll automatically for your next turn.
8. Stacking Pieces
If you run out of room on a point and must stack you pieces, each
stacked piece will be indicated by a dash (black or orange). Thus, a
piece showing one dash means that one piece is stacked on top of
another. A piece showing two dashes means that two pieces are
stacked on top of another for a total of three pieces.
9. Hitting A blot
If you have left a "blot" (single piece) on a point and your opponent
"hits" (lands on) it, your piece will automatically be placed on the
"bar" in the center of the board. On your next turn the cursor will
automatically appear on your hit piece. You must re-enter that piece
before moving any other.
10. Bearing Off
The first player to bear off all his pieces will be greeted by a
"victory" tune (you must press [ENTER] after bearing off your least
piece). If the computer wins, it will blow its own horn (no need to
If you think your situation is hopeless and you want to move on to
the next game, you can resign by pressing the Level 2 key  twice.
This will produce a victory tune for your opponent. (If you don't care
to hear the tune, just press RESET.)
12. Starting Over
To start a new game, press game selector or RESET.
BUZZ!! If you try to make a move that isn't allowed, you'll hear a loud
buzz. This will occur when:
* you have tried to move to a point that isn't open--
* you have tried to move a different number of times than the dice
* you have tried to use a die that has already been used (blue die) --
* you have tried to bear off before all your pieces are in your home
All set?!! Now enjoy INTELLIVISION BACKGAMMON
HOW TO PLAY BACKGAMMON
Backgammon is a game played by two players (in INTELLIVISION
BACKGAMMON the computer can be one of the players). Each player
has 15 pieces. The object of the game is to be the first to move all
your pieces completely around and finally off the board. Moving
your pieces off the board is called "bearing off". The first player to
bear off all his pieces is the winner.
Each player moves in a direction beginning from his opponent's
Home Table and coming around to his own Home Table. Thus one
player always moves clockwise and the other always
Following is a glossary of the main terms used in Backgammon:
1. Bar -- the blank space running vertically through the center of the
2. Bearing Off -- moving all your pieces off the board after they have
completed their course to your Home Table.
3. Block -- when your opponent has two or more pieces on a point;
you cannot move to that point.
4. Blot -- a single piece on a point. Can be "hit" at any time.
5. Doubles -- two dice with the same number of spots. Doubles your
6. Hit -- landing on an opponent's blot. A hit piece is moved to the
7. Points -- triangular spaces 24 in all. You move your pieces from
point to point.
8. Re-Enter -- to move a hit piece from the bar back into play. A
player must re-enter a hit piece(s) before he can move any other
pieces. The hit piece must be re-started from an open point in the
opponent's Home Table.
9. Table -- a portion of the playing board. Before beginning to bear
off, you must bring all your pieces around to your Home Table.
A player can move his piece to any one of the "points" so long as that
point is not occupied by two or more of his opponent's pieces -- then
it is "blocked". Whether a player can actually move to an open point
depends upon a roll of the dice. Pieces move according to the count of
A single piece on any point is called a "blot". a blot can be "hit" --
that is, if you land on your opponent's blot, his piece must be
removed from the point and placed on the "bar" in the center of the
board. He then cannot move any other pieces until he re-enters into
play his hit piece. If he does not get a roll of the dice that allows him
to move his hit piece from the bar to an open point in his opponent's
Home Table, he must surrender his turn without having moved.
The players take turns rolling two dice (except at the start when
each player rolls one) and each can move his pieces according to the
numbers on the dice.
You can move any piece at the head of a point as follows:
. . . you can move the same piece twice in succession, once for the
number on one of the dice, and again for the number on the other,
provided that each of the two numbers thrown can move the piece to
unblocked (one or no opponent pieces) points.
. . .if you can use only one of the dice to move, then the other one is
ignored and your opponent takes his turn after your one move.
. . . if you are unable to move with either one of the dice, you must
surrender your turn.
. . . if there is a move available, you must make it.
In the event that a player rolls two matching dice, this is called
"doubles" and entitles the player to a double move. If, for instance,
you roll two fours, you can then move one piece 16 points, or two
pieced 8 points each, or four pieces 4 points each, or any combination
of moves in multiples of 4. (INTELLIVISION BACKGAMMON will
automatically show four dice if you roll doubles.)
There is no limit to the number of your own pieces that you can have
on the same point at the same time. If you run out of room on any
point you can "stack" pieces one on top of the other.
Before you can begin to bear off any of your pieces, you must have
moved all your pieces into your Home Table. You can then bear off
according to the count of the dice. If you roll a number higher than
the number of points needed to bear off a piece, you can still use that
roll to bear off provided that the piece in question is your first
available move. For instance, if you roll a six but your first moveable
piece is on the 4 point in you Home Table, you can use the six roll to
bear off that piece.
At the start of play each player rolls one die to determine who has
the first turn (INTELLIVISION BACKGAMMON automatically rolls one
die for each player). The higher die wins (repeat in case of a tie), and
the winning player combines both of the dice to make his first
Imagine Your Starting A Game: White vs Black. Each throws one die.
The white comes up 5 and the black, 3. So White, with the higher roll,
gets the first turn. Combining the two dice, he can move one piece 5
points and another piece 3 points, or he can move one piece 8 points
provided the individual moves of 5 points and 3 points are both
open. Suppose White decides to move one piece three points, and the
second piece five points.
Black then rolls the dice, and comes up with a 2 and a 4. He chooses
to move one piece two points, and with the remaining 4 he moves
another piece to "hit" the "blot" left by White on his previous move.
White's hit piece must be removed from the point and placed on the
White must re-enter his hit piece from the bar (by getting a roll of
the dice that allows him to land on an open point) before he can
move any other piece. If a player has more than one of his pieces on
the bar, he must re-enter all of them before he can move any other
There are many subtle aspects to Backgammon, such as different
strategies that call for "forward" aggressive play or the "back" game
that involves more defensive, calculated play. In some instances it
may be unwise to hit an opponent's blot if it leaves you vulnerable to
being hit upon his re-entry and thereby set further back in your
Here you are provided with the basic rules of the game, but
INTELLIVISION BACKGAMMON makes it possible for you to practice
and quickly develop your skill. For more about the finer points, why
not try a little library research!
Now return to Part 1 of the Instructions, and enjoy amazing
(c)1979, 1997 Intellivision Productions Inc.