Play backgammon

Homemade backgammon board

If you don’t already have a backgammon board, follow these instructions to make your own. If you do, scroll to the bottom to find out how to play!

You will need:

  • 3 pieces of card (A4 is ideal)
  • A ruler
  • A pencil
  • Rubber
  • A pen
  • Sticky tape
  • A coin or bottle lid
  • Scissors
  • 2 dice

To make your backgammon set:

1. Place one of your pieces of cardboard in portrait orientation.

2. Measure the width of the card (A4 is 21cm) and divide it by 6. This gives you the interval at which you need to mark the edge in step 3. (If your card is A4 it will be 3.5cm)

 Marking the card to start creating the board

3. Working across bottom edge place a pencil mark at each interval.

 Marking the height of the triangles on the board

4. Mark 12cm up from the bottom on each edge and then draw a feint line horizontally between them.

Measuring the width of the triangles 

5. Make a small pencil mark on the line you drew in step 4 at a point that’s half an interval in from the left (1.75cm on A4). Then continue along the line marking at full intervals (3.5cm on A4).

Drawing the triangles 

6. Join up the mark lines you’ve made using a ruler and pencil, to create 6 long triangles.

7. Finally, rub out the feint pencil line you made in step 4.

8. You’ve now made one quarter of the backgammon board. Repeat steps 1-7 on the opposite end of the first sheet of card and then twice more on the second sheet.

Colouring the black and white triangles

9. Next, you need to colour in the triangles so some are white and some are black. It’s important that they’re done in the correct order. With one board in front of you, work along the bottom edge so that the first triangle is white, the next is black etc.

10. To colour the triangles at the other end of the board, turn it around so that they run along the bottom and again, start with white on the left hand-side.

11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 with the other sheet of card.

12. Lay the two pieces of card next to each other with a gap of about 5mm between then (being sure that a white triangle is on the bottom left of both pieces).

Joining the two halves of the backgammon board

13. Stick a length of sticky tape between the boards to hold them together. Repeat on the back so that you have a see-through but non-sticky divider between the two sides of the board (you will see why this is important once you start playing!)

Drawing around a coin to make counters

14. Finally, draw around a coin or bottle lid on the final piece of card to create a counter. You will need 30 counters in total.

15. Colour half of the counters in black and leave the rest white.


Playing backgammon 

You’re now ready to have a go at playing backgammon! Watch this video to learn all you need to know: