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Backgammon Variant: Blocking Game

The blocking game is a backgammon variant where most of its rules deviate from the standard game. For the most part, there are only two things that it has in common with conventional backgammon. Those are how to move checkers and when bearing off can commence as well as how to take them off the board. Other than those two rules, there's a whole different mechanic in the backgammon blocking game.

First of all, all pieces start off the board and the first player (the player who rolls the higher number at the beginning of the game) re-rolls the dice to determine their first move. Also, all checkers must be reentered on the opponent's inner board before they can start their journey on to their own home quadrant.

After this initial phase is complete, moving around the board is governed by this rule - that a lone piece on a point makes it a closed point (hence the game's obvious name) and there is no hitting in this backgammon variant. Now, those rules already prove to be interesting divergences from the conventional game. But there are more rules at this point as it doesn't stop there.

Let's say a player covers that lone checker of theirs. In turn, it results to that point being open again. That means an opposing checker can land on it. And if an enemy piece does land on it, consider it closed and owned by the opponent.

Now, if your opponent covers the same point (hence, there's two of yours below it and two of theirs on that point), that point is again considered open. What's more, regardless of which checker lands on it again, it will be open from that moment on - unless of course, checkers have advanced and it reverts to aforementioned circumstances.

What's more interesting is the inventory concept that's added to the blocking game backgammon variant. That is the '"last in, first out" concept where the last checker on a stacked point may be used in playing a roll. That means, all the other checkers that have been covered just have to wait before they can move on.

A backgammon variant aims to deviate from the conventional game and is a direct result of the game's versatility. And the blocking game definitely proves that point. If you want more deviations in a game, blocking backgammon is a good choice. There's no hitting, all pieces start off the board, entire pieces must be on the opponent's inner board before they can go on their merry way, one checker on a point makes it closed and two of the same player's piece doesn't, and you've got the "last in, first out" rule thrown in there to boot!

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