How to Play Acey Ducey

By Jared Newman

Acey Ducey is a variation of backgammon with several key differences: All the checkers start off the board, there is no "doubling cube," scoring is different and a dice roll of one and two (acey-ducey) has added value. Still, the overall strategy is the same, so it's a great way for backgammon fans to change things up a bit.

Starting Off

One player starts with 15 checkers on the top right side of the board, and the other player starts with 15 checkers on the bottom right side. The top player is trying to move checkers counter-clockwise around the board to the bottom right side, while the top player is trying to move clockwise.

Each player rolls one die, and the player who rolls highest goes first.

The starting player rolls, and the dice represent two separate moves the player can make. Two different checkers may be moved, or one checker can be moved in increments established by the dice.

Players take turns rolling the dice and moving pieces.

If a player's "hits the blot," or lands on a space occupied by one (but not more than one) of the opponent's checkers, the opponent must move that checker to the "bar," or the column running through the center of the game board. During the next dice roll, the opponent must attempt to move the checker to an open space in his or her starting quadrant. If the opponent cannot move because the space is not open, the rest of the opponent's turn is forfeited.

Doubles and Acey Ducey

When doubles are rolled, the player may move the distance shown on the dice four times.

When a one and a two are rolled, the player moves those distances, then names any set of doubles and moves accordingly (allowing four more moves of that distance).

After rolling Acey Ducey, the player rolls again. Acey Duceys or doubles still count on this roll.

Endgame

A player may only move checkers off the board when all of the player's checkers are in the final quadrant, known as the opponent's "home board."

When a player rolls the dice, any checkers that can be moved off the board using the exact number of spaces seen on the dice must be removed.

If the value of the dice is lower than the distance needed to remove any checkers, the player must move a checker that much closer to the end of the board. If the dice value is higher than the distance needed to remove any checkers, the player must remove the checker that is furthest from the end of the board.

When all of a player's checkers are removed, the winner earns one point for each of the opponent's checkers left on the board.

About the Author

Jared Newman is a freelance journalist who writes about video games and technology. He currently writes for PC World, CD Freaks, Technologizer and the uCrave Network, and holds a master's degree in journalism from New York University. Jared is based in Los Angeles, Calif.