A Guide to Backgammon Etiquette

Oftentimes, players get so preoccupied with Backgammon strategies and tactics that they just ignore the protocols for proper conduct in tourneys. No question, winning is what everybody wants, but equally important is earning the respect and goodwill of the other competitors.

Backgammon etiquette for online and land based may differ in some respects, but there are some guidelines that are common to both. For instance, always be polite. When playing in a tournament, do not just sit down and throw the dice. Greet your opponent, be it with a simple hello or handshake.

That does not take a lot of effort, but it does wonders to help ease the atmosphere, and you can ask any Backgammon player out there that it is much easier to play in a friendly than tense or rigid environment.

During the game itself, there are some things that you should always keep in mind, particularly when playing Backgammon face to face.

There will be times when you will get frustrated, but proper Backgammon etiquette should tell you not to express it in a boorish manner. If you are losing, and decided to use the doubling cube, do not slam it down, nor yell "take" or "drop". Just keep your voice at a moderate level.

You should also avoid playing with your dice when the opponent is strategizing, as it can distract him. Gloating when you are ahead, or cursing when you fall behind the pop count should be avoided at all costs. Backgammon etiquette also states that you should not laugh or deride your opponent when he makes a mistake or rolls a low one.

Another thing to consider when playing Backgammon is whether you are holding things up. Of course it is important to take your time, especially if the game is on the line, but if you are just in the opening stage then you should make your moves quickly, because these moves are standardized.

One of the most annoying things you can encounter is a Backgammon player who prefers to chat with the audience or on his cell phone while playing. These actions are typically not allowed in tournaments, but even if you are not in one, you should refrain from indulging in these activities, as it only shows your lack of commitment to the game.

After the game, congratulate your opponent, but do not tell him that he won because of his rolls; rather compliment him on his strategy, because the fact is that it is the player, not the roll, that wins Backgammon.

The importance of observing Backgammon etiquette cannot be stressed too much: wins and losses come and go, but the impression that you make will remain long after the game. Just be nice and cordial and you will not just continue your play, but find yourself often being invited to participate.

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