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THE GAME OF BACK-GAMMON.
The Game of Back Gammon is allowed on all hands to be the most ingenious and elegant game next to chess. The word is Welch, and signifies little battle. The origin and antiquity of the game has been accordingly ascribed to the Cambro Britons, although it is claimed also by the French and Spaniards. This game is plaved with dice by two persons, on a table divided into two parts, upon which there are twenty-four black and white spaces, called points. (See the table represented.) Each player has fifteen men, black and white, to distinguish them, which are disposed of in the following manner: Supposing you play into the right-hand table, two are placed upon the ace point in the adversary's table, five upon the six point in the opposite table, three upon the cinque point in the hithermost table, and five on the six point in your own table: the grand object in the game is to bring the men round inte your own table; all throws that contribute towards it, and prevent your adversary doing the like, are advantageous, and vice versa. The best first throw upon the dice is esteemed aces, because it stops the six point in the outer table, and secures the cinque in your own, whereby your adversary's two men upon your ace point cannot get out with either quatre, cinque, or six. This throw is an advantage frequently asked and given by a superior player to one not equally skilful. It is necessary for a learner to know how many points he ought to throw upon the two dice, one throw with another. There are thirty-six chances upon two dice, in which there are 294 points. Thus:
2 Sixes . . . . . 1 5 and 4 twice . . . 2 2 Fives . . . . . 1 5 and 3 twice . . . 2 2 Fours . . . . 1 5 and 2 twice . . . 2 2 Trois . . . . . 1 #5 and 1 twice . . . 2 2 Deuces . . . . 1 4 and 3 twice . . . 2 *2 Aces . . . . . 1 4 and 2 twice . . . 2 6 and 5 twice . . . 2 #4 and 1 twice . . . 2 6 and 4 twice . . . 2 3 and 2 twice . . . 2 6 and 3 twice . . . 2 #3 and 1 twice . . . 2 6 and 2 twice . . 2 #2 and 1 twice . . . 2 #6 and 1 twice . . . 2 - Chances, 36
Divide 294 by 36 gives 8, which is the average throw upon two dice.
To know the odds of being hit upon an ace.
Look in the table, where you will find thus * marked.
So that it appears that it is 25 to 11 against hitting an ace, upon a certain, or flat die.
The same method may be taken with any other flat de, as you have seen with the ace.
The odds of entering a man upon 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 points, are
To enter it upon for against. for against. 1 point is 11 to 25, or about 4 to 9 2 points 20 to 16, 5 to 4 3 points 27 to 9, 3 to 1 4 points 32 to 4, 8 to 1 5 points 35 to 1, 35 to 1
The odds of hitting, with any chance, in the reach of a single die, are,
To explain to a learner how to find by the table of 36 chances the odds of being hit upon any certain or flat die, this second example is added, to show how to find by that table the odds of being hit upon a 6.
By which it is evident, that it is 19 to 17 against being hit upon a 6.
The Odds of the Hits,
2 love is about 5 to 2 2 to 1 is 2 to 1 1 love is 3 to 2 1. If you play three up at back gammon, your principal aim, in the first place, is, either to secure your own or your adversary's cinque point; when that is achieved, you may play a pushing game, and try to gammon your adversary. 2. The second best point (after you have gained your cinque point) is to make vour bar point, thereby preventing your adversary's running with two sixes. 3. After having proceeded thus far, you are then to prefer the making vour quatre point, in your own tables, rather than the quatre point out of them. 4. Having effected these points. vou have a fair chance to gammon your adversarv. if he is very forward: for, suppose his tables are broke at hone, it will then become your interest to open vour bar point, and to force him to come out of your tables with a six; and having your men spread, vou may not only catch that man which your adversary brings out of vour tables, but you will also have a probability of taking up the man left in your tables (supposing that he had two men there.) And suppose he should have a blot at home, it will then be your interest not to make up your tables; because, if he should enter upon a blot, which you are to make for the purpose, you will have a probable chance of getting a third man; which, if achieved, will give you, at least, 4 to 1 of the gammon; whereas, if you have only two of his men up, the odds are in his favour that you do not gam. mon him. 5. If you play for a hit only, one or two men taken up of your adversary's makes it surer than a greater uumber, provided that your tables are made up.
6. Instructions how to carry your JMen home,
When you carry your men home, in order to lose no Point, you are to carry the most distant man to the bar
point of your adversary, that being the first stage; the next stage is six points farther, viz. in the place where your adversary's five men are first placed out of his tables; the next stage is upon the sixth point in your tables. This method is to be pursued till your men are brought home, excepting two, when, by losing a point, you may save your gammon, by putting it in the power of two fives or two fours to save it.
7. When a hit is only played for, you frequently should deavour to gain either your own or your adversary's cinque point; and if that fails by your being hit by your adversary, and you find that he is forwarder than yourself, you must throw more men into his tables; which is done thus: put a man upon your cinque or bar point, and if your adversary neglects to hit it, you may then gain a forward game, instead of a back game; but if he hits you, you must play for a back game, and then the greater number of men which are taken up make your game the better, because you will, by that means, preserve your game at home; and then you should endeavour to gain both your adversary's ace and trous points, or his ace and deuce points, and take care to keep three men upon his ace point, that if you hit him from thence that point may remain still secure to "Ou.
8. At the beginning of a set do not play for a back game, because it would be running the risk of a gammon to win a single hit.
For playing, at setting out, the 36 chances of the lice, when you are to play for a gammon, or for a single hit.
1. Two aces, to be played on your cinque point and bar point. 2. Two sixes, to be played on your adversary's bal point, and on your own bar point. 3. *Two trois, to be played on your cinque point, and * trois point in your own table, for a gammon enly. 4. tTwo deuces, to be played on your quatre point in your own tables, and two from the five men placed in your adversary's tables, for a gammon only.