The 24-Point Backgammon Notation

Recording backgammon games come in handy for further study. You can go back to a previous position you had and see what you would have done differently. Reviewing your games will definitely help you improve in backgammon. To be able to do this you should learn the 24-point numbering system, which is the next part of our backgammon basics.

In the 1970s Paul Magriel developed the 24-point numbering system which is today's current method of recording backgammon games. This is a very common and easy way of depicting the movement of checkers and the action going on in backgammon. If you feel you need to review the rules on backgammon checker movement you should go to that page since it is a prerequisite to understanding this notation.

In the 24-point numbering system the points on the backgammon board are numbered from 24 to one. From left to right the points on your side will be numbered from 12 to one and the points on your opponent's side will be numbered from 13 to 24 from left to right. Obviously, your checkers will be moving in the direction following the direction of the 24-point going down to the one-point. Players may run their checkers in a counter-clockwise or clockwise direction, but most of the time it is a counter clockwise direction.

The word "bar" is used to represent any backgammon checker at bar or is entering from the bar. Bearing off a checker will be represented by the word "off". And that is how we represent the positions of the checkers in this backgammon notation system. Now we'll move on to how we record the moves during an actual game.

Some people will want to see the dice rolls made in a game some won't require it but this backgammon notation does include a way for recording them. The dice rolls will be shown as either "4-2" or "42", which means you get a four on one dice and a two on the other.

Now to show the movement of your backgammon checkers on the board you first write the number of the point where your checker came from. Then place a slash after it followed by the point where it is supposed to land. Let's say we rolled a 4-2 and we decide to bring down a checker from the 13-point to the 9-point so the move is recorded as "13/9". Now for the other dice result we move one checker from the 24-point and it is recorded as "24/22".

Now if incidentally you hit a checker along the way just put an asterisk after your movement notation like so: "13/9*". Putting it all together you have 4-2: 13/9* 24/22, entering from the bar will go like bar/24 and so on. Understanding the notation is part of backgammon basics and it is really easy and practical.

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