Recording Games Using the 24-Point Numbering System

Today's backgammon books and game transcripts use the 24-point numbering system. This is an efficient method of recording backgammon games for future reference. This method of recording your games may not exactly be part of the official backgammon rules but since this is the method of choice today it will help newcomers explore the game even further.

Obviously, the 24-point numbering system gives a specific number for each of the points on a backgammon board. The numbers go from the highest numbered point, which is the 24-point located on your opponent's home board, down to the Ace-point, which is located on your home board. The pattern of the numbers has been described more than once as a U-shape. The actual sequence of the numbers will depend on which side of the board is the home board and which side is the outer board.

When your opponent makes a move you number the points in the opposite direction. The same rule follows if your opponent takes note of the moves. Everything will be recorded according to his perspective and not yours. So you can say that your game will have two transcripts, which aren't really two different transcripts but only taken from different points of view.

In this notation the bar is designated by "bar" and checkers borne off are simply designated as "off". Prior to the use of this method, a 12-point system was used that puts prefixes to distinguish which side of the board you are referring to. It has long been proven that the 24-point numbering system works better and is more efficient.

Moves made by players are recorded using fractions. As an example we'll take this figure in a backgammon game transcript 13/7. The number 13 in 13/7 indicates the original position of the checker prior to the move. The number seven on the other hand indicates the new position of that checker. So a checker from the 13-point was moved to the 7-point.

Hits are simply indicated by asterisks beside the second number on the fraction to show that a blot was hit. Double rolls will have a "(2)" added to the notation. So a 9/3(2) notation would mean two checkers from the nine-point were moved to the three-point. A double will simply be noted as "double to 2" or "double to 4" depending on the value of the double. A take is simply placed as "take" or "pass" in case the other player passes.

The last few pieces of backgammon rules on today's conventional notation includes the following. If no legal moves are possible then "(no play)" indicates that. Dice rolls are recorded as 4-3: (the dice results are separated by a "-" followed by a colon) or simply just 43: (no dashes but would also indicate the same thing). Entering is shown as "bar/21" indicating the point where the checker enters from the bar.


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