Acey-Deucey – Sailors’ Backgammon

The backgammon variation Acey-Deucey was a popular pastime among the US Marine Corps during World War I. An article published in the backgammon site Play65 reveals that the game has been entertaining Navy officers already in the beginning of the 1900s. It also shows that even the name “Acey-Deucey” has its roots in the American Navy’s slang.

Acey-Deucey is the nickname given to the dice roll of 1-2. Normally a disadvantageous roll, the Acey-Deucey roll grants its thrower with special privileges: the right to play a desired double of his choice, plus an additional role (on top of the 1-2 roll). Acey and Deucey were also the nicknames of the First and Second Class Petty Officers (respectively), who also entertained themselves in Acey-Deucey Clubs and Lounges.

Acey-Deucey was not the sole occupancy of the command echelon; sailors used to pass the time between one mission to another rolling dice and moving checkers. Acey-Deucey was everywhere, testified one sailor in a letter to the Time’s editor in 1930, “the deck, below decks, in the engine room, the dynamo room and in the turrets and handling rooms”, and was never spotted among the combat corps.

Although Acey-Deucey can be played on the same equipment used in backgammon games, playing the game on the shaky grounds of the sea required some innovations. Therefore, to protect the dice and checkers from sliding and slipping, a special border was built around the backgammon board and the dice were dropped to the playing surface through a tube.

Acey Deucey Rules & Strategy

The acey-deucey advantage is one of the main differences between the standard backgammon and the mariners’ favorite variation. Backgammon and Acey-Deucey also differ in their initial board setup and their final scoring; the Acey-Deucey game begins with both players’ checkers based outside the board and it ends with the loser sacrificing one point for every checker that was not borne off the board.

Despite the great 1-2 benefit and the fact that Acey-Deucey is played without the doubling cube, the game does leave some room for preplanned strategy. Acey-Deucey strategy would focus on the early game, when both players enter the checkers to the board according to the rolls of the dice, the same way players remove their checkers of the board at the end of the backgammon game. Reasonable Acey-Deucey strategy may include quick entering of most checkers and using them to block the opponent’s checkers.

Backgammon Tips For Beginners

People who are interested in learning how to play Backgammon have a lot of work in store for them. While Backgammon is one of the oldest games in world history, and is widely accepted as the world’s oldest board game, that does not mean that the Backgammon rules and Backgammon strategy are simple concepts. In fact, beginners should be prepared for a long introduction to the process of playing Backgammon, as learning all of the intricacies of the game is a procedure that requires much dedication and practice.

Whether playing the live Backgammon board game or playing online Backgammon through Backgammon software, all beginners can learn how to improve their Backgammon game through these simple Backgammon tips. Knowing and understanding how to apply these basic skills and strategies will not only improve your every day game, but will also help you build the ability to incorporate more advanced tips in the future.

Priming

Priming is one of the most effective Backgammon strategies. A prime is basically a consecutive group of occupied points. The idea behind priming is to build up a wall of points that prevents your opponent from progressing around the Backgammon board. If you build up a prime in front of your opponent’s checkers, they will have to roll high dice numbers in order to leap over the prime. A full prime of six occupied points in a row will completely block your opponent from moving forward.

Anchoring

Anchoring is an important defensive tactic. It involves establishing at least one point in your opponent’s home board. Maintaining a stronghold here offers a player many unique advantages. Should a player ever have a checker on the bar, having an anchor provides a safe haven for a hit checker to re-enter the board. Owning one of these points is also an excellent way to block your opponent from making all of the points in his home board. The strategy is strengthened and reinforced by holding two adjacent points as anchors.

Hitting

One of the most beloved strategies of new Backgammon players is hitting. Hitting occurs when your checker lands on an opponent’s blot (one single checker located on a point). A blot is vulnerable to attack because it is a single checker; a point with two checkers is considered to be occupied. When hitting occurs, the opponent’s checker is then sent to the bar, or banished outside of the game, and the opponent must then pause his checkers’ progression in order to re-enter the hit checker back into the game onto an open point. Until the checker has been successfully re-entered, the opponent cannot move his other checkers.

One of the most common amateur Backgammon mistakes is to focus on hitting instead of playing. Hitting should be used wisely; if an opponent already has multiple checkers on the bar, hitting another blot is a less valuable move than making steady progress with your own checkers.

Practice these beginner tips to gain great playing experience when you play free Backgammon online.