Tavla is the Turkish backgammon game. It shares the same board setup and checkers movement as backgammon, and in both game, the first player who bears off his checkers, wins the game. However, Tavla is played without the doubling cube, and backgammon score (triple game) is impossible. Continue reading to find out about Tavla rules including the differences between Tavla and backgammon.
Tavla Board Setup
To set up the Tavla board each player places 2 checkers on the opponent's 1-point, 3 checkers on his 8-point, 5 checkers on the opponent's 12-point and 5 checkers on their 6-point, same as in backgammon.
To begin the game, both players roll one die each, and the player with the higher roll, rerolls the two dice to open the game. In a series of games, the game is opened by the winner of the last game.
Hitting and Entering in Tavla
The hitting and entering rules in Tavla are the same as in backgammon, with one exception: Tavla players are not allowed to run after hitting the opponent's blot in their home board. When a Tavla player hits inside his home board, he can either use another checker to cover the hitting checker or leave it exposed.
After all of the player's checkers have been removed to his home board, he begins to bear off his checkers according to the roll of the dice. Unlike in the backgammon game, in Tavla, the players cannot use some of the pips to move a checker forward during bearoff.
If a player has borne off all of his checkers after the opponent has borne off at least one checker – the player wins the game and the opponent loses one point.
If a player wins the game while his opponent has not borne even a single checker – he the opponent loses two points.