If you’re new to the game of Acey-deucy, the following rules should help get you started playing this simple and fun version of backgammon. If you’re a backgammon enthusiast, you can check out Acey Deucey and start improving your skills before you take on real live opponents.
Acey-ducey shares many similarities with the common game of backgammon. Players begin a game with the same number of checkers and dice. Two home boards on the backgammon board act as the destination to which each player wants to bring his checkers before bearing them off the board altogether.
However, the initial setup of the checkers differs to that in common backgammon rules. Each player must play all of his checkers onto the board instead of starting with them on the board as they do in backgammon. To get checkers onto the board, each player must roll two die. The aim is to get doubles or Acey-deucey, which is when the pip count is one and a two. When a player rolls Ace-deucy, he must move one of his checkers one space and a second checker two spaces. He then receives another turn and must move double (four times) the amount of his choice. A player must move all of his checkers onto the board before he can move those checkers already on the board.
For the purposes of this version of backgammon, a player must roll again each time he rolls a one and a two, or when he rolls doubles. However, several other variants of Acey Deucey exist. One of these stipulates that the player must roll the die again after making acey deucy and use that number to dictate his doubles. Another variant says that if the player cannot move the total amount of doubles after rolling a one and a two, he forfeits his turn.
To make this backgammon game even more difficult, players must roll an exact amount to bear off each checker. If you roll a six and a five, you can only move those checkers that are positioned on your six point and five point, not a checker that is on your four point. This rule can make for some nail-biting finishes. Despite the variations acey-deucy offers on standard backgammon, a player must still be first to remove all of his checkers from his home board in order to win.
Two commonly played versions of Acey-deucy exist; one American and the other European. The American version is thought to have been developed during World War One, where it became popular with sailors and navy personnel. The European version borrowed many of its rules from the American version. Both games are played for fun only, unlike the game of backgammon which is regularly gambled upon. The doubling cube found in backgammon is redundant in Acey Deucey and there are also no points awarded for backgammons or gammons. Instead, the game is considered a pure game of skill due to the difficulties players must face in bearing off exactly and playing all their checkers onto the board before being allowed to move them toward their home boards.