What is Speed Gammon?

Speed gammon is one variation of backgammon that you might find interesting. The rules of the game are similar to the original one, you want to bear off all of your checkers before your opponent. So what is the difference? As you probably already figured it out, it has something to do with the speed of the game. Speed gammon is a variant for those who like to think fast and make important decisions under pressure. Do you think you have what it takes? If so, let’s get into more details of what a speed gammon match looks like.  

How does Speed Gammon work? 

You can find a speed gammon tournament in every major backgammon event around the world. Usually, the format for this kind of competition is a 5 point match with direct elimination. So how fast do you have to play in a speed gammon tournament? 

In a normal tournament, the clock is settled on a 2 minutes per point basis. For example, if you play a 9 point match, you will have 18 minutes in your time bank, the same apply for your opponent. Every time you finish a move and press the clock, you trigger the timer of your opponent. Each player also has a 12 second delay per move. If you take more than 12 second to play, your time bank starts to go down. If your time bank reaches zero, you lose.

Playing with a clock can be very stressful for players who are not used to it, but it becomes even worse in speed gammon. When you play, your time bank is only 2 minutes for a 5 point match with a 10 second delay. As you can realize, you have to use your time very efficiently if you don’t want to sweat at the end. In this variation of backgammon, players are tempted to blitz and attack more to win quickly. But when the position over the backgammon board becomes complex, you have to make very important decisions in a very short time.

To play speed gammon live you obviously need to have a clock, but if you don’t have one you can play online on some good platforms like GammonSpace or Backgammon Galaxy

Give it a try in your local club or online to feel the adrenaline rush and to see if you have what it takes to resist the pressure. May the dice be with you!

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