"Acey-Deucey" Game Rules

by Joshua Benjamin

Acey-Deucey is one of the more well-known backgammon variations and has been a favored pastime among the U.S. Navy, Marines and Merchant Marines since the rules were invented during World War I. The game is designed for two players and is played with the standard backgammon pieces: a pair of dice and 15 checkers for each player. The object of the game is to move your checkers all the way around the board, then "bear off" or remove them from the board.

The Setup

No checkers are placed on the board during setup; rather, they're "entered in" during the course of the game. The setup consists merely of laying out the board, then rolling the dice to see who goes first. The player with the highest dice roll starts first.

The Basics

Once his turn starts, the player rolls the dice and either enters in a checker from his stockpile or moves checkers already on the board. Checkers are entered according to the numbers on the dice; if a player rolls a 4 and a 2, for instance, that player can enter in two checkers on his opponent's side of the board on the second and fourth points. The points are numbered according to their positions on the board, with "1" being the point closest to the beginning edge. Movement is also according to the dice roll. A 4-2 dice roll allows a player to move one checker six spaces, or one checker four spaces and another checker two spaces.

Movement Rules

Checkers may only move to a point that's "open." Open points include any empty point, a point with a single enemy checker, or a point with one or more allied checkers. You cannot land a checker on a point held by two or more enemy checkers. If you land on a point occupied by a single enemy checker, that checker is "captured" and placed on the bar in the center of the game board. Checkers on the bar must be entered into the field of play before any other checkers can be moved. If you cannot enter all your checkers into the field from the bar, you must enter as many as possible then forfeit the rest of your turn. Any roll of doubles requires the dice to be rolled a second time and for all four dice rolls to be used.


A roll of "1-2" on the dice invokes the "Acey-Deucey" rule. The player first moves his checkers according to the normal roll, then may name any set of doubles -- such as "3-3" -- and move his checkers accordingly. The player then rolls again and moves a third time according to the dice roll. If another roll of "Acey-Deucey" comes up, the process is repeated as often as "Acey-Deucey" is rolled.


The object of the game is to move your pieces from their starting spot to the "home" location on the opposite side of the board. Once all 15 checkers are in the "home" location, you may begin bearing them off. Bearing off is accomplished by rolling the dice, then removing checkers from the points with numbers that correspond to the dice roll. A roll of "4-1," for instance, would allow you to bear off a checker from the fourth point and the first point in the "home" section. You win the game when all 15 checkers have been borne off the board.

Special Rules

Both dice must be used in movements wherever possible. If you cannot use both dice due to either blocking pieces or an inability to move a single checker, you must use the highest of the two dice rolls for movement. If you cannot use the highest roll, you forfeit your turn. If you cannot use the second of a double-roll, you forfeit your second roll.


The loser of each game adds one point to her tally for every piece still on the board when her opponent successfully bears off all his checkers.

About the Author

Joshua Benjamin began as a professional freelance writer in 2009. He has successfully published numerous articles spanning a broad range of topics. Benjamin's areas of expertise include auto repair, computer hardware and software, firearms operation and maintenance, and home repair and maintenance. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration from California State University, Fresno.