The Backgammon Chouette rules on this page have been established through extensive research, with the aim of making the game more appealing and accessible to new players. By summarizing the most authentic rules, we have avoided the unnecessary additions that can make the game slower and more complicated without adding any excitement or fun. Our rules stick to the game’s original version, ensuring a streamlined and enjoyable experience for all players. We have additional pages about Player Rotation and how to fill in the scoresheet for Backgammon Chouette, but if you are new to Backgammon Chouette, read here the rules first.
Introduction to Backgammon Chouette
Backgammon Chouette is the ultimate gambling version of backgammon which can be played with a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 6 people and is played according to the official backgammon “cash game” rules, including the use of the Doubling Cube.
The idea of the game is that one player competes against all other players (who together form a team) in a single money game where one plays for a certain bet per point.
- The player who plays alone is called the BOX. Then the team player who sits behind the board moves the checkers and has the final responsibility is called the captain.
- Under certain conditions, he may discuss with his team members how the captain moves the checkers, but the captain ultimately decides and is the only one who may move the checkers.
- Each team member places his bet separately. This means the BOX places a bet against the captain and any other team member.
- With a bet of 1 euro per point, all team members bet 1 euro, while the BOX bets 1 euro per team member.
- Each participant also has a cube, so when the BOX doubles, he doubles the bet against the Captain and all other team members.
- These team members can double back independently of each other.
- A game can be made through a single game (1x the bet), gammon (2 x the bet) or a backgammon (3 x the bet)
- The payout can occur during or after each game. Also, a scoresheet can be kept whereby the payout occurs at the session’s end.
- When the BOX wins, it collects its winnings from each opponent individually; when he loses, it pays out all its opponents individually.
- All players’ positions rotate, so each player takes turns being a team member, captain, or BOX.
- The position of the BOX is most crucial. You can win or lose a lot at once when you are the BOX.
Required Equipment to Play Chouette
To play Backgammon Chouette, you need 3 to 6 players and the following equipment:
- One backgammon board
- Two sets or 15 checkers
- Two pairs of precision dice
- Two dice cups
- One Doubling Cube per participating player
The Goal of the Game
At Chouette, you play according to the “cash game principle,” where the aim is to win as many points as possible and where a point represents a certain bet. Here you play an undetermined number of games where the score is kept cumulatively.
There is no “match score” – you play one game, win or lose points, then go on to the next game. The more points/chips you win, the more money you win, which is ultimately the goal of Backgammon Chouette.
Determine the Stake and Possible Winnings.
Before the game starts, a certain amount of stake per point is agreed upon by all participants. The amount chosen should be easy to multiply, for example, 1, 2, 5, or 10. During a single game, the stakes can increase considerably due to the use of the cube and possibly double or 3-double payouts in case of winning with Gammon or Backgammon.
Below is an example of when Chouette is played with five players and where the basic bet is 1 euro per point.
- The BOX plays against four players, one captain, and 3 team members.
- The man in the BOX bets 4 euros, and the team members each bet 1 euro.
- If there is no doubling, the Box wins 4 euros in the case of a single game win, 8 euros with a Gammon, and 12 euros in the case of a Backgammon. If the BOX loses, it must pay each team member 1 euro in the case of a single game, 2 euros in the case of a Gammon, and 3 euros in the case of a Backgammon.
- However, as soon as doubling is involved, these amounts double according to how often the doubling cube is turned over.
- When the doubling cube is turned once, the original stake is doubled. In this case, the BOX
- can win or lose 8 euros with a single win, 16 euros with a Gammon, and 24 euros with a Backgammon.
Determining who will start as BOX, Captain, or Team Member
Only the man in the BOX and the Captain can roll the dice and move the checkers. The team members watch but can individually double against the man in the BOX.
- To determine who may start as the man in the BOX, all players must roll one die. The player who rolls the highest number starts as the man in the BOX, the player who rolls the second highest number starts as Captain, and the next player is the highest-ranked team player.
- When players roll an equal number of eyes, only those players in question must roll again to determine the ranking between them.
Order of Play and Player Rotation
Once a game is over, all players rotate to a new position so that everyone is eligible to play as a man in the BOX or Captain. This rotation of players is determined by the result of the last game played between the BOX and the Captain.
If the man in the BOX stays undefeated, this player remains the man in the BOX. The losing captain must give up his place to the next team member and will join the back of the line himself.
If the captain wins on behalf of the team, he becomes the man in the BOX the next game. The player who lost being the BOX gives up his place and joins the team at the back of the line.
Backgammon Chouette Rules Regarding Rotation
With multiple players and double dice in play, the man in the BOX may win against some team members but lose against others. To determine whether the BOX maintains its position, the following important rule applies:
- The BOX remains the BOX as long as it defeats the captain!
- A double offered by the Man in the Box can be declined by each partner individually. The team member who drops the Cube loses his bet and is out of the game. The loss does not further affect the player’s order in the team’s ranking.
- If the Captain refuses to accept an offered double from the man in the BOX, he loses the game and thus his bet and position. His position rotates so that he joins the back of the team in the next game.
- When the captain rejects the Double, other team members may accept it. The highest ranking of those who accept will act as the Captain until the end of that particular game.
- Accepting or refusing a Double does not change a team member’s rank, except when the captain declines. The Captain will always lose his position when this occurs, even if the accepting partners ultimately win the game.
For example, suppose the BOX doubles, the Captain declines, the first team member in line declines, but the next player accepts. In this case, this player becomes acting Captain, but if he wins, he will not become the man in the BOX next game but only advance in the order. The player in line after the captain becomes the new man in the BOX, even though he lost the previous game.
- If someone wants to stop, he must indicate this at the end of a single game. A player is always entitled to quit, regardless of whether he is winning or losing.
- If enough seats are available, a new player can join each new game beforehand. The new player always starts as a team member at the back of the queue.
- It is forbidden for a player to pass the BOX position by stopping just before becoming the man in the BOX and then re-entering the next game as the last-ranked team player. Not playing or skipping the BOX position can have great advantages and is, therefore, not allowed.
- When the Captain doubles but the rest of the players do not, and the BOX drops, the next player in line becomes “acting Captain” and ends the game. The Captain who beat the box with his double automatically becomes the man in the BOX in the next game.
As usual in Backgammon, the game starts with both players rolling one die. The result of this first roll determines who may start (the one who throws the highest) but also counts as the first throw for the starting player. For example, player A rolls 5, and player B rolls 3. Player A starts the game with the roll 5-3.
It is also possible that both players roll the same number of eyes.
When this happens, the Automatic Double rule is triggered. This means that the Cube is turned over to 2, and the stakes are automatically doubled for all players. The Cube stays in the middle and is, therefore, still accessible to all players.
To determine who may start, a new dice roll must be made.
Different Rules Regarding Automatic Doubles
In Backgammon Chouette, this rule can be applied in different ways.
- Unlimited – Every time the players roll the same number, the Cube turns, meaning the stakes are getting doubled.
- Limited – Automatic doubles are allowed a maximum of 1 or 2 times. This must be agreed upon in advance.
- Limited + forward doubles to the next round – The second roll will move forward to the next game when more automatic doubles are rolled. In this case, the current game will start with the Cube turned to 2, and the next will also start with the Cube doubling once. If a third double is rolled, the game will also start with a double after the next one.
- The Box decides – Another rule often applied is that the man in the BOX decides which rule is applied. He can choose from “No Automatic Doubles,” “Limited Automatic Doubles where the BOX determines the maximum number of times the rule is applied,” or “unlimited Automatic Doubles.”
- No Automatic Doubles – When applied, Automatic Doubles do not count or influence the Cube.
Important Rule regarding Automatic Doubles with Chouette!
If a situation arises in which an automatic double falls and nothing has been agreed upon in advance, the unlimited Automatic Doubles rule applies to the relevant game.
Rules Regarding the Use of the Doubling Cube
Here we describe the rules on how to use the Doubling Cube in backgammon chouette:
- The BOX, the captain, and each team member have their cube that determines the bets between the BOX and each team member individually.
- The cube only affects the game if it is turned over during the game and accepted by one of the sides or when the “Automatic Doubles rule” applies.
- No Jacoby Rule – Gammons and Backgammons always count, even if no doubling is involved.
- Beavers allowed – When doubling, the person being doubled may immediately double back while retaining the Cube. The player who originally doubled must accept or drop.
- Raccoons not allowed – The player getting beavered can’t redouble back in the same turn.
- Team members must act according to rotation regarding Double or Take/Pass decisions.
- On the captain’s turn, any player on the team may offer the man in the BOX a Double. When a team member wishes to Double, he must warn the Captain in advance to “hold your roll” or words to that effect.
- If the man in the BOX offers the first Double (initial Double), he must offer the Double to the entire team.
- If two or more team members offer their initial Double simultaneously, the man in the BOX must Take or Drop all offered cubes.
- Subsequent simultaneous initial doubles by other team members must also be taken all or dropped by the man in the BOX.
- The man in the BOX can make different take/drop decisions on initial doubles offered at different stages in the game.
- Subsequent simultaneous non-initial Cube action requires the man in the BOX to take or drop all cubes presented.
- For example, the man in the BOX cannot accept the Double of one member but drop another member’s Cube when he is redoubled simultaneously.
- If a team member is, for whatever reason, not present at the table, his Cube is played the same as the Captain’s play.
Consultation means the possibility of discussing the actions to be taken between the team members and the captain concerning moving the checkers or handling the Cube.
Concerning Consultation, the following rules are universal:
- The Captain makes the final decision on all checker plays. Only the Captain may handle the checkers, and team members only handle their cubes.
- The team is mandatory to take “Cube Action” in order
- A team member outside the game cannot participate in any discussion or consultation.
- Pip count is open information and may be shared at any time.
Consultation Variants in Backgammon Chouette
In Backgammon Chouette, teams have different options for how they can apply Consultation, which refers to the discussions between the Captain and team members during the game. The Consultation variants are as follows:
Full from Start
- Consultations are allowed between the Captain and all team members right from the beginning.
- Both checker-play and Cube decisions may be discussed.
Checker Play Only from Start
- Consultations are allowed between the Captain and all team members from the start.
- However, only checker-play may be discussed, and Cube decisions are individual.
Full after the First Double
- Consultations are allowed between the Captain and team members when their Doubing Cube is in play.
- After a team member has a Cube in play, they can discuss both checker play and future cube play with the Captain and other team members.
- Both checker-play and Cube decisions may be discussed.
Checker Play Only after the First Double
- Consultations are allowed between the Captain and team members when their cube is in play.
- After a team member has a Cube in play, they can discuss checker play with the Captain and other team members.
- Only checker-play may be discussed, and Cube decisions are individual.
No Consultation Allowed
- The Captain plays against the Man in the Box without any consultation with team members.
- Other team members are not allowed to give instructions to the Captain; they are only responsible for their Cube actions.
- When Consultation is not allowed, the Jacoby rule is mandatory. This means that gammons and backgammons do not count unless the cube is in play. In Chouette, “Gammons” and “Backgammons” only count for players who doubled or accepted a double.
The restriction on Consultation adds a new dimension to Chouette gameplay Players must anticipate the Captain’s moves and adapt their strategies accordingly.
Scoring and Payout
The payout in Backgammon Chouette is as follows:
- Single Win – 1 x the original stake
- Gammon Win – 2 x the original stake
- Backgammon Win – 3 x the original stake
The original stakes can be doubled during each game using the Doubling Cube.
Concerning keeping track of bets and payouts, there are two ways to keep track of each player’s score.
Chouette Score Sheets
Scoresheets that are tracked and updated after every single game. The number of points per player is recorded during the entire session. Payment will be made afterward. Keeping a scoresheet is the most common method in clubs to keep track of a Chouette. Often the score sheet is kept by the most experienced player who, in addition to the score per player, also keeps track of the order of the rotation.
When you have never played backgammon chouette before, it can be quite challenging to maintain a backgammon chouette scoresheet. For more information about Backgammon Chouette scoresheets and how to keep track of the score and player rotation, please read our dedicated page about the Backgammon Scoresheet. You can also download scoresheets here for free.
Backgammon Chouette (Casino) Chips
- Each player buys in before a session for a minimum amount and receives special casino chips representing his value purchase.
- Before each game, participants place their bets, which go into the pot as soon as the game starts.
- When a double is offered and accepted, everyone involved must pay additional chips into the pot.
- When a Cube is dropped, the winner must be paid out immediately.
- Subsequently, when a “Gammon” or “Backgammon” is won, the losing side pays the extra lost amount in chips, and the winning side splits the pot (in case the team wins). When casino chips are used, the man in the BOX and the captain are responsible for keeping accurate records of bets and payouts throughout the game.
Optional Rules (not advised!)
- All rules that slow down or complicate the game are not advised. Therefore we discourage the option of the box taking a partner. When the Chouette becomes too big, break up the table and start another Chouette. A partner in the Box will complicate the game, especially the payouts, and, therefore, will slow the game down.
- Settlements and extras are not allowed simply because they complicate the game.