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To start the game, each player rolls one die, and the player with the higher number moves first using the numbers shown on both dice.
A roll of 1 allows the checker to enter on the 24-point (opponent's 1), a roll of 2 on the 23-point (opponent's 2), and so forth, up to a roll of 6 allowing entry on the 19-point (opponent's 6).
Backgammon involves a combination of strategy and luck (from rolling dice).
While the dice may determine the outcome of a single game, the better player will accumulate the better record over series of many games, somewhat like poker.
Like chess, backgammon has been studied with great interest by computer scientists.
Owing to this research, backgammon software has been developed that is capable of beating world-class human players (see TD-Gammon for an example).