Play Backgammon for free. The software is downloadable and has a chat feature included when playing against other players. Tournaments can also be played for Fun. To start playing simply download and open a new table or join a table.
Discovering new variations of backgammon is almost as challenging as playing them, after all how easy it is to come up with something new for a game that has been going for over 5,000 years.
Creating a new way to play backgammon is never going to be that easy either as the traditional way is always held up against any new version.
Perhaps that is why online backgammon has become so successful as it has maintained the existing game with all its characteristics only introducing computerization to the basics, without changing any of the game play.
That said Star Gammon invented by Rockwell Butler in 1998, (why do these games take so long to become known) is another variation of a theme. The rules are the same as in traditional backgammon the only real difference of the game is the introduction of a piece called the Star Man, wasn't it David Bowie who made that song famous, as he fell to earth?
As the name suggests the Star Man is the lead character in this new version, he needs to be designated as such, so a good idea would be to put a star sticker or glue a star onto the piece to distinguish him from the rest of the men.
As the game starts the Star Man is positioned as one of the two runners, (the outside man)
During the game when a player has one or two men including the Starman on either the same point, he must move the inner man first.
Or if he is on the bar he has the option to move either move his normal piece or the Star Man.
Scoring of this game is also different, as both winner and loser can score a point bonus if Star Man has been borne off.
Whether Star Gammon will make it to virtual space is in the stars, in the mean time enjoy its terrestrial application.
Restored 2005, Jan 5th
invent "stargammon" and rules by Rockwell Butler