GAMMONTOOL(6) Games Manual GAMMONTOOL(6)
gammontool - play a game of backgammon
/usr/games/gammontool [ path ]
This game is available with the Games software installation option.
Refer to for information on how to install optional software.
gammontool paints a backgammon board on the screen, and then lets you
play against the computer. It must be run in SunWindows. The optional
path argument specifies an alternate move-generating program, which
must be specially designed to run with gammontool.
The game has three subwindows: an option window on top, a message win-
dow in the middle, and a large board on the bottom. The buttons in the
option window are used to restart, double, etc. The message window has
two lines: the first tells whose turn it is, and the second displays
any errors that occur.
The Initial Roll
To start the game, roll the dice to determine who goes first. Move the
mouse arrow onto the board and click the left button. One die appears
on each side of the board: the die on the left is yours, and the die on
the right is the computer's. If your roll is greater, then you move;
if not, the computer makes a move.
Making Your Move
When it is your turn, `Yourmove' appears in the message window. Place
the mouse over any piece of your color, and click the left button.
While holding down the button, move the mouse to drag the piece; the
piece follows the mouse until you release the button. The tool checks
each move and does not allow illegal moves. When you have made as many
moves as you can, the computer takes its turn; after it finishes, you
may either roll again, or double.
To double, click the Double button in the option window and wait
for the computer's response. If the computer doubles you, a
message is displayed and you must answer with the Accept Double
or Refuse Double buttons. The Forfeit button can also be used
to refuse a double. If the game is doubled, a doubling cube
with the proper value is displayed on the bar strip. If the
number is facing up, then you may double next. If the number is
upside down, it is the computer's turn to double.
If you want to change your move before you have finished it, use
the Redo Move or Redo Entire Move buttons in the option window.
Redo Entire Move replaces all of the pieces you have moved so
that you can redo them all. Redo Move only replaces the last
piece you moved, so it is useful when you roll doubles and want
to redo only the last piece you moved. Note that once you have
made all of the moves your roll permits, play passes immediately
to the computer, so you cannot redo the very last move. The
Show Last Move button allows you to see the last move again.
Leaving the Game
If you want to quit playing backgammon, use the Quit button. If you
want to forfeit the game, use the Forfeit button. The computer penal-
izes you by taking a certain number of points, but the program does not
To play another game after winning, losing, or forfeiting, click the
New Game button. To change the color of your pieces, click the mouse
button while pointing at either the White or Black checkboxes. You may
change colors at any time, even in the middle of a game. Changing col-
ors in the middle of a game does not mean that you trade places with
the computer; your pieces stay where they are, but they are repainted
with the new color. Your pieces always move from the top right to the
bottom right of the board, regardless of your color. As an additional
cue as to your color, your dice are always displayed on the left half
of the board.
If a there is a gammonlog file your home directory, gammontool keeps a
log of the games played. Each move and double gets recorded, along
with the winners and accumulated scores.
~/gammonlog log of games played
log of wins and losses
The default strategy used by the computer is very poor.
If a single move uses more than one die (for instance if you roll 5, 6
and move 11 spaces without touching down in the middle) it is unpre-
dictable where the program will make the piece touch down. This may be
important if there is a blot on one of these middle points. The pro-
gram will always make the move if possible, but if two midpoints would
work and there is a blot on one of them, it is much better to explic-
itly hit the blot and then move the piece the rest of the way.
21 December 1987 GAMMONTOOL(6)