This simple game, devised by Oswald Jacoby and John Crawford, is described in The Backgammon Book. The game is designed for children who are just starting to learn to move the checkers.
The setup is the same as in backgammon except that each player’s two back men (formerly on the opponent’s one-point) are brought forward to join the five men on the mid-point.
Play proceeds as in regular backgammon except that blots may not be hit. So this is really a game mostly of luck—it is just a matter of which player rolls the higher dice. There is a tiny amount of skill in figuring how to position your checkers for the most efficient bearoff.
If played with the doubling cube, Blast Off can be helpful in learning when to double or not in running games.
Differences from Backgammon
- Play starts with each player's back men brought up to the mid-point.
- There is no hitting.