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Backgammon Chouette Rules

Chouette is a variation of backgammon that allows multiple players to take part in a game at the same time.

When all players have joined a game, the host starts the game and one person will play against the rest. This person who plays against the rest is called the box. The remainders of the players are called the team.

There is one person called the captain who is the leader of the team and will make all checker moves for the team. Usually, discussing checker moves are not allowed until at least one cube is turned. But this is not enforced and is up to the host to decide and enforce these rules with the ban button.

Each player on the team will have a cube against the box and each player will be able to make his or her own cube decisions based on how well the captain is doing against the box. This means the box will have up to 5 cubes in a six player game.

If the box wins the game against the captain either by playing the game out or the captain dropped the cube AND the box won more points than he or she lost with all the points on the cubes, then the box will remain as the box for the next game. This also means that the captain will go to the end of the team and the next player in line will become the new captain.

If the captain won against the box, then the box will go at the end of the team and the current captain will become the box for the next game. The next player in line on the team will be the new captain for the next game.

If the captain lost the game and the box lost more points than he or she won, then both the box and the captain go to the back of the team and the next two players in line become the box and captain for the next game.

If you’re on the team and either you or the box drops the cube, then you sit out the rest of the game.

However if you were the captain, then the next in line, if any, would play your checkers and becomes acting captain for this game only. It does not affect the rotation as described above.

Other rules to note is that if every team member doubles the box from the center, then the box MUST accept the captain’s cube and at least half of the total cubes. The captain’s cube does count in this total.

If the box doubles everyone from the center, then if everyone drops except for one person, the server will force drop his or her cube. This is done to ensure that someone isn’t simply delaying the game needlessly. In a 3 player game, this rule is of no effect.

Common variations

  1. No consultation before double is a common rule that says that non of the players on the team are allowed to comment on the game before they have doubled or accepted a cube.

  2. Legal plays rule says that if anyone observes an illegal play they can and should object even if they do not have consultation rights.

  3. Auto-double is a rule that is sometimes used in money game. In Chouette it has a special variation. Often the Box is given the option of deciding whether matching rolls should result in an increase in the cubes’ values. This decision must be taken for all the cubes as one. When two matching rolls are rolled after each other the Box sometimes can chose to carry one auto-double to the next game if he is still in the box at that time.

  4. Roll-out is a rule that favors the better cube handler. The rule says that when a cube is given all participants in the Chouette have to make a similar decision on the cube handling (take or drop).

  5. If many players are participating in the Chouette it can sometimes be a good idea to give the Box a partner. The same rules then apply for the Box and his partner as for the Captains team. This rule requires that two cubes are associated with each player on the Captains team (one for each player in the box). Normally the order is determined almost the same way as before. The only difference is that the Box’ partner is not part of the updating process unless the Box loose. He will then become the new Box and the player on the team that would normally become the new Box becomes the Box’ partner.

  6. Beside the above mentioned variations all kinds of side bets, settlements and place trading can be allowed.

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