The game of Jacquet was born about the year 1800 while the Trictrac (rules in French), mythical game of the French Monarchy period, was declining. The Trictrac was almost extinct at the end of the 19th century in spite of a restart during the Monarchy Restoration period. The Jacquet has been widely played in France until 1970. It seems there is a strong family link between the French Jacquet, the Turkish Multezim, and the Greek Fevga.
The game of Jacquet is played by
two players using :
a backgammon board ;
15 dark checkers and 15 light ones ;
2 dice (the players use the same dice) ;
2 dice cups.
Each player stacks his 15 checkers
on the opposite side corner at the left hand of his opponent, as shown on the
following diagram :
The dotted lines symbolize the points
(arrows), and the number « 15 » indicates the total of checkers
on a point (including the two checkers « B » or « W »).
The checkers on their starting point constitute the « talon ». The talon of White is on the « m » point, and the one of Black is on the « a » point.
For Black, I'll name the four groups of six arrows as follows :
« a » to «f » points : « first table » ;
« g » to « l » points : « second table » ;
« m » to « r » points : « third table » ;
« s » to « x » points : « home table ».
For White, the position of the tables is reverse.
For the black checkers : from « a »
to « l », then from « m » to « x ».
For the white checkers : from « m » to « x », then from « a » to « l ».
The Jacquet is a race game, the winner
being the first to bear his 15 chackers off the board.
Before to be able to bear off, the player has to bring all his checkers into his home table.
To decide which player will be the
first to roll the dice :
each player throws one die,
the player who obtains the higher pips number, takes both dice and rolls them for the first move.
The rules of Backgammon can be used
: if at least one die lands out of the board, or on a checker, you have to roll
again both dice.
On a single roll (two different
numbers) the player can :
move 1 checker using the value of one die, and another checker using the value of the second die,
or, move only one checker, but using the sum of the dice numbers.
On a double (both dice show the same number) :
he plays 4 times the value of one die, what allows to play one to four checkers, each for the unitary value.
If it is possible to play only one die, you are obliged to play the higher one, if possible.
In case of a double, the player has to play the maximum of times he can (4 times, if not possible 3 times, if not possible 2 times, if not possible 1 time).
A checker cannot land, even provisorily, on one point occupied by at least one opponent checker.
As long as a player hasn't brought his first checker into his home table, he cannot move any of his other 14 checkers (they remain on the talon point).
After your roll, if you touch one of your checker, you must play it, if possible.
When a player has brought his 15
checkers into his home table, he can start to bear them off the board.
The way to bear off is exactly the same than in Backgammon :
Here, after entering his « f » checker inside his home table, White will be able to bear off his checkers.
For example :
White rolls « 3 / 2 » :
– he moves his checker from « f » to « i » for the 3 and bears off the « k » cheker for the 2 .
– he could also moves the « h » et « i » checkers without bearing off any checker. The « f » checker remaining outside the home table doesn't allow any checker to be born off.
he could also enter the « f » checker to the « h » point for the 2, but the 3 would not allow him to bear off any checker (the « j » point is empty and the « h » and « i » checkers can be played inside the home table)
White rolls « 6 / 5 » :
he moves the « f » checker to the « l » point for the 6, and his 15 checkers being now inside his home table, he bears off the « h » checker for the 5.
he could also move his « f » checker to the « k » point for the 5, and bear off the « h » checker for the 6 which could not be played inside the board.
White rolls double ace
he moves the « f » checker to the « g » point for one ace, then bears off three checkers from the « l » point for the three remaining aces.
he could also move the « f » checker to the « g » point for one ace, then bear off the « k » checker for a second and third ace, and at last, bear off one checker from the « l » point for the last ace.
White rolls double six
He moves the « f » checker to the « l » point for one 6, then bears off the « h » checkers for another 6, then the « i » checker for a third 6 and at last, the « k » checker for the last 6.
When a player occupies six consecutive
points on the board, he blocks totally the late opponent checkers. This blocking
method can be used in any part of the board.
In this example :
Black occupies his 6 first points, from « a » to « f », completly blocking the way for the « m » to « x » white checkers.
White occupies only 5 consecutives points, « m » to « q », in such a way he doesn't block totally the path for the black checkers.
The first player to bear off his
15 checkers, while his opponent has already started to bear off, scores 1 point.
The first player to bear off his 15 checkers, while his opponent hasn't started to bear off any of his checkers, scores 2 points.
The first played checker is named
postillon. It is moved only on the ends of the board points, as long
as it hasn't reached the home table. When inside the home table, the postillon
is moved on the bases of the board points. The postillon now becomes an ordinary
In this example :
The black postillon is on the « p » point, it hasn't already reached the black home table.
The white postillon is already inside the white home table, on the « h » point. White has been able to play a second checker onto the « r » point.
The players are never allowed
to totally block the way of the opponent postillon.
As long as a player has'nt at least one checker on the last point of his home table, he is not allowed to totally block the opponent checkers by filling his own talon table with at least one checker on each of its points. Optionnally, the two players can decide, before starting the game, that instead of only one checker on the last point of the home table, it will be necessary to have at least one checker on both last points of the home table. J. Léchalet (see references) recommends to use this option of the modern Jacquet to dynamise the game.
When this option has been chosen and the conditions reached, if the next to last point of the home table comes to be cleared of checkers, the ability of blocking in the first table is lost. As a result, if the blocking is already made, one of the five first points of the talon table must be cleared before clearing the next to last point of the home table.
All other blockings are allowed anywhere on the board (except for the postillon, as already said).
The previous rules for bearing are
applied, but the checkers, instead of being stacked outside the board, have
to be stacked on the talon point of the opponent player.
As a result, as long as the opponent talon point is occupied by at least one opponent cheker, to bear off is impossible.
Black having still one checker on
his « a » talon point, prevents White to bear off his checkers. As
a result, White has to play inside his home table, if possible, until Black
remove his checker from the talon point.
The first player to bear off his
15 checkers, onto the opponent talon point, scores :
1 point : if the opponent has already started to bear off at least one checker.
2 points : if the opponent has his 15 checkers inside his home table.
3 points : if the opponent has checkers in his third table, but doesn't have any checker in his talon table and second table.
4 points : if the opponent has checkers in his second table, but doesn't have any checker in his talon table.
5 points : if his opponent has checkers in his talon table.
This scoring system keeps the game interesting until his far end, giving the possibility to the losing player to minimize his losses. Anyway, it is possible to use the original scoring system (simple and double game).
[P.M. Lepeintre], Cours complet
de Trictrac avec un abrégé du Gammon, du Jacquet et du Garanguet, Guillaume,
J. Léchalet, Le Jacquet, le Backgammon, le Tric-Trac, le Solitaire, Bornemann, Paris, 1978.
Page on line the 20th of September
Last update the 18th of July 2009