Updated Tuesday, October 6, 2015 9:32


Biba Clock Rules 2014 to date

Full Biba Rules are to be used unless they are altered/enhanced in these Clock Rules.

Rules thus denoted '4.5' etc below must be read in conjunction with the relevant rule in the Full Biba Rules.


Issuance of clocks
At the discretion of the Director, clocks that allocate a set time per move and time in reserve will be issued purely as a means to complete a match within the time allowed. Opponents who suspect slow play can request a clock only for timing purposes and not to gain an advantage.

Time Allowances
The Director shall place on each player's clock 12 seconds per move plus a reserve of 2 minutes for each point needed to complete a new match. The reserve time is only used when a player exceeds 12 seconds per move. For matches already started each player's reserve will be reduced by 1 minute for every point scored by both players.


Only two dice are used instead of the usual four. To start, each player rolls one die, the player rolling the small number starts the opponent's clock. To conclude a move an opponent hits the clock leaving the dice on the board and the player on roll initiates his turn by either lifting the dice or a cube action. NB: A player may lift the dice and may cube prior to rolling the dice; however, if the player on roll lifts the cube first this will be seen as a cube action by the opponent. See 5.4 below.

Stopping the clocks
A player stops both clocks ....
(a) to start a new game,
(b) to offer a concession,
(c) to announce their intention to take an authorized break in the match*,
(d) to retrieve fallen dice,
(e) to contest an opponent's action, or
(f) to summon the Director.

* Prior to each break both players are to record the reserve clock times upon the score-card.

Time Expiration
When a player's time reserve is exhausted they have lost the match unless they are at match point* and in a position where it is mathematically impossible for an opponent to win or save a gammon or backgammon. This position is known as gin.

* Gammons and backgammons, where possible, will count (x cube value) for players at a score that such points won, would win them the match even though their time has expired.

4.5 - Each player signals the end of their turn by hitting the clock with the same hand used in moving, leaving the dice in place on the board. The turn then passes to the opponent. A player who has no legal checker moves (e.g. closed out on the bar) is not required to roll the dice but still must continue hitting the clock during which time they can use the doubling cube or assess the position before hitting the clock and ending their turn. A player with possible legal moves must roll and does not forfeit the turn by hitting the clock prior to rolling.

4.6 - Premature Action: A player who picks up the dice or who offers a double before the opponent has hit the clock thus concluding their turn will forfeit their 12 seconds per move allowance on their next turn. The player on roll stops both clocks and summons the Director to claim the time penalty unless both players agree to accept it. The penalised player cannot roll their dice or continue with their double (if a double has been offered) until their 12 seconds have elapsed, after which the game continues as normal.


4.8 - Illegal Moves: With the dice still on the board and upon drawing attention to an illegal move the player must demand that the full roll be played legally. The clock is hit and the legal move is played.

4.9 - Completion: Games must be rolled to completion unless ended by a pass of a double or redouble, or conceded as single game, gammon or backgammon losses where it is mathematically impossible for an opponent to win or save a gammon or backgammon. Any player may seek to, or offer to, concede only after completing their turn and then stopping both clocks. To accept a concession, opponent says "accept" and resets the board for a new game. To reject a concession, opponent says "reject" and summons the Director to adjudicate. Non-adherence may lead to disqualification of one or both players, and result in the loss of all and any claims to prize money, prizes, trophies and any form of remuneration.

5.4 - Cube Handling: Players may only double when it is their turn to roll and must do so before rolling, (cocked dice are deemed "rolling" dice). To offer a double or redouble move the cube towards the opponent at the higher level saying clearly, "double" or similar and start your opponent's clock. To take, draw the cube towards oneself and say, "take" or similar, placing the cube on your side of the board, and start your opponent's clock. Both players should ensure that the correct level is displayed. To reject the cube one says, "pass" or "drop" and the game is concluded and the clocks paused. Care should be exercised when handling the cube as either verbal or physical acts might be interpreted as cube actions by an opponent.