Numbers colour on backgammon dice

Why are the numbers 1 and 4 red, and the rest black, on my backgammon dice?

Martyn asked:
I bought a backgammon game many years ago now, and both dice are a white colour with the numbers 1 and 4 in red and the rest in black. They’re pictured like this on the box too, so its obviously intentially been done like this. I’ve looked online at other games, and none of these use multicoloured dice.

Does anybody have any idea why these 2 numbers are a different colour to the rest? (theres no mention of it on the included instructions either…)


The use of different colors on the dice in backgammon is not standard and can vary between different manufacturers or sets. However, in some cases, it is used to indicate special values or meanings for those numbers.

One possibility for the red color on the 1 and 4 in your backgammon set could be to indicate the opening move. In some backgammon variants, a player can choose to begin the game with a specific opening move, such as moving one checker from the 1-point to the 3-point or from the 6-point to the 4-point. These moves are typically associated with the numbers 1 and 4, and marking them in red could help players remember and identify them more easily.

Another possibility is that the red color could indicate bonus points for certain rolls. Some backgammon variations award extra points for rolling specific combinations, such as doubles or specific point values, and marking those numbers in a different color could help players keep track of those bonuses.

Ultimately, without more information about the specific backgammon set or variant in question, it’s hard to say for sure why the 1 and 4 are marked in red. However, as long as the set follows standard backgammon rules and gameplay, the color of the dice should not affect the game itself.