Chouette is a variant of backgammon for three or more players.

One player—the box—plays against a team consisting of all other participants. One member of the team is designated as the captain. The box and the rotation order are generally determined by the roll of dice.

The game is played on a single backgammon board according to standard rules. The captain makes the final decision on all checker plays for the team, although discussion amongst team members is permitted.  Some chouette sessions have a rule that there is no discussion until the cube is turned.

Usually, all members of the team have their own doubling cube vs. the box, and can double regardless of what other team members do, and they can accept or refuse a double independently of the other players. The result is that, although they are using a single backgammon set, each member on the team is playing a separate game against the box.

A chouette is generally played in the same way as backgammon money play. There is no “match score”; one game is played, scores are tabulated, and another game begins. The positions of the players are rotated after each game.

Each player maintains a running score, corresponding to the number of points won or lost in each game, adjusted for gammons, backgammons, and the value of the doubling cube.

Download a scoresheet here – write the names across the top of the page, down the left column is the order of play.

Play order

Roll dice, obviously resolve tied rolls.  Highest is in the box.  Next highest is team captain and then the order of play.  Write the names in order down the left hand column of the score sheet – box first, then captain, then team.

As you play, if the box wins then the captain’s name is crossed out and written at the bottom of the list and the next player becomes captain; if the box loses then their name is crossed out and written at the bottom, leaving the captain’s name first as they become the new box.

Thus, losers drop to the bottom of the list and slowly work their way back up to be captain and if they win as captain, they become the box.


Scoring can get complex and the purpose here is not to teach you how to score (maybe someday), just outline the basic concepts.

But basically, after every game, each active player will have a score based on whether they won or lost and what their cube is showing. Write their score in the next row, in their column.  Add that score to their running total.  Now write their running total in the same square.  When all scores have been adjusted, in the right hand column write the total of all scores, it should be zero.  The next game can’t start until the score is written and it balances.

Cubes are individual, everyone has their own cube and makes their own decision to double, take or drop.

If the cubes all come at once then the box must take or drop in unison, if they come split (not everyone cubes at the same time) then the box can take and drop as they see fit. Likewise, if the box cubes first then they’re cubing the whole team.

If your cube’s not in play you have nothing to say.