This is the game backgammon and its variant, acey deucey. For backgammon, the standard rules are used. As they are long and complex, if you want to see those rules, look in the manual.
Acey Deucey was a variation created by sailors in the U. S. Navy. As such, the rules for acey deucey will vary from ship to ship and person to person. For Atari, this is the variation used here:
All pieces start out on the central Bar and can be entered at any time with the roll of the dice.
No piece NEEDS to be moved from the bar first, even if it was hit and sent to the bar.
A roll of 1-2 (acey deucey) allows a player to choose whichever doublet s/he wants, after making the 1-2 move.
After moving the doublets, the player is awarded another dice roll.
If, after moving your doublet, the other dice roll is 1-2, you can move the 1-2 and choose another doublet.
More details about this game can be found on