is a game of skill and luck. The objective of the
game is simple. You need to bring the checkers to
the home board and to be the first one to bear off all your checkers.
Note that you cannot control the luck factor as
you are to roll the dice and move according to the numbers shown
by the dice, however you do have control over your movements
and this is your strategy in backgammon. These movements and player
behavor are known as backgammon strategy and need to be applied
The most important factor is knowing how to place
the checkers. A common backgammon strategy experts advise is that
checkers should be distributed out everywher over the board
of rolls. The best possible combination is to spread checkers within
six pips of each other to earn an edge of covering whenever required.
Experience reveals that keeping five or six checkers at the same
point hardly serves any purpose. When you are placing checkers
you must allow your intuition to judge the potential attackers.
It’s advisable to place checkers in equal distances from the potential
attackers. This is called ‘Expose’ of checkers. It’s always better
to spread your checkers all around to make a solid defense or offence
and as the game progresses to start consolidating as the game demands.
A very common backgammon strategy is to build some defensive
points in the opponent’s home. This is Anchor in backgammon. The
professional players prefer Anchoring in the bar-adjacent points
like 20, 21 at the beginning of a game. If you are lagging
behind then 22, 23, 24 points becomes more valuable. Just for
the new players Anchors help in blocking the opponent from using
home board but if the progress of the backgammon game really
goes against you, try to leave anchors.
If you place your checker in a blot, then the
opponent’s checker is to be placed in the bar, and he has to get
that checker back on the board before he can move any other. However,
the skill and important backgammon strategy is when
to hit and being hit. Experts advise only to hit when you feel
unnecessary hitting without a reason. A generic rule is to hit
the most advanced checker of the opponent. Experienced
players prefer hitting a checker in the opponent’s home board.
One of the most important factors is, if you are lagging
behind, never be panic. Instead,
focus on placing checkers as per your convenience. Again all these are just guidelines which are
to be applied in the game as per your reading and progress of the
game, which depends mostly upon your intuition. Maybe you will
also find some new strategies which will be followed by your successors.
After all, necessity is the mother of invention.
Important backgammon strategy points
It could almost have been written for a backgammon player. Strategy is the most
important part of a backgammon game and is an important lesson
to learn even for beginners. Here are some strategy points
that are worth considering when setting out your game plan.
Safe Play: Highly recommended – the best way to counteract your checkers being
hit, especially in running games.
Safe Hits: All the time you are hitting watch
out for the same happening to you:
Back Checkers: Get them out as quickly as possible
or you will be blocked in and can't move.
Direct Shots Offer more impact than indirect ones
Block Your Opponents Back Checkers Pieces: Close
down points your opposition needs to break your blockade. Pay attention
to 5 (20), 4 (21), and the bar point.
Play a risk from time to time: You could lose
your position but sometimes it's worth the chance to win a game.
Start Bearing off as soon as you can with as many
checkers as possible with each throw using other throws to fill
Call up your Helpers quickly to your outer table
Remember: Pieces you dare not move are not helping
you, see what you have at your disposal and implement them.
Build up Points consecutively: between points
8 (17) and 4 (21) if possible.. This puts the oppositions back
checkers in a difficult position to get out.
Use a six-prime, it's the strongest formation,
as the opposition can't hurdle it...
Usually the player with his prime intact longer
typically wins the game, in a struggle between primes timing is
With a six-prime, you can stay on the bar missing
a roll or two, since this helps your timing.
If you try to follow at last some of these games
next time you come to play backgammon, your strategy shouldn't
be a mess. I wish you good luck.