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Backgammon strategy

Backgammon 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 in order to win a backgammon game.

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 enhancing your flexibility 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 his 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 it will have an advantage. Never try 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 empty points.

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 crucial.

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.

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