Backgammon Strategies Article

Backgammon is, in essence a very simple game, in which two opponents race in taking off all their checkers first.

Single checkers on a point are exposed to the opponent’s attack and you have to start over if your checker is hit by your opponent's checker. But, when you have two or more checkers on a point, they are not vulnerable anymore and you can use them for trapping or blocking your opponent.

Everyone who plays backgammon knows the aim of the game but few know that the shortest distance between 2 points is not necessarily the straight line between them. This is why most people hardly ever leave uncovered checkers and hit whenever they can, and it is wrong.

In order to play a successful backgammon game, you have to consider these five important factors: exposure, distribution, blocking, hitting and anchoring.

Distribution is very important and the way you split your checkers among the occupied points says a lot about the outcome of a game. This is why it’s best to have, for example, 3 checkers on 2 different points. You had better avoid having six checkers on a point and not have any more. If you distribute your checkers wisely and rationally you are one step closer to winning than your opponent who will be less lucky.

In order to create a tough defense or offense, you should not be afraid to leave shots early in the game. On one hand, the more points your opponent has in his home board, the harder it will be for you enter again after being hit. On the other hand, the more point you control in your opponent’s home board, or the more anchors you have, the more courageously you can play. Even if his board is weaker than yours, it’s best to limit the number of single checkers to a maximum of four.

When building , try not to leave gaps between points and build them face to face with your opponent’s checkers in your home board to avoid his escape. It’s best to decide upon these points as early in the game as possible and to rank them in order of importance, such as, for instance 5; 4; 7 and then start your barrier. When you have a prime or 6 points in a row, your opponent can’t escape from your blockade.

When hitting, always hit the checkers which are most advanced and those that your opponent counts on most. You should only attack when you are in advantage and avoid attacking when it would make you weaker than your opponent. However, it’s also important to create a defensive point in your opponent’s home board and, at the beginning of the game, it’s best to make them on the higher points. Having an anchor is good not only because it provides a landing spot where you can’t be hit, but it also prevents your enemy from making his board.

And always remember that a game based on strategy and on a plan has much more chances of turning into a successful game than one based on luck and played randomly. Apply these strategies and you are much closer to winning!

Back to Articles 3