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Best Backgammon Strategies

By A. Danieli Backgammon is a game for two, played on a board consisting of four quadrants or boards, two inner and two outer. Each board consists of six alternating black and white “pips”. Each player has fifteen checkers, either black or white, and a pair of dice.

Does a backgammon game, which has captivated millions of enthusiasts, depend on chance alone? Hardly…

How to Win in Backgammon

Although chance obviously plays an important role, backgammon players have numerous maneuvering options for blocking the opponent in various situations. Winning requires adequate planning, as well as luck.

The following list describes several winning strategies:

Building Your Board

This backgammon strategy focuses on making more points on your home board. This strategy has two advantages: by making many points on your home board, you complicate the opponent’s escape. The second advantage is that if and when you hit the opponent’s blots, he will have difficulty reentering them, thus preventing him from continuing in the game and giving you complete control over the board.

Escaping Strategy

A strategy that focuses on escaping your checkers from the opponent’s home board. Two of your checkers are situated in the opponent’s home board and it is in your interest to escape them as soon as possible, especially if the opponent is building his board. The two rolls which enable you to do so are 6-5 and 6-6. All other combinations leave you with two blots on the board.

Combination Strategy

A backgammon strategy that combines the building and escaping strategies. In other words, building your board, while keeping in mind the two runners on the opponent’s home board.

Safe Play Strategy

This strategy focuses on leaving as few blots as possible, making as many points on as possible and preventing the opponent from hitting your checkers. This strategy is not always advantageous, since it does not create opportunities for winning the game, at times when the opponent takes advantage of such opportunities. We should keep in mind that a long, exhausting backgammon game carries its risks, and as the chance plays an important role, a high double roll might enable the opponent to slip away from us.

Bold Play

Taking risks by exposing blots, to create advantageous positions or to tempt the opponent into hitting. As opposed to safe play, risk-taking is a backgammon strategy that may lead to victory, but could also spell losing the game. Secure bold – protecting blots by exposing other blots to tempt the opponent.

Back Game Strategy

The backgammon back game strategy is based on creating numerous anchors in the opponent’s home board, thus preventing him from bearing in his checkers and forcing him to expose his checkers to hits.

In summary, to choose the best backgammon strategy, you should analyze the opponent’s moves to identify his strategy and then employ the opposite strategy.

Don’t forget the dice! Hopefully, they will cooperate!

Click to read about other backgammon strategies including the sprint and the fortification strategies.

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