Important Points to Remember When Playing Backgammon

In backgammon, skill and knowledge of the game determines the winner probably more so than any other board game. Here are some tips to give you the edge over your opponent:

1) When limited to one number or the other, larger number takes priority

Sometimes a player is put in a position where he can play one number or the other, but not both. Say you roll a 6 and a 5 on the dice. Though you must use your whole roll if possible, your opponent’s positions on the board prevent you from playing both numbers. In that case, you must play the larger of the two numbers.

2) Be careful of blots

When making your move, be careful about leaving a blot, or single checker on a point. While two checkers on a point can be a stronghold in terms of limiting your opponents’ moves, as mentioned above, a blot puts you at a considerable weakness in that if hit, or captured, it can be sent back to the beginning of the race.

3) Entering from the bar

Remember that if your checker has been hit in a blot situation, you have to move it back to begin the race. White and black checkers that have been hit must restart their race around the board in the bar, which is sort of a holding pen.

White checkers in the bar must re-enter the game on Points 1-6 on the black’s home board; black checkers enter from the bar in Points 24-19 in white’s home board.

4) For every two gammons you are in danger of losing, you need to win one additional game to break even:

This comes from the fact that turning a loss into a win gains you four points; turning a loss into a gammon costs you two points. Two gammon losses can be made up with just one extra win. This gives you a tool for taking the double cube in positions where you might get gammoned.

Read more Backgammon Rules and Strategies