Backgammon Set & Match Strategy

Setting out the proper set and match strategy differs greatly depending on whether you are ahead or behind, as a Backgammon game nears the end.

How to Map Out a Backgammon Set and Match Strategy

When you lose a game, minimize your loss to one or two points by using the correct doubling strategy, avoiding a gammon and rarely if ever losing a backgammon. Be particularly careful to avoid a gammon if it will win the set for your opponent.

When you're ahead in a set, be conservative and have a larger chance of winning the game than normal to double or accept a double. You can be more daring and accept a double when you're behind.

But remember: be more reluctant than normal in making aggressive moves, doubling, accepting a double or declining a double if losing the game takes your opponent to the Crawford Rule game, or one point from winning the set.

If your opponent gets to one point from winning the set, you have less than a 25 percent chance of winning the set because you would need to win at least two games in a row to win the set due to the Crawford rule.

If your opponent will win the set by winning the game, double and go all out to win the game. You can even risk losing a gammon or backgammon if necessary. Since you'll lose the set by losing the game, it doesn't matter how many points you lose in that situation.

An average of 1.8 points are won each game due to doubles, occasional gammons and backgammons. There are an average 11 points won each set, usually seven by the winner and four by the opponent. Therefore, there are an average of six to seven points per set.

You usually have to win four games to win the set, meaning you can lose three games and still be capable of coming back and winning. That means if you lose a couple early games, don't panic.