Backgammon Strategy

Basic Backgammon Strategy You Can Use

Backgammon strategy isn't the easiest thing to learn. There are other games more complicated than backgammon, but backgammon is complicated enough. You really have to play a number of games and get a feel for what you want to be doing before any backgammon strategy you may come across will begin to make much sense. Add the fact that a throw of the dice is involved which at first may seem to make trying to implement any particular strategy pointless, but that's really not the case. In one sense, the throw of the dice makes having a particular strategy up your sleeve to deal with the situation presented all the more important.

The thing about a good backgammon strategy is it's seldom obvious, since in order to win a game you don't want to always be doing the obvious. As in chess, you occasionally make sacrifices as part of a strategy, seeming to loose ground in the process while actually strengthening your overall position.

The beginning player in particular will tend to do what seems obvious, hitting at every opportunity to get closer to the goal of taking off all of his or her checkers first. The more experienced player will quickly take advantage of this approach and consequently will almost always win.

Field Position - Like a chess player's attempt to gain control of the center of the board, and the football coach's strategy of forcing the opposing team to play most of the game near their own end zone, establishing good field position has its counterpart in backgammon. The more points you control in your opponent's home board the stronger your position will be and the greater will be the number of options open to you. The path to achieving a superior position is often characterized by subtle strategies, where your opponent doesn't realize he is in trouble until it is getting late in the game.

Blocking And Hitting - Blocking is an important facet of the game, and if you have a strategy that helps you establishing six points in a row, called a prime, and work towards this as early as you possibly can to make things difficult for your opponent. The main purpose of blocking is to trap any checkers your opponent may have in your home board so they can't escape.

As a part of your backgammon strategy you'll want to hit those checkers your opponent is trying to advance to a critical point. At the same time, you'll find it's best to avoid making hits unless they seem absolutely necessary. A common mistake of beginners is to make a hit at every opportunity. Sometimes making a hit can place you in a vulnerable or unenviable position.

Another good backgammon strategy is to try to establish anchors (defensive points) at the higher points (20 and 21) as early as possible. Keeping two anchors on adjacent points is another good strategy.

A Strategy With A Goal In Mind - There are of course many, many different strategies including that of doing what you can to attempt to force your opponent to have as many pieces as possible in his home board towards the end of the game, making it more difficult for him to finish the game.

Whatever backgammon strategy you may choose to employ, don't attempt to rely solely on books or articles on the subject. The greatest teacher is experience. You can't control the throw of the dice, but you can over time learn how the outcome influences the situation on the board at a given time, and learn to take probabilities into account. Once you've got some game experience and a few workable strategies under your belt, be prepared to go on a roll.