Quick Tips from the Experts (for Beginners)

Ok, this is one of our most popular features.

Because I can’t assume that everyone who reads this knows how to play, I like to run some tips postings.

For experienced players, I’ll get back to tournament news next time.

Backgammon is game that is played across the board by players at multi-levels – from the amateur to the highly professional.

In most cases, your safest bet is to bear off your checkers from the board without thinking too much about it. Your best strategy would be to remove your checkers with both dice, instead of considering things such as equal distribution, or the likes.

If you want to avoid restricting your future options in the game, a good tip is to refrain from placing your checkers on low points early on in the game – especially points 1 and 2.

You can redouble immediately after your opponent has doubled. It is to your advantage to own the cube – thus preventing the opponent from being able to redouble. You should also double (if you can) if you are about to lose the match, if your opponent wins the game at the present cube value. You are risking nothing by doing so.  Remember also, as a rule of thumb, that you should accept a double when your chances of winning the game are at least 25%.

You should aim for a downward sloping formation when removing checkers from the backgammon board. Bearing in mind of course, that you cannot hit, or be hit, you should aim for an uneven distribution when positioning your checkers to bear off from the board. Aim for a larger stack on point #6, with a slope down to #3 or #4. This avoids the necessity to use your higher numbers (eg. 5 or 6) to bear off from a #4, for example, later in the game.

It is usually wise to avoid abandoning your anchors or holding points when you are behind in a backgammon game. Be a little patient and wait for your shot, as this may be your only chance of winning the game.

If you are not sure about which move to make, hitting is usually a good choice. This is especially true when it relates to the opponent’s side of the board and could be a determining factor in the race.

Making a loose hit is sometimes less effective than creating a key point. Thus, it is important to lock up your permanent assets in the game.

When you are playing a backgame, there are two important things to remember. Firstly, you should aim to recirculate your checkers. You can avoid crunching your board and improve your timing when getting hit. Secondly, increase your chances of hitting by creating shots (by opening up points). Also consider each and every one of your opponent’s rolls.

It’s alwayhs a good idea to race in the game when you are definitely ahead. Trust your racing advantage and break contact.

Nuff said.

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