Don’t play into a weaker players hands

Many professional backgammon players like to show off against the beginner or amateur by “coming from behind”. This means lulling the opponent into a false sense of security by getting taken off the board with one or two pieces and letting them initially build up their board and look like they are well ahead. There are many reasons why players do this, apart from try to dominate their opponent psychologically and emotionally.

The first reason is that most inexperienced players will not know how to “time” the building of their board. “Timing” is everything in backgammon- so that, ideally, you would want all your six points covered at exactly the time you have taken off your opponent’s piece.

The second reason is with advanced thinking in having an even board. Again, in an ideal situation, each of your points will have 3 pieces- exactly even- so that any combination of dice that you throw will not leave you vulnerable. If, however, this is not the case- you will, at some point, leave yourself exposed and all likelihood be hit yourself and blocked out.

Therein lies the skill of the experienced player, who has timed his own board to be a total block-out at precisely the time that he hits you. And he will also know where to leave the pieces on the points before taking off. For example, a 6 & a 5 will be fine if he has 3 pieces on each- but should he only have 2 pieces on each- he will be exposed on the 5 point.

The main reason for a player employing this back-game strategy is so that the less experienced player will get over-excited at his seemingly impossible-to-beat winning position and offer the double, which could then lead to a “beaver”, a redouble and consequently a massive points game. And the odds are very much in the favor of the back-game player as he is liely to get not just one, but many opportunities to hit his opponent. What is more- it can even turn out to be a double or triple game!

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