After all is said and done with the mathematics and “right moves” in backgammon, you need to move to another level. You will, after your initial birth into the game, hopefully be by now a convert! What this means is that the books out there become somewhat redundant for you- as you will be playing against players who of a certain standard- knowing all “the moves” like the back of their hands.
So you need to start developing a “feel” for the game that is not taught, not mechanical and is based on experience, instinct and, most importantly, pure guts. This is what happens when you play over and over- especially if you are playing the same person. It is likely that you will both know each other’s wonts. One likes to make a run for it and get into their board as quickly as possible, while the other likes to hang back and play the waiting game- pouncing on any vulnerabilities.
The way to conquer this monotony and predictability in your play is to be unconventional. For example, if you are losing heavily- but have the doubling dice under your control, so have nothing to lose- spread yourself wide open- getting hit so many times that you end up destroying your opponent’s neat little set-up.
This is just one of many tactics you can employ to upset your opponent- not just on the board, but also in psychology. The better player is the one who racks up the most points- so time your energies to win the big point games, rather than wasting it on single pointers.
In reference to the “waiting game” that was described earlier then this style of play is perhaps best suited to players that are not experienced or knowledgeable in aggressive game play. Sitting back and waiting to pick off your opponent is a tactic that befits some players more so than others.
It is no different in poker, some players simply play an aggressive style better than others while other players do better with a counter attacking style of play. It is simply to do with how styles fit certain individuals and the same thing applies with the styles of football teams and football managers. I prefer as a rule the counter attacking style when I am facing opponents over who I have little edge or my own experience level is fragile.
Carl Sampson is an online poker pro and poker ambassador for 888poker