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Basic Backgammon Strategy

If you're a Backgammon beginner then you can learn the basic three strategies to the game, here.

While the basic rules for Backgammon are relatively easy to learn they open up a huge range of strategies behind each move that require a great deal of mental effort and concentration.  Once you've learnt some basic strategies the game will have a completely new meaning for you.

Essentially there are three different approaches to a game of Backgammon and you may use just one or combine any or all of them to form your own strategy.  Your strategy choice will be determined by the random rolls of the dice and your opponents move choices during the course of play.  The three basic strategies are called the running game, the blocking game, and the back game.  You must learn the principles involved in these to increase your chances of winning at Backgammon.

The Three Basic Strategies...

  • The Running/Racing Game The running or racing game strategy is the easiest to play and understand.  The idea is to simply move your checkers around the board and bear-off as fast as you can.  Use this strategy when you are clearly ahead in a game.  Don't hit your opponent and just concentrate on moving your checkers as safely as possible without leaving any of your own single checkers open.  Try not to leave any checkers in your opponent's board and steadily move them all around.  With good luck in your dice rolls you will be the more likely player to bear-off first.
  • The Blocking Game The objective in the blocking game strategy is to block your opponent in your inner-board, allowing you the time to move your checkers into your inner-board and then bear-off.  The best way to do this is to build a "prime".  A prime is six consecutive points with two or more of a player's checkers on them.  This prevents your opponent from passing until your prime is broken.  This is a very good strategy for beginners to master, but you should be aware you may leave checkers open to hits early in the game.
                 Board illustrating white's 'prime'
  • The Back Game The back game is the hardest Backgammon strategy to master.  This strategy is ideally used when you've been unlucky and find yourself way behind in a game. You keep your checkers back on the board and spread out leaving them open to hits.  This will mean some of your markers will be sent to the bar and allow you to bring them back into play in your opponent's home-board.  Once there you are able to hit your opponent's checkers and hinder their progress greatly giving you the opportunity to move your own checkers into a winning position.  This strategy is very hard to play, but allows you to reverse your opponent's advantage very quickly if played well.



Now learn the intermediate level Backgammon strategy...
Intermediate Backgammon Strategy



William Hill






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