Backgammon is a board game reminiscent of checkers and chess, although it probably predates the latter. Recreational but not too easy, backgammon became a staple in home games in no time and finally made its way to land-based and online casinos as a classy table game often associated with tuxedo-garbed gentlemen.

Backgammon Game Strategies

Open the way to advantage rolls. This is a fairly simple backgammon strategy to get you started. Early in the game, the board is still pretty open and it is tempting to just move your stones randomly and without a clear direction. Instead, use each turn to place your stones in a way that can carry over an advantage into the next turn. For example, since 6 is the highest number on a single die, you can keep your stones within six pips of each other. This makes it more possible to cover a stone easily once it is called for. There is no need to crowd specific points with six stones or more. Instead, you can spread your stones evenly across the board. This increases the probability that each outcome of your roll is one that allows you to move your stones around the way you intend them.

In contrast, you should block the way to your opponent’s advantage rolls. For example, opposing stones that are on the bar require a specific number of steps to move off the bar. If you place your exposed stones the same number of steps from them, these opposing stones can get stuck on the bar for longer. Also, position your stones such that two opposing stones on separate locations on the board will require the same number of steps to move beneficially. One way to do it is by placing two exposed stones an equal number of steps away from two opposing stones. This method prevents the opponent from maximizing each turn.

Online Backgammon Guide – Needing Offense And Defense

Build your offense and defense. Your most relevant offense is to block opposing stones from leaving your side of the board to delay their ultimate goal of moving off the board. A general blockade would be one where your stones are positioned without gaps in front of opposing stones, which prevents them from moving. A major blockade would be one where six of your stones are lined up without gaps in a row, making it impossible for opposing stones to get out.

Your most relevant defense is to establish anchor points at your opponent’s side, which can later serve as landing points when you are hit. These will also prevent opposing stones from reaching their home board. Early in the game, your best anchor points are those adjacent to the bar—20 and 21. As the game progresses and you possibly fall behind, your might need to add defensive points farther from the bar—22, 23, 24. An additional idea is to let your exposed stones get hit on purpose, which allows you to buy time and plant your anchor points.

Time your strike and counterstrike. The best time to leave your stones exposed is when you need them as stepping stones early on in order to establish anchors and blockades. The best time to get them covered is later in the game, to contain a weaker position, hits, and return hits. Logically, prioritize hitting opposing stones closest to their goal, an only when hitting them offers a beneficial result, such as opposing stones that will especially need to be covered to target key points. There is no need to hit opposing stones when other opposing stones are already on the bar, especially if you could use being spared from return hits.