Backgammon Strategy for Beginners
Backgammon is a race to see who can get all their checkers off first. Most novices try not to leave any exposed checkers and hit as often as possible. This is not the best approach and here are some factors to consider when playing.
Attack only when it’s advantageous. If you have a choice of hitting a third checker to the bar or covering another point in your home, then covering is more desirable. If you hit, try to cover to avoid a return hit. If you are unsure as what to do, there is an old adage “When in doubt, hit.”
This is best done early in the game to try to establish a strong defence or offence. It is not suggested late in the game if your position is weak.
Try to evenly distribute your checkers; it is not advantageous to have 6 checkers all on one point. Try to keep checkers within 6 pips of each other to allow for best options.
Try to cover as many in a row without gaps to make it hard for your opponent to get by. If you can build 6 in a row (‘prime’ blockade), it makes it impossible for your opponent to get by.
Anchors are defensive points in your opponent’s home. This allows for a spot to land on should you get hit and blocks a point from your opponent in their home board. It’s best to anchor on points 20 or 21 for most flexibility. When behind, you may want to intentionally allow your checkers to be hit, so you can build an anchor to try to turn the game around.
Having a strategy in backgammon is important. Formulating a long term plan will help your chance of winning. With a game plan, you can try to control your opponent’s moves and put yourself in a winning position. If you are a complete novice to the game, understand the rules and concepts before trying any new strategies.
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