Playing backgammon can be fun, especially if you know how to win by playing effectively. But sometimes a tip or two can help you even more and make you a better player.
One of the best strategies to win is to block your opponent in. It will keep them from moving their checkers out of your home board and going out. This must be done early in the game to keep your opponents two checkers in your home board there. So you must move your checkers to points 7, 5, and 4 as quickly as possible and even 2 and 3 if possible. Keep your point of 6 with the six checkers where it is. This will ensure that your opponent can’t get out of your home board and help your chances of blocking them in to win.
By blocking your opponent in, they will be praying for double sixes once all other moves have been made to get those two checkers out of your home board. If doubles aren’t rolled, your opponent will be forced to move one checker at a time, as long as they get a six or better, and leave one checker vulnerable behind. Of course while veering off your own checkers, make sure you don’t leave one alone where your opponent can send you off the board to go through their side.
When in doubt, hit. This can help you win because once your opponent is hit, that checker is the piece they must move before they can do anything else on the board. So if you hit them multiple times, they will have to get several pieces back on the board and get past your checkers to win. Make sure you do not hit where it will make you vulnerable to being hit yourself. Unless of course it will be advantageous to you, as in early in the game when your opponent won’t have you blocked in.
Hitting when you have a block started can also be good because once you get several spots blocked, your opponent will have a harder time getting their checkers out of your home board and beating you. It is even possible to hit them several times and get your block set. That way you can block them from returning to the game board and even having a chance at beating you.
These two tips are not the only way to win, but they are good ideas for beginners to become better players. Once you master these, winner most of the time will not seem like such a hard thing to do.
By Shawn Somerville
All of Shawn’s backgammon strategy articles can be found at HomeBackgammon.com along with bonus codes, freeroll listings and tournament schedules.