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Backgammon Strategy

Backgammon is a race for the bearoff; single pieces are exposed to the opponent’s hits, while two or more checkers make points can hit or block the enemy, are the most basic backgammon fundamentals. Yet, hitting the enemy’s blots frequently and infrequently exposing your blots are not necessarily the best backgammon strategies. To create a better strategy, take into account the following factors:


Do not swear on the old backgammon saying: “When in doubt, hit”. Hit only when it improves your position, like when the blots are advanced or can be covered and made into points by your points, and not when you can close a strategic point instead. Also avoid hitting if it leaves a piece of yours exposed.

Exposing Pieces

Early in the game, it is still possible to expose your piece to possible hitting of the opponent’s piece, also known as to leave shots. Later in the game, if your opponent arms his home board and re-entering from the bar becomes more challenging, avoid leaving shots. Even if you are ahead in the race and your opponent’s home board is still weak, try to limit the number of exposed blots to the minimum.

Distribution of Pieces

Arranging your points so they are close to each other with not too many gaps and with some extra checkers on some of the points that can be used to attack the opponent’s blots is a good distribution of pieces. Yet, do not exaggerate with the spares; six or more pieces on a point are hardly ever functional.

Blocks & Primes

A block is a row of made points with no empty spaces between them that are placed in your home board in front of the opponent’s pieces, preferably on the 4, 5 and 7 points. Blocking can hinder the opponent in trying to escape his checkers, thus it is important to form them early in the backgammon game. When the block has six points it is called prime, and it is one of the strongest blocks you can create.

Establishing anchors

Anchors are defensive points established in your opponent’s home board. Establishing anchors has two purposes: first, to provide a place for your piece to enter from the bar and second, to prevent the opponent from making points in his home board. In the early game, focus on establishing anchors on the 20, 21 point, but later on if you are behind in the race, the lower points before more significant. Either way, if you are building more than one anchor, try to make them close to one another.