BACKGAMMON BEGINNER STRATEGY

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BACKGAMMON BEGINNER STRATEGY

As a beginner, you need to focus on the key objective of the game. In a nutshell, the objective is to bring all the checkers to your inner board and to finally start bearing them off.

Check the position of the checkers

Place five checkers on 6 point, three on the 8-point, five on 13 point and the balance two on the 24 point. Re-ensure whether your opponent has also placed the checkers in the same way. Now you must arm yourself with accurate backgammon terminology. The 13th point, where five checkers are placed at the beginning, is called the
mid-point. As the 7th point is placed immediately next to the bar, it is the Bar-point. It may be noted that in the beginning, you never place a checker at the Bar-point. Now lets come to the last point, the1-point. Essentially you cannot move your checker beyond the 1-point, being called the Ace-point. (NB-Your ace-point becomes the opponent’s mid-point while the opponent’s ace-point becomes your mid-point in due course of the game).
Assuming you know the board better, consider how that affects your strategy now. You must reserve your ace-point at the earliest. Leave the last point, when and only when your bearing off is complete. Try to keep the bar point occupied hence allowing you enough space for free movement.
Now you must apply a simple logic while placing the checkers. Always try moving checkers in pairs as this increases your invincibility even if you are bound to move a single checker by the cast of the die. Remember a single checker is always susceptible to a hit by the opponent, meaning that you need to place your checker back on the bar again and go through the entire rigmarole again. It is not only tedious but also highly time consuming, time being the most crucial parameter for a win in Backgammon.

Certain standard myths about throwing the die:

(which are however scientifically yet to be proved to be authentic). We suggest that you to throw the die from a reasonable height in an empty space so that it can fall and roll freely. In the skill-laden game of backgammon, the cast of the die factor has labeled it to a game of Luck.

Generic questions:

How to count points?
It is really very simple. You start counting from the upper-right corner of the outer-board.

How should the moves take place?
You must always be moving ahead in an anti-clockwise direction.

Where can you place the checker?
At any open point.

What to do in the event that your point is pre-occupied by the opponent’s checker?
If there remains only one checker for the opponent, you can place yours there by striking off the opponent’s checker while it goes back to the bar. However if it is occupied by a set of the opponent’s checkers, then you cannot hit them.

What are the stipulations?
You cannot move a checker from behind, if your opponent has formed a prime, which is a set of checkers in six subsequent points.

How to determine, who makes the first move?
This is determined by the throw of a single dice at the beginning. Remember in moving the checkers, you must throw both the die together.

Informative Backgammon Books:

Know the Game by Glen Titley – This is a very thin book providing a bird’s eye view of the rules of backgammon. This book helps the beginners to know how to play the backgammon. This also gives you the overview of some tips and strategy.

The Backgammon Book by Jacoby and Crawford – An ideal book for beginners. Remember that Jacoby rules and Crawford rules are followed even today in money games and match games respectively. It has delved into the intricacies of the game. There are clear-cut instructions on the rules with a detailed description of its history and the developing phases. The pros and cons of the double are most elaborate in the book giving a clear-cut guideline.

Backgammon by Lamford Paul – The champion Paul Lamford has tried to guide the beginners with the essentials of the game.
The Backgammon Handbook by Enno Heyken and Martin B. Fidcher is also a popular book for beginners.

Note: Your key strategy should be to observe and react. The experts suggest that in the beginning; rely more on the reactive approach rather than your proactive approach.

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