Backgammon Strategy

I've played backgammon for a number of years now and in the last 2 years quite frequently. It was a mystery to me for a very long time. I am very much a read and learn kind of gal but shy away from reading up on "Backgammon for Blood" or "The Idiot's Guide to Backgammon". I don't know. It kinda made me feel like a loser to resort to such things.

So I did the next best thing. I started playing people who were really, really, really good at it and just watched what they did. When they did something terribly mysterious I'd pull out my adoring-the-god face and say something like, "Gee Whiz, that was as smooth as a gravy sandwich. Do you mind telling me why you did that?". Flattery gets you anything...most of the time.

Here are what I would consider the three rules for playing a better game of backgammon.

1 - Play the odds. Don't move a stone out of the 4th quadrant if you can play far back in the 2nd quadrant and avoid the opponent's stones in your home quad. This would require them to use points from both dice.

2 - Move your stones out of the 4th quadrant as soon as you possibly can unless your opponent is more than 20 pips ahead of you. If they are, reserve your stones in your opponent's home quadrant to pop one of his/her stones onto the bar. (In short, play offensive when you are behind and defensive when you are ahead.)

3 - Spread your stones out as best you can in your home quadrant from the beginning of the game. This will make it easier to reap them when the time comes.

I'm sure there is more than this great advice, but I risk putting myself into the group of duds that write those way too long missives a game that is loved or hated (most likely both at alternating times!).

Warmest regards - Jacque Dulhane

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