Top Backgammon Tips

In our business, we work closely with our customers to ensure they always receive a product they are totally happy with, from the high-quality finish to choosing their bespoke colour scheme. Our customers range from complete novices to championship winners; no matter where in the game our players are, they always ask for a few tips from the professionals.

For this reason, we’ve pulled together some opinions of world-renowned backgammon players to ensure it’s not only high-quality games we can offer, it’s great advice too. Backgammon is one of the oldest games in the world, it’s easy to play but hard to become a master.

We’d always advise watching matches and joining a local club to begin competing against people who can advise you on your next moves.

  1. When you’re ahead in the race, race. When you’re behind in the race, don’t race.
    Don’t race when behind; it sounds obvious, but many rookies run their back checker when they are behind in the race.
  2. Don’t make stacks. 
  3. Hit blots, make points.
    When a player leaves a checker alone on a point, it becomes a “blot”, if the opponent rolls the right number on the dice or combination of numbers, he has the option to ”hit” or “send back” 1 or more blots. They may not always choose to ‘hit’ at all if there a more strategic play available.
  4. If you have a choice between plays and one of them makes your opponent’s 5-point then do that – you’ll be right most of the time and even if you’re wrong it won’t be by much.
  5. 5- primes are good but 6-primes are even better
    A prime is a sequence of six consecutive blocks. When a prime is in place, none of the opponent’s checkers can move past as long as the prime remains intact. That’s because a checker can’t touch down on a blocked point and never moves more than six points in a single hop. No matter how well you roll, you can’t escape from behind a six-prime. It’s maximum security. An opposing checker trapped behind a prime cannot escape until the prime is broken.
  6.  Always make the 5-point
    Also known as “The Golden Point”. The golden point is your own 5-point, the golden anchor is the 20-point (the opponents 5-point). If you have the golden anchor it is much harder for your opponent to build an effective prime against these checkers, compared to the checkers on the 24-point.
  7. A builder on the 9-point is very strong
    A builder is when a checker is brought into your outer board where it bears directly onto one or more key points that you want to make.
  8. If you are not sure if your opponent has a take you should double
    A double is an offer from one player to another during the game, it’s offered on the players turn but before the dice are rolled. The aim is to continue the game with twice the current stakes, the opponent has the choice to refuse the double in which case they resign the game and loses the stakes (undoubled). If they accept the game continues at double the previous takes if accepted the player becomes the owner of the cube and has the chance to double the stakes again in the same game. 
  9. Stay even on top when bearing off against contact
    Try and keep an even number of checkers on your highest points when bearing off against an anchor to avoid leaving shots if you roll high doubles.
  10. Miracles do happen
    Sometimes if a player believes in miracles he can perform them. (Korchnoi). Never give up the game can change in the roll of a dice.

There is a level of etiquette when playing backgammon and our top tip for the beginners is to always wish your opponent a good match.

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