Vic Morawski: Hi, I am Vic and today we are introducing you to the game of Backgammon. We want to look at how might win the game by playing a holding game. If you happen to roll a very high double. So if you are playing a holding game, you would like to hold a point or two points in your opponent's home board. In this case, blue has only one, white has five points and you actually in a situation like this blue has a dual game plan. One, is blue might be able to get a shot at white perhaps as white clears white's midpoint, maybe white is going to be forced to leave checkers there which blue can hit or perhaps blue can get a shot on one of these points. So that's part of your winning strategy, but blue has another strategy too. In the less likely event that blue happens to roll a high double, blue knows that this is a relatively close race and judging the race is something that comes with experience and you can also learn how to do a pip count which will give you more exact way to do it where each checker counts the number of points that it's on you total up all of the pips that the checkers are on and see where you are, in other words, these would count 20, these would count 6, these would count 2. You add them all together and you can judge where the race is.
What happens in a position like this if blue rolls double sixes? Well, yes blue can move down here and move a checker in and leave these stranded back there, but that's not a good idea. Here is a situation where a holding game turns into a running game because blue can take two of those double sixes there and two more down here and blue has gone from a position where he or she is 12 pips behind in the race, a pip being the number on a given point to now being 12 pips ahead in the race. So in a holding game, you are always looking to move forward, always looking for that opportunity to put yourself ahead, your opponent behind either by hitting a shot or by rolling a high double which might put you ahead in the race. Next, we are going to talk about how to bear your checkers into your home board to save a gammon. To watch the other segments in this video series or for How to videos on almost any other topic, visit monkeysee.