Backgammon – Overview of Strategy

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,609
    Vic Morawksi, expert backgammoner, teaches the basic to the game including game strategy.

    Vic Morawski: Hi, I am Vic and we're introducing you to the game of Backgammon. I would like to give a little introduction to what goes in the mind of an experienced player when they approach the game and especially of the kinds of game plans and strategies they might have in their minds. We've looked at an overview of the rules of Backgammon both for moving checkers and for bearing off and the rules themselves suggest some important things about your strategy and these are important things that good Backgammon players keep in mind. They never lose sight of the fact that the game is a race, you do want to get your checkers off the board before your opponent does and so you do want to keep tabs of where you are in the race.

    Now there are ways to do this that we are not going to go into in this video series by taking a pip cal and other things. But you want to at least develop a sense for who might be ahead in the race around the board and good Backgammon players will do that. But we've mentioned that good Backgammon players know that the game is more than a race and that they want to develop some strategies to try to take key points and one of the things that you do is to realize that no one is going to repeal the laws of chance from you, that you've to make them work for you. So, good Backgammon players will often move checkers into place, in order to build key points. They see their checkers not as liabilities but as assets. What would it be to see your checkers as liabilities?

    Remember, it takes a certain amount of numbers on the dice to take your checkers around the board and take them off and if you see them as liabilities then you see each checker as something that's going to eat up so many dice rolls, getting it off the board. But that's not how good Backgammon players look at their playing pieces. They look at their playing pieces as assets that can provide them safe places to land if they make points that can block their opponent's point, that can be placed in a position that threatens their opponent's movement because they might threaten to hit their opponent. So, good Backgammon players are going to try to make the odds work for you, work for them in ways that work and they will try to leave checkers in areas that give them the most chance to make points. I will say a little bit more about this, when we talk about running game.

    So, good Backgammon players see their checkers as assets not as liabilities. They are aware of the race but they realize the game is more than a race and there is another thing that kind of leads into what we are going to do the rest of this video series. Good Backgammon players have an overall goal or strategy that they are trying to accomplish, depending on the dice rolls they get. So, they are not just making moves as isolated moves depending on whatever numbers they have to roll but they are trying to accomplish something constructive and the things that they are trying to accomplish can be viewed in terms of various game plans or overall strategies for winning at backgammon. It is these, that make good Backgammon players. They know these strategies, they've been around for years. You can even find them in 1930's Backgammon books and so we are going to go over some of the strategies that you might use yourself to try to win games of Backgammon against your opponent. Coming up next, we'll talk about our first game plan, the running game.