Backgammon Tactics

Although backgammon has skill and techniques such as chess, there is a chance factor because of the element of dice used which makes the game more unique. This chance element is what makes backgammon exciting as even a novice can beat an expert.

There are many techniques and skills to learn and the master player studies these, gets to know them, and switches between them when appropriate to obtain every advantage over their opponent.

Establishing a good defense, hitting or capturing stand alone checkers, making blockades are just a few of these tactics. A technique of shifting as fast as possible running towards home is a technique many beginning players use. This is often countered by a very defensive stance blocking the way by the opponent. Players ebb back and forth mixing defense and offense to try and get any advantage over the other before striking and bolting for home.

As the match proceeds, a player will possibly attain a benefit by knocking off an opponent's checker from the board. He can then construct a barrier of checkers to defend the board from passage of his opponent's checkers. This is called a prime and consists of building your checkers over six marks so passage is impossible by the other player. Unless his checkers are beaten, an opponent is cornered at the back of this six-point wall and can not break out.

This is a goal of most strategies and proves to be quite a key factor in winning a game of backgammon. A player can suddenly achieve a competitive edge and be triumphant in the game since the opponent has a problem of going back from the bar or getting past the prime. Often this can turn the tide of a game and bring victory from the jaws of defeat.

Once the prime is establish the player simply moves the 6 mark wall point by point towards home until the opponent is blocked in. While this is a good technique towards the latter stages of the game, trying to do this at the beginning may put you in a defensive posture to early so beware of early primes.

These skills are just some of the techniques and skills that one can employ but they serve the point of establishing that while backgammon is indeed a game of chance, there is also skill and knowledge needed to truly master the game.