Advanced Strategies for Aspiring Backgammon Players

Backgammon, with its blend of skill, strategy, and luck, offers endless possibilities for players to explore and elevate their gameplay. If you’re looking to take your Backgammon skills to the next level, it’s time to delve into more advanced tactics and techniques. In this article, we’ll guide you through some advanced strategies that can help aspiring Backgammon players refine their game and compete at a higher level.

The Blitz Strategy

The blitz is an aggressive strategy where you aim to hit and trap your opponent’s checkers in your home board. It involves making points in your home board while maintaining a strong anchor in your opponent’s home board. The objective is to leave your opponent with as many checkers on the bar as possible, making it challenging for them to re-enter and progress.

Key Elements:

  • Block your opponent’s checkers in your home board.
  • Maintain a strong anchor in your opponent’s home board.
  • Keep your checkers connected to ensure you can fill in gaps in your home board quickly.

The blitz strategy can be highly effective but also carries some risks. It requires precise timing and a solid understanding of when to switch from a blitz to a priming strategy or a race.

The Priming Strategy

In a priming strategy, the goal is to create a wall of points in your home board that restricts your opponent’s movement. This can make it difficult for your opponent to re-enter their hit checkers or advance their checkers around the board. Key points in your home board, such as the 1-point, 2-point, and 3-point, are crucial for this strategy.

Key Elements:

  • Build key points in your home board.
  • Create multiple anchors to block your opponent’s checkers.
  • Maintain a strong position on the 24-point to re-enter any hit checkers effectively.

The priming strategy requires patience and precise point construction. You need to control the board, keeping your opponent trapped behind your prime and maximizing your chances of winning a gammon.

The Running Game Strategy

The running game strategy is all about moving your back checkers as quickly as possible towards your home board while avoiding getting hit. It’s a strategy suited for situations where you’re behind in the race or need to escape a blockade in your opponent’s home board.

Key Elements:

  • Prioritize advancing your back checkers.
  • Maintain flexibility in your movement options.
  • Be cautious about leaving blots in your home board as you advance.

The running game strategy requires astute timing and an understanding of when to shift from running to a more controlled strategy based on your opponent’s moves and dice rolls.

The Holding Game Strategy

The holding game strategy involves maintaining a solid position in the game and waiting for your opponent to make a mistake. You aim to contain your opponent’s checkers while keeping yours safe. It’s a strategy often used when you have a lead in the race or when your opponent is exposed to gammons.

Key Elements:

  • Block your opponent’s checkers and maintain points in your home board.
  • Keep your checkers safe and minimize blots.
  • Be patient and wait for opportunities to capitalize on your opponent’s mistakes.

The holding game strategy is a waiting game, where you patiently maintain your position, capitalizing on your opponent’s errors when they present themselves.

Cube Handling Strategies

Advanced Backgammon players must master cube handling. The doubling cube can significantly impact the stakes of the game. Understanding when to offer a double, when to accept or decline a double, and when to recube is essential.

Key Elements:

  • Offer a double when you have an advantage in the game.
  • Accept or decline a double based on your assessment of the position and the likelihood of winning.
  • Use the cube strategically to put pressure on your opponent or protect your equity.

Cube handling adds a dynamic element to Backgammon and can dramatically affect your chances of winning a match.

Advanced Bear-Off Techniques

The bear-off stage is the final phase of the game, and advanced players must master efficient bear-off techniques. This includes optimizing your moves to minimize the number of rolls needed to bear off all your checkers.

Key Elements:

  • Prioritize bearing off checkers from the highest points.
  • Use techniques like the “2-1 count” to maximize your bear-off efficiency.
  • Avoid getting stuck with checkers on the 1-point, which can slow down your bear-off progress.

Efficient bear-off techniques can be the difference between victory and defeat in close matches.

Match Play Strategies

In match play, where players compete to reach a specific number of points, advanced strategies come into play. Understanding the value of gammons and backgammons, and when to take calculated risks to secure the match, is crucial.

Key Elements:

  • Be aware of the score and how it affects your strategy.
  • Consider the gammon and backgammon potential when making doubling decisions.
  • Adjust your gameplay based on the match score and the number of points needed to win.

Match play introduces an additional layer of complexity to Backgammon, where the overall match score impacts your strategic decisions.


Advanced Backgammon strategies take your game to a higher level, requiring a deeper understanding of the game’s dynamics, tactics, and risk assessment. To become an advanced player, practice, experience, and a willingness to learn from both victories and defeats are essential.

Whether you choose to employ blitz, priming, running, or holding game strategies, or master cube handling, bear-off techniques, and match play strategies, each advanced tactic adds to your repertoire as a Backgammon player. Backgammon is a game that rewards those who continuously refine their skills, making every match a unique and captivating journey of strategy and tactics.

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