Playing Backgammon Better

All of us would like to play a bit better each time we play backgammon. As we practice to improve we should bear in mind several things that some experts always take the trouble to remember to win at backgammon.

Don't count on luck too much. True, luck has a big part in backgammon as far as dice rolls are concerned. But after that, it is all wit and skill. And sometimes even dice rolling involves some dice throwing control, and that means skill. So we should stop thinking that our luck will see us through when playing backgammon.

On things our wit and skill can do something about, we should do our best to work out on. Where and when to put up primes, when to hit, when to maintain a running game or a priming game—all these should not be relegated to simple luck. We should work out strategies.

To win at backgammon through strategies means we study. There are lots of literature on the subject. Websites never run out of fresh articles on backgammon. And on top of these we should practice playing often. Playing with our friends and family is not enough. We should play online against players of different skill levels. Better yet, play with the pros.

Remember also that backgammon is a race. It is not primarily building fortified fortresses. Don't be too absorbed in building primes and trapping enemy checkers with them. Or shooting hits at enemy checkers from solid anchors. They're not what backgammon is all about. They are good strategies but we must not dwell on them. Always focus on the race—on getting our pieces to our home board and bearing them off before the opponent does the enemy checkers.

Make sure to count pips so we can calculate our odds in the game well. We should also adjust our play style according to how we fair in the game. Strategies should be compatible with how we stand in a particular phase of a game. And make sure that when we opt for a double we use it as a weapon to hurt the opponent to force the same to quit. Wrong timing with a doubling cube option means disaster.

To win at backgammon we have to carefully weigh our mindset and attitude in the game. In short, we have to start junking wrong perceptions and retain right ones. The only way to win in backgammon is right thinking.