Backgammon Guidelines for Beginners

Here are some guidelines for backgammon beginners. And here are also important reminders for regular players who keep repeating the same old mistakes in the game. Most times, basics in the game apply to both new comers and experts. So, let's all be reminded.

The first is that we should always prepare for a backgammon session. Even if we have been used to playing backgammon we must always refresh ourselves—even mentally-about the game's rules and basic strategies. We should browse especially on our game format, the length of the match, doubling rules and tactics, calculating our odds, and backgammon protocol. We should brush up on fundamental match fairness and equity and on taking points.

Then, an equally important component of a good play is having foresight. We should see the game before and after a dice roll. Most ordinary players just see a strategy or a disadvantage after throwing the dice and moving the checkers. We should know better, we should always have a good grasp of the overall play and see possibilities as well as limits.

And while we prepare the dice and throw them we devise alternatives in our minds. Some experts contend that often the first opportunity is not necessarily the best one. Other better opportunities on the board are bound to show themselves up later in the game. So never pour everything on what we think is the best opportunity when we see one. Learn to gauge correctly.

And never forget that the game is also a race. In this race the pip count always matters. Often, a strategy's effectiveness depends on our standing in the race—whether we are ahead or losing. Not just because a strategy is good, doesn't mean it can be applied anytime. We have to see how we are performing in the backgammon race. Strategies may do more harm than good if applied at the wrong time. Like hitting when we're near bearing off may be a bad idea when enemy checkers start to enter.

Just as our race standing is important, so is the score. Some strategies depend on what our score is for effectiveness. If we're behind with our score we might as well apply tactics that will help us cope. When we're behind it may be good to have more a running game than an anchoring game.

These guidelines for backgammon beginners are important also for regular players. We should know what we're doing, especially with basic moves.