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Tactics

There are three fundamental tactics in backgammon. These are outlined below. There are thousands of pages online that will go into greater detail and also expand on this selection. Our Glossary will explain some of these terms for beginners. Additionally, our Deluxe Backgammon Playing Guides provide extra information.

Securing Points

Securing points by placing two or more of your checkers on a single point is normally a good idea. In backgammon owning a point in this way provides two distinct advantages. Firstly, it provides you with a safe place for your checkers to land on as they move around the board. Secondly, they make it more difficult for your opponent to move their checkers around the board as a point is no longer available for them to land on.

Building Primes

Securing consecutive points creates a prime. Primes make it more difficult for your opponent to move as they require larger rolls to clear. The ultimate is a six point prime, because it creates an impassable trap for any of your opponent’s checkers that are trapped behind it.

Hitting your opponent’s checkers

If your opponent’s checker is alone on a point it is vulnerable to be hit, which will send it off the board and back to the bar. Therefore, your opponent will need to re-enter the board on a subsequent throw. This sets your opponent back in the race. After hitting a checker it is best to move the checker forward to a secure point. Although, a better option, if possible, would be to hit a second checker because it is harder to re-enter two checkers than one.