Backgammon Basics: Defensive Strategy

If backgammon were only a pure race then everything will all be up to the dice. Unfortunately, that is not the case when you play the game. Other elements of backgammon make it more interesting and at the same time more difficult (and quite aggressive at times). Every strategy game includes both elements of offense and defense. Without that balance, you either develop into an awkward position or you just plunge your men into oblivion.

There are two objective defensive strategies to maintain a balance in your game in backgammon. First defensive strategy is to build or make points on the home board (preferably on your opponent's side). The second defensive strategy you can try is to improve coverage of the board. Let's deal with each defensive strategy and see how they can be incorporated into your current over all game plan.

The first defensive strategy is to make points on the backgammon board. When we make a point on the board we usually place at least two of our checkers on a single point. Consider such a point as yours since your opponent can't hit those checkers nor can enemy checkers land on them.

Ideally, when we speak of defensive strategy, we want to position our points where they can hinder the opposing force's movement. We would prefer to make these points on strategic locations on the board so they can be most effective against our opponent.

Remember to make points on your opponent's five-point, bar-point, and four-point if ever an opportunity comes. These are excellent positions and would serve as major road blocks for your opponent's backgammon checkers.

Another trick you might like to try is to line up your blocks in a row . This row of blocks is called a prime and is the basis of the priming-game strategy. If you have made a really long prime (at least four points is sufficient) this would mean your opponent has to make really very high rolls. Any roll less than the number of points would mean enemy checkers stranded behind the prime in backgammon.

The other defensive strategy is to increase your coverage of the board. At first this would seem as an aggressive method. The truth is sometimes a good defense is a good threat. By splitting your back men by doing 24/23 you have already added to that coverage. This defensive strategy combined with points made in your home board would force your opponent to play safe while your threat hangs. Placing backgammon checkers past your opponent's eight-point also adds to your board coverage.

By strategically positioning blocks and increasing coverage you strengthen your defensive strategy. Try to incorporate a defensive strategy mentioned here and you will then get a balance of offense in backgammon.