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Backgammon Frequently Asked Questions

By: tcads

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When and where to build an Anchor?

Anchors are built up to create a defense for you so that the opponent’s moves become hindered. Experts say the best place to create an anchor is at your away board. It gives you a better control of the board as well as providing you enough space for landing in case you are hit. You are also restricting the opponent in movement in his safe haven of the home board. Now the best position of anchoring varies with the progress of the game.

Like in the beginning, you must look for occupying the bar adjacent points 20-points and 21-points. This provides you the space for landing, if you are being hit. If you are significantly trailing in the game, you must focus on the 22-points, 23-points and 24-points. This will block the escape route of the opponent and give you some time to reorganize.

When to leave shot or which one to hit?

Hitting means hit a checker of the opponent in the blot, where the opponent has placed a single checker.

If the game goes against you, you should start concentrating in organizing your checkers in your home board to minimize the points while loosing. You must know that at this stage, attempting to hit by leaving checkers from prime or anchors may be dangerous for you. So, we suggest if you are trailing and you are to break your defense for hitting, it’s better to leave shots. Remember that if you move a checker from a blockade created by you then you are also leaving the other checker in a vulnerable condition.

If we talk of the prioritization for hitting, we must look at the most advanced checker of the opponent or the checker seems to be most dangerous as per our intuition. Try to read the opponent and find out the checkers, which he wants to build prime or blockade.

When to double?

There is no hard and fast rule, when to double. Perhaps doubling demands your most analytical brain. You need to always keep in mind the current match, the results of previous matches. Lets imagine a situation where in a 3 game match and you are on to the 2nd game after loosing the first. At this stage If you decline the double, you are not only loosing that game in particular, but also you are loosing the match. So why not become more aggressive? After all Walter Cookie had won several matches like this.

As per the odds lets look at Joe Andrew’s claim, 'The odds of rolling doubles are 1 in 6'. If you want to listen to Woolsey, The thumb rule for double is 'Put yourself in your opponent’s shoes. If you would even think of dropping if doubled, then it must be a good double.' RedTop and PhilipJSimborg says, 'Double when you are on roll and your opponent's needed pip count is at least 8% more than yours. If doubled, you should take if trailing by no more than 12%.'

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