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The Best Ways to Improve Your Backgammon Game

Backgammon is an old game and a very well revered one. Because of that, there are a huge number of people playing, and that is good news for anyone who wants to get into it. For one thing, it means that there are always people you can play against, but it also means that there are plenty of people who have good ways of playing, an awareness of strategy, and a generally good sense of how to make the most of it.

That’s good news for you, because it means you can learn a lot of information that is already out there. And in this post, we are going to help you here specifically with one particular thing: trying to improve your backgammon game as much as possible. Let’s take a look now at some of the things you might want to consider in order to do that as well as you can.

Learn The Key Skills

There are of course a lot of key skills to any game, and that is as true of backgammon as any other game out there. If you want to improve your backgammon, you are therefore going to need to develop these key skills as best as you can and as soon as possible. Actually, that might be easier than you think to do, but you will first need to know what those skills actually are and how to build them up during gameplay.


One of the most critical early skills to learn in backgammon is how to open the game. Your opening moves are always going to be some of the most important of the game, and especially so if you want to develop beyond the level of a beginner. So what are some of the things you need to know about opening a game of backgammon?

In particular, it’s important that you make use of the initial roll that you get. You obviously can’t control what numbers you get, but you can control what you do with that. Having a 3-1 is usually the best roll, for instance, but only if you actually know what to do with it. So you’ll have to have this kind of careful strategy from the very start, if possible. Otherwise, you might be throwing away an all-important early advantage in the game, and that could be disastrous.

Beyond that, you’ll also need to think about what the key points on the board are - this is more important at the start of the game than at any other point in the game. The 5 and 20 points are the most important, and if you can hold one or ideally both of these early on in a game, that is going to bode very well for the rest of the game.

So if you can remember that, you should find that your opening is much better, and that will help you to improve your overall game considerably.


Another important key skill is to get good at probability. This is an important understanding that you need to have if you are going to have a good backgammon game on the whole, and it’s something that you will really need to think about as best as you can. The better your probability game is, the better your game is on the whole, so it’s something that you are going to want to be aware of from the start.

So what do you most need to know about probability in backgammon? The main thing here is that a good awareness of probability will help you to make the right calculated risks, and that is a really important part of playing the game well. In truth, the entire game is just about calculated risks, so that is clearly a very important thing to consider.

The main way to progress beyond being merely a beginner is to learn the probabilities of different rolls of the dice. From there, you can start to think about how likely various moves are going to be in the further stages of the game. Of course, you have to add to that an awareness of what is actually happening on the board at the moment. If you do it right, however, it can help you a lot.

Pip Counting

In essence, you can think of backgammon as a racing game. You are both racing to the finish line and the first to get there will win the game. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that you know who is winning at any point in the game. This actually proves to be one of the most important key skills, even though it is just counting it’s actually really important to make sure you are doing it.

It’s just about counting how many pips you are away from winning, and then comparing that to your opponent’s count. How this figure differs will affect considerably what your strategy should be, so if you want to become a better player you will need to make sure you are thinking about this.


A lot of backgammon is about replying, and you need to make sure that you are developing your skills with regard to this as best as you can. Knowing how to reply to different kinds of moves is always going to be hugely important, and will constitute a major part of the game. In particular, you need to learn the best replies to all the possible opening moves. There are certainly not lots of these, so you can learn them if you want to and if you want to have the best gameplay possible.

As you can see, there are quite a few key skills that you might want to develop, and doing so is going to help you to be a much better player in no time. But that is not all there is to it, and there are other things you might want to focus on too to ensure that your game is as good as possible.

Rules Of Thumb

There are certain rules of thumb that you can learn and become aware of, to help you to improve your backgammon game in general. If you are able to make yourself aware of these, you are going to find that it automatically leads to a much better way to play. In no time, you will then find yourself with a much improved game, and you’ll much more easily be able to win more often - while also enjoying the game a lot more in the process too, which is also important.

So what are some of these rules of thumb, and how can you make sure you are actually playing with those in mind? One of the most essential is something that is often referred to as duplication. This refers to a state where you are trying to play any moves so that your opponent needs to get the same number for their own strategy to succeed. This means they will at least be chasing you, and quite possibly won’t even be able to do that. That can improve your chances of winning considerably, so it’s something to think about.

You will also find that you tend to develop your own rules of thumb over time as well. These will happen quite organically, and they are not always the kind of thing that you can describe in words. However, it’s likely that you are going to get some of these at least after a while, so it’s something that you should certainly think about. Having these rules of thumb means also being aware of them enough to make use of them, so make sure that you are thinking about that.

Once you have these rules in place and you are following them, it’s going to improve your game considerably.


There is a common trap that you can fall into when you are following such rules, however - you might find yourself simply going along with those rules too strictly, and thereby ending up in a situation where you are not actually acting in the best interests of your game at the moment. At all times, it is imperative to pay attention to the actual moment in the actual game you are playing. When you do that, you will then find that you are going to have a much better chance of responding in the best possible way for your strategy.

So in other words, try not to be so caught up in any particular rule of thumb that you forget about the importance of flexibility. This is one of the most fundamental things that you need to bear in mind if you are going to actually play as well as possible. It’s amazing how much it can help your game to try and remain flexible, in fact. If you can remember to do this, it will help you a lot.

Defensive Or Offensive?

One of the decisions that you will find yourself having to make on a regular basis is whether to go offensive or to be defensive. You clearly need to think about this, because it is going to mean that you are much more likely to actually make a difference to your game and that you are going to have the best results wherever possible.

The fact is that sometimes you might need to be defensive, and sometimes you’ll need to go on the offense, and knowing when to do either of these turns out to be hugely important and relevant. If you are trying to figure out in the moment which of these to do, there are many factors that might influence your decision, but most of all you will simply need to make sure that you are being aware of it in the moment and making the right choice.

Then it’s about applying the particular strategy depending on the situation you find yourself in. The better you do this, the better it is going to be for your game in general, so it’s something that you should definitely think about.

Being In A Good Place To Play

There are also factors that can have a great influence on your game from outside the game itself. The more aware you are of these, the more likely it is that you will be able to keep your game on the up and up, and especially where you can control some of these factors a little more easily. What kinds of factors are these, then, and how can you make sure that you are paying them the necessary credence?

One of the most important of these is simply your state of mind as you play. As long as you are in a good place to play backgammon, you are more likely to play well and to make the most of each move. On the other hand, if you are not in a good state of mind, then it can make it much more difficult to do what you need to do, not just in order to win, but to make the most of it and enjoy the game as much as possible too.

Think about what affects your state of mind, and make sure that you are doing all you can to improve those things as much as possible. For instance, you will find it better to play sober and have slept well, and to be well hydrated. These are simple things that will really help you to play your game so much better.

Once you are in control of those kinds of things, you are going to find that your backgammon game is a lot better in no time, so it’s something that you really need to be aware of.

Having The Right Attitude

You might not have thought it, but attitude is something else that has a big impact on how you play and the kind of game you are going to have. Having the right attitude is often the difference between success and failure in a game of backgammon, in fact. But what do we mean by the right attitude, and what can you do to actually ensure that you have it? This is something that you might want to look into if you are genuinely keen to become a better backgammon player.

One of the main elements of a good attitude for backgammon is that you are thinking positively. That includes not beating yourself up, and making sure that you are aware of the various influences outside of your control, the main ones being the other player’s skill level, and luck. These are not things you can control, so don’t get stressed out trying to do so. That is not going to help you, ultimately, and you will find that you are much less likely to enjoy your game this way.

So as well as developing a generally positive attitude, you should also make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep on enjoying yourself. There is little use in not doing so, because after all this is a game, and the whole point is to enjoy it. If you don’t, you might as well be doing something else, something you do enjoy.

Having the right attitude turns out to be a major part of improving your backgammon game, so this is absolutely something you should be aware of if that is important to you.

Playing Competitively

There are few things that are quite as good for improving your game as playing it competitively. If you do this, you will find that you are going to quite naturally develop some skills in backgammon that might otherwise take a while to build up. It’s one of the best ways that you can hope to play backgammon at your very best levels.

Part of the reason for this is that you will be playing against a great many different people, including different kinds of players who approach things in a wide range of ways. So that is something that you will find very helpful for developing different strategies and generally improving your game. It’s also true that playing competitively allows you to practice at a higher level than usual, which is inevitably going to result in a much better game.

So if you want to improve your backgammon game, you might do a lot worse than signing up for a competition or contest. That is easily one of the best things you can do in order to improve your game as quickly and effectively as you might hope.

As you can see, there are a lot of steps that you can try out in order to improve your backgammon game. It goes beyond mere strategy and becomes more about a way of approaching the game. If you can do that, and you do so with the right intentions, then you could find yourself with a much improved game in no time, and one that you will probably enjoy more.


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