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Opening Game Strategy for Novices
The opening is the very first stage of a game of backgammon. Though there is no clear demarcation as to how far ahead in the game is the opening, we can always safely say that the opening sets up the rest of the action. During the opening, a player needs to set up backgammon checkers quickly. It is also a time to be aggressive and determined.
There are two things that backgammon novices should start with in order to get down the very basic principles involved in the opening of a backgammon game. First is to establish your position on the game board and second is to plan the escape of back men.
You play the role of a military tactician when you play the opening in backgammon. You get to decide where to place your men where they can be most effective given the circumstances of the game. Part of the challenge of laying out your forces on the backgammon board is the random series of numbers you get from the dice.
When we lay out our men on the board our most important concern is to make effective blocking points. Second to that is to place builders to pose a threat to incoming enemy checkers or make more points in your next few turns.
Making blocking points on the backgammon board should be part of a fundamental strategy novices should be familiar with. If you are able to establish blocking points at strategic positions on the board, your opponent will have a difficult time moving checkers around.
Take special note of key points like the bar-point and the five-point (or 20-point). Another piece of advice we can give to novices is to build more blocking points on your own home board when the opportunity comes. This will be valuable to you especially in the end game.
Planning the escape of the back men is the second item that backgammon novices should work out early in the opening of a game. These two backgammon checkers on your 24-point are the clear target of any enemy offensive. You can expect your opponent to trap and hit these two checkers when an opportunity comes.
One good practice that every novice can apply is to use half of the moves when you roll a double on your back men. That is, every time you make a double, use the two extra moves to escape your back checkers. This would keep the two checkers together (and keep them safe since they can't be hit).
Try this opening strategy at first. As you advance in your skill you can make detailed strategies as you gain more experience playing backgammon.
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