Making Points off the Bat

Strategically positioning checkers on the backgammon board to set up a game plan is necessary early on in the game. It's for the simple reason that intended strategies are rarely carried out when one's checkers are not positioned at the game's onset. Though deviating from one's planned scheme is unavoidable in the course of the game, one should focus to get back on track. So, which points are crucial to backgammon victory?

Without a doubt, the answers are the bar point and the home or inner board points. The bar point is your seventh point. This the first point on your left by the bar that divides the board at its center. Your inner or home board points are the one to six points on your lower right quadrant of the backgammon board.

Opening dice rolls would call for making these points at the starting phase of the game. If you have decided to run, block, or attack, it's no question that making these points is beneficial to whatever strategy you are implementing. But if you were given the choice between making a home point or a bar point, which would you choose?

Anchoring the bar point will make a blockade of three pips from the eighth to sixth points on board. This tactic is especially helpful to mitigate the chances of your opponent's checkers at your one-point from advancing.

However, the home board points are more valuable for a couple of reasons. For one, they are in your inner board. It's the quadrant where your entire checkers can legally bear off. Safely making these points generally lowers the pip count you need to cover.

Second, anchoring the inner board points will make your opponent wary of leaving vulnerable blots in the course of the game. If you've primed your inner board and you've hit an opposing checker, you've just made your opponent stationary on the bar. This would give you more precious time to bear in.

Making points at the game's onset should be part of your game plan whatever strategy you decide to carry out. Particularly, making the bar point and home or inner board points early into the game contributes to backgammon success. But if you rolled a number that would either anchor the bar point or inner board point, it's almost always necessary to choose the inner board points. Aside from blocking an opposing checker, making these points will also frighten your opponent from leaving blots throughout of the game.