The Last Resort: The Backgammon Backgame

A backgame is not a popular strategy among beginners of backgammon. Perhaps this is due to the fact that this is a strategy players employ when there's no other way to win a match. One fact that every player must face is that they would have to learn how to do a backgame when it's the only option left.

Let's take a look at a typical backgame situation in backgammon. A backgame usually occurs during or near the end game. At this point, there would almost be no more contact between the opposing sides. The only bit of contact would be the anchors (or maybe an anchor) of one player and the checkers of the opponent.

The anchors would be positioned at your opponent's backgammon home board. Your opponent would have made several points at the home board or near it constituting a backgammon prime.

The prime is usually long enough to keep your back checkers contained in the home board. Normally, when you're really down to a backgame your opponent's back checkers have also escaped. This is not a really pretty picture in a backgammon game.

What can we do and how do we use a backgame to turn things around? The main objective of the backgame in backgammon is to hit late in the game and make a way to escape the checkers that are trapped in your opponent's home board.

A backgame is not like a holding game where you have other options. It is critical for you to hit late in a backgammon game so as to catch up on the pip count. Merely escaping your back checkers is not enough to make a successful backgame.

Since most of the time you won't be moving your back checkers, the only other option available to you is to build your home board.

Building your home board facilitates a successful backgame anytime. Continue moving your spare checkers into your own home board and avoid leaving blots. The next part of the objective of a successful backgame is to contain the enemy checker that was hit so you can escape your trapped checkers.

Be patient when doing a backgame, don't panic when your opponent starts bearing off. At times when your opponent starts to bear off or move checkers you get a chance to hit an open checker.

Even beginners need to learn how to execute a successful backgame. You can never discount the fact that there'll come a time when you would really need it.