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Backgammon Basics: Opening Roll Basic Concepts

As you study each opening roll in backgammon and its recommended play, you will notice that they will often follow certain basic concepts. You will also see that these basic concepts are the same ones that we will be using throughout a game of backgammon. Let's go through the basic concepts that we can use during the opening roll.

When playing backgammon it is not only important to know what move to make. An equally important thing to know in backgammon is to understand the basic concepts behind certain moves. The same holds true for the opening roll. Knowing the why in the backgammon opening roll is just as important as understanding the how.

One of the basic concepts of backgammon that govern an opening roll is to make a point. Points on the backgammon board serve either as blocking points for your opponent's checkers or safe havens for your own backgammon checkers. Since making points on the backgammon board are very useful, make one if an opening roll gives you an opportunity to do so.

Another of the many applicable basic concepts is to trap your opponent's back checkers and escaping your own back checkers before your opponent gets a chance to trap them. There will be times when an opening roll will give you a chance to split your back men and land one checker on a safe point.

A perfect example would be the five-six opening roll. There is only one play that every backgammon player would agree on as to the correct play for this opening roll. That play is to do a 24/13 that would split your back checkers and land that escaping checker on a safe point.

It is perfectly fine to split your back checkers in the opening roll of a backgammon game. If your opponent hits a blot you can easily catch up and perhaps hit back (that is if your opponent decides to hit a blot on the home board where you enter backgammon checkers).

Another important concept that will be helpful during the opening roll is to make key points. These are points on the backgammon board that you need to control to enable you to make a prime. These key points on the backgammon board are the four-point, the five-point, and the bar-point. The primary objective is to contain your opponent's checkers on your home board.

These basic concepts can be applied to the opening roll as well as to the rest of the game. It is not only important to understand the correct plays for an opening roll. We should also understand the concepts behind them.

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