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How to Make the Best Backgammon Opening Moves with Doubles

Making right backgammon move with doubles

How to Make the Best Backgammon Opening Moves with Doublesthumbnail
Make the Best Backgammon Opening Moves with Doubles

Hi! This is great for a beginner. I used to think backgammon was all luck and got beat all the time. Realizing it is a game of skill, I learned some basic opening moves and really improved my game. This article focuses on making the best backgammon opening moves after you throw doubles. Have fun!

Moderately Easy


Things You'll Need

  • Backgammon board
  • Basic knowledge on how to play backgammon
    • 1
      Hi!! Please keep in mind that there are variations to all of these moves depending on your strategy. I only list what I think are some good, basic moves but there are plenty more. Also, your opponents first move may 'block' my recommended move below. This is because,technically, using traditional backgammon rules, since backgammon begins with each player throwing one die to determine who goes first, and ties are rerolled, doubles can not be the first move of the game.
      Regardless, see below and have some fun!
    • 2
      OK, for all these moves let's assume you are Red. Red (you) moves counter clockwise based on my original set up shown. You'll notice that in some cases I moved the white pieces to simulate the game has already started. The orange paper with arrows will show you what the board looks like after you make the move.
    • 3
      Here we go! Let's say your opening throw is a 6-6 (that is a six on one die and a six on another). Move two pieces from your 24 point (24 is the point that holds the two pieces with the loooongest way to go around the board), six points forward to your 18 point (18 point is just on the other side of the bar). Move two more piece from your 13 point (13 is the point on the opposite side from your 24 point) down to your seven point (7 is right next to the bar-side closest to you). Great opening move covers two important points with offensive and defensive power. See diagram, the orange paper with arrows will show where your pieces will be after the move.
    • 4
      If you throw a 5-5... This is widely considered by some experts as being one of the 'worst' opening throws but I like it and there is a correct move none the less. Take two pieces from your 13 position and move it all the way down to your three position (that is the third space away from where you would actually bear off). At least you get to close a space in your inner board.
    • 5
      For a 4-4. Move two pieces four spaces forward from your 24 position to your 20 position and move two pieces from your 13 position down to your 9 position. This is a solid move as the 20 position is considered on the of the best defensive positions in backgammon. Great for attacking your opponent's pieces coming home and great for giving yourself something to 'land' on if you get hit back.
    • 6
      If you throw a 3-3. Move two pieces from the 24 position to your 21 position and two pieces from your 8 position (8 is where those 3 pieces sit two spaces away from the bar) to the 5 position. This is a good move since the 21 position is almost as good of a defensive position as the 20 and the 5 position is considered a great point to hold in your own inner board
    • 7
      If you throw a 2-2 ... I love the simplicity of this one.... Just move your two pieces located way back on your 24 point four spaces forward to your 20 point. There are other variations but this is a great move. Keep in mind the 20 position is a great position to flex your backgammon ego. Very powerful. :-)
    • 8
      For a 1-1. Move two pieces from your 8 point to your 7 point and two pieces from your 6 point to your 5 point. Very handy double to throw. You cover two very important points PLUS, if your lone 8 point checker doesn't get hit on the next move, you stand a good chance of covering him from your 13 point on your next throw

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  1. This article neglects to mention that, according to the rules of backgammon, it is IMPOSSIBLE to have doubles on your first turn.

  2. You clearly have never played backgammon before. You say it isn't possible to throw doubles on "your" first turn. It is very possible to throw doubles on your first turn. Say your opponent goes first , rolls a 2-1. Now it's your 'first' turn.... you throw a 6-6. Not possible? It is.