Planning your Strategy

We enjoy a variety of games for entertainment and leisure. Card games, puzzles and table games are just a few of the variety of games we can choose from. These games, however simple in form and instructions have a history of their own and among them, table games are said to be the games for the skilled in mind. Like backgammon, it applies planning and strategy. The origin of backgammon dates back as far as the 3000 B.C. that was supported with the excavation made at Iran, discovering a similar form of the game, complete with 2 dice and 60 pieces. Different parts of the world show they have their own form of backgammon. Though different in names, the essence of the game remains the same with two dice, varying in the number of pieces to be played as checkers.

Today, varieties of backgammon are now being played, depending on the number of checkers involved, starting position or moves that are restricted or assigned according to the roll of the dice. A variant of backgammon is acey-deucey where no checkers are positioned on the board. The checkers are only on placed on the board corresponding to the number on the dice after it is rolled. Hypergammon on the other hand, starts with 3 checkers for each player, positioned on the 24, 23 and 22 points on the board. Another backgammon variant is the nackgammon, named after its creator, Nack Ballard.

Strategies are played according to the player's choice. The player uses a direct strategy of avoiding being trapped or blocked by the opponent. A player can also use another strategy named as the holding game where the opponent's checkers are held off from advancing or moving forward and is called an anchor. These strategies can be interplayed depending on the progress of the game. A priming game is another type of strategy where the checkers are moved or positioned to build a wall, called a prime to prevent the opponent from advancing while covering a number of consecutive points. This strategy allows the player to get across the board quickly while keeping the opponent checkers at bay. A backgame is a combination of priming and holding games. The player first builds a prime on his own board while keeping an anchor on the opponent's board.

Playing backgammon does not rely on luck with the roll of the dice. The player needs to think of ways or strategize the movement of his checkers in order to cover the entire board in the least amount of time. Doing so means the player has acquired the skill of strategic planning.


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