What is the Backgammon Race and Its Elements

Backgammon is an interesting game that offers different strategies to both players. It may seem strange at first that players of this game can employ different strategies. That may be understandable since the first impression we all ever get from backgammon is that it is some sort of a race to the finish.

The initial premise of the game is indeed that of a race to the finish and there are games you'll play that will end up as a race. Still, there are players who for some reason will deliberately turn the game into a race without much consideration for other strategic options.

When a game you play suddenly turns into a race you might ask what are some of its key elements. You will also be introduced to a few pit falls that any player should avoid and an interesting tool that will help you make the tough decisions in this type of game.

So when does a game of backgammon evolve into a race? Backgammon turns into a race when your checkers and that of your opponent's have no more contact. Which means that both your men and your opponent's men no longer have a chance to block or hit since clearing each other's paths. At this point in backgammon both you and your opponent's goal is to bring all your checkers to the home board.

Take note that we've made a distinction that the bear off is not exactly part of the race in backgammon. There are two things you should concern yourself when the game has evolved into a race. First is to know when to offer a double and the second is when to take or pass.

There are many different things to consider before we double the stakes in backgammon especially in a race. Basically we need to consider a few pitfalls before making our doubling decisions. Another thing that will come in handy is a pip count.

Simply put, a pip count is a count the total number of points your checkers need to go in order to reach the home board. You might have to do a little math and add up the total to get the pip count in backgammon. This will also tell you if you are leading the race or not.

A few pitfalls that you should consider in a backgammon race are gaps, crossovers, and high stacks. Gaps in between stacks of checkers are indicators that you are behind in the race. Having high stacks are also indicators of poor positioning which slows down your men. Crossovers from one quadrant of the backgammon board into another also slow your men down.

It is best to avoid such wastage in your dice rolls whenever you're in a race. Understanding these elements of the backgammon race helps you make the tough decisions in this game.

Backgammon Project