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Backgammon Money Vs. Match Strategy


Playing backgammon for real money is quite possibly the easiest type of backgammon. All games can be treated individually and the only major variable to consider in each game is the opponent which you will come up against. Therefore you should change your strategy based on how your opponent plays. Focus on his strong points and also on his weak points and then base your play on these factors.

The most complex type of backgammon is commonly referred to as chouette play. This is where more than two players participate in just one game. The reason it is more difficult is because you have to try and figure out more than just one player’s strengths/weaknesses. You also have to consider financial management. It is extremely difficult to master good chouette play.

When taking part in backgammon tournaments, it is the match score which plays the most important role. When you start a new match game, doubling strategies are almost identical to money play, which means that you should therefore stick to your regular strategies.

With this in mind though, any strategies that you are using must be adjusted accordingly, and this should be based on how much of a lead either player has (or as the game approaches the end). If you are much further ahead in a match compared to your opponent, you should play for holding games and simple racing but if you are losing you should aim more towards applying complex tactics.

Here is a simple example:

When playing for real money, the red should take and the black should double. If black was currently winning with a score of 3-2 in match play, the red should drop if the black doubles. A 25% winning chance will be kept by red for passing. The player will only win the match 23% of the time if he decides to take instead and although just a 2% difference may seem insignificant, over time, these marginal differences will begin to add up.

More importantly, it would be beneficial for you to study the correct strategies from 3-away vs. 3-away (whereby both sides must have 2 points in order to win the match), as well as 2-away vs. 2-away and also DMP (Double Match Point).

The play at Double Match Point is quite different compared to money play because the gammons, backgammons and the cube are all irrelevant. The fundamental goal is to win the game. Double Match Play will influence your opening moves. If you have an opening 64 at the DMP, the correct play would be 24/14, instead of 24/18, 13/9. Also, due to the fact that gammons don’t count, if you have to fall into a back game then this shouldn’t be an issue as long as you can do so at the right moment.

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