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Introduction to the Back Game

The back game is an end game backgammon strategy. Though there are players who deliberately play the back game as an over all strategy in backgammon most players will recommend using it only in extreme circumstances when chances of turning things around are slim. As mentioned in our page on the full prime, a back game is a strategy you can turn to when your back men are rimmed in.

A back game will require the use of at least two anchors on the opposing home board. In the case of a defense against a full prime, your anchors will be stationed behind it. At this point you should expect that your opponent has already escaped whatever checker there may be and is concentrating on moving the prime forward. In case your opponent does not yet have a full prime your best option is still to maintain your anchors since these are your only contact with the enemy and you are behind in the pip count.

In the scenario depicted above, we have a full prime versus a back game. The full prime being an offensive ace and your back game your very last ace so to speak. When playing this backgammon strategy, a player should understand the tactical works behind it in order to make it work.

The player using a full prime has very little to think about when playing against a back game in backgammon. Everything is pretty much clear cut to such a player. By following the principles of advancing your full prime, all that the offensive player has to do is to avoid getting hit. That means this player should make only conservative moves. If you have a full prime you commence all movement from the rear of the prime. You will then move your pieces forward to safety one point at a time.

The player using a back game to defend against a full prime or otherwise using it to turn the game around will have two objectives. First is to hit any incoming checkers when possible. This player will play a patient game and waiting for the first opportunity to strike. Once an opening is found then this player should hit blots on sight.

Since the defending player requires patience in waiting for an opportunity to hit, while no opening is available the defender should continue building the home board. That way when a blot is hit entering it will become difficult. Once opposing checkers are successfully contained then you can run your checkers home and break anchors if necessary.

Back games are tough to play especially doing it against a full prime. This is one strategy that well applies to the end game when things don't look so good for you in backgammon.