A Couple of Beginner Tips on Pip Moves
Usually, backgammon beginners would move checkers around the board with little thought to strategy. Unfortunately, the concept of the randomness of the dice roll is often mistaken as applicable to which checkers to move in the game. And this, alas, doesn't win matches. So, as a warm-up to the more rational approach that beginners will expectantly adopt, here are two beginner tips on pip moves that concern two of the basic issues in backgammon. These are making points and leaving a blot.
Before anything else, a pip is the unit of distance between points on a backgammon board. And pip moves are forward movements that your checkers can make depending on the dice roll. For example, if you roll a six-five combination, you have a choice of moving a checker 11 pips or moving one checker five pips and another checker six pips.
The first tip is to make points right away. Do this by placing at least two checkers together on a point in the course of advancing them to your home board. This way, you are protecting your checkers from being sent to the bar.
When you make points, you also lessen the chances of incoming enemy checkers from running off safely. So whether it's for protecting your checkers or blocking enemy checkers, making points is the basis of a defensive strategy.
The second tip is about leaving a single checker on a point called a blot. The issue about leaving a blot is slotting one or two of them that will be in direct or indirect shot of being hit by an enemy checker.
If you roll a combination where pip moves will leave a susceptible blot either on your side of the board or on your opponent's side, it's advisable to slot on the latter. If you get hit when you're so close to home, you'll have to cover more pips just to catch up than if you were hit on your opponent's side of the board. Backgammon is still a race so having a checker restart from the farthest point to run back home makes no sense especially if the increase in the pip count could've been less.
Remember, make points right away and if you're going to leave a blot, place one that's farther from home if you can. These beginner tips on pip moves should easily establish the ideas of protecting your checkers and maintaining your position in the race. Now these are the concepts that, if followed, will earn you backgammon victory.