What to Do If You're Not Playing the Opening Roll

You won't always get the chance to make the first move in backgammon. Since this will also be a usual scenario, you should know what to do if you are not playing the opening roll. If you compare the difference in difficulty, you will find that it is easier to do the opening roll than reply to it. There are 15 well-examined possible opening moves in backgammon. This is so because you can never play doubles in the opening.

If you're replying to the opening roll you have to add 21 more possible rolls to the 15 you should already know. The good news is that we don't have to complicate things when we discuss the replies to the openings in backgammon. What we need to do is to stick with what we already know and just add to it what is required.

We will no longer discuss the details about playing backgammon opening rolls. Since you're reading on replying to the opening roll it is assumed that you are already familiar with playing backgammon openings. Should you be unfamiliar with them or just need to read up and refresh your memory you should spend some time learning backgammon openings first.

Learning backgammon openings should be a prerequisite to replying to the opening roll. The same fundamental principles behind the backgammon openings also apply when you reply to them. For example you are replying to the opening roll and you roll a 3-1. Since it is just the start of a game, the best possible option for a 3-1 will be to play it as if it were an opening in backgammon.

Of course, you won't always be able to play rolls like an opening in the game every single time. If that happens your next best option when replying to the opening roll in backgammon is to hit checkers. Beginners may have reservations about hitting early in the game, but you can be assured that hitting blots during the early part of a game is safe. Now, if you are able to hit two blots then that is a lot better.

Yet another opportunity that presents itself when replying to the opening roll is rolling doubles. You don't get to play doubles when making the opening move. Getting doubles when replying to the opening roll is good break early in the game. Not only does it give you a nice jump forward in the pip count you also get to easily make a couple of points on the board. A good piece of advice if you roll doubles when replying to the opening roll is to use half of the moves you make to escape your back men if you can.

Replying to the opening roll may be a bit tougher than the opening moves in backgammon, but there are more strategic options. Players should learn the basics of making opening moves in backgammon before learning to reply to them.