How to Reply to Your Opponent's Opening Rolls

You don't get to play the opening rolls every time in backgammon. Obviously, if your not playing the opening rolls then you should be replying to them. Making a reply in the opening plays requires a bit more out of a player. The fact is that the player making the reply will not only be concerned with the 15 possible opening combinations but all of the dice combinations in making the reply.

Replying to the opening rolls will be a bit easier if one sticks to some pretty basic principles in backgammon. Don't worry over the fact that you have 36 possible combinations to think of since you really don't have to memorize all of them. Just stick with what you know about the 15 possible opening rolls and we'll go through some principles to help you out with the rest.

The first principle in replying to your opponent's move in the opening roll is to simply play your move as if you were making the opening roll. What this means is that if the pips you get on the dice are exactly one of the 15 possible combinations in the opening roll then play it as it is recommended. You don't have to break with any established principles learned previously.

The next question is what if the dice don't let you play any of the 15 said combinations? Then you should go for the next principle, which is to hit enemy blots. There are opening rolls that your opponent can make that does make blots early in the game. If you can't make your move as an opening roll then start hitting. If you can hit two checkers then that'll be so much better.

Never be afraid to hit in backgammon especially in the early stages, since it is quite common and is really strategic specially if you want to slow down your opponent's progress in the onset. If you have an opportunity to hit and make a point then do it.

Another principle you should remember is to build blocking points. If you have a chance to build them then do it. Make points especially if you can make any five-point or bar-point on the backgammon board. Speaking of which, this brings us to the doubles.

One unique feature of replying to your opponent's moves for the opening rolls in backgammon is that you get to deal with doubles. These are golden opportunities for you in backgammon. Always move your back checkers in unison using half of your moves in a double and then make a point with the other half.

These are the principles you should remember when making a reply to your opponent's opening rolls. It may sometimes be a bit tougher but you've got more opportunities to make something out of your backgammon game.