Your chips are the darker color. Your opponent Sam has built a formidable wall, keeping you almost completely trapped in his Home Quadrant, as shown in Figure 1. You roll 3-1. How should you play it?
You can hit Sam with 13-10, as many players might do instinctively, then moving 24-23 to inch that chip a little closer to freedom. Normally, I’d advise making the strong 5-point door by playing 8-5 and 6-5 instead. But in this case, you can hit Sam and still make a four-point prime by playing 13-10 and 10-9, as shown in Figure 2. Sam’s has a four-point prime too, but you’ve now got two of his chips trapped behind yours, not just one.
For more backgammon tips, read Constantinos Scaros’ book Play Fearless Backgammon!, available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle formats on amazon.com.
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